On the same girlie trip I talked about in my review of Wing Lei, we also tried il Teatro for dinner (yes, it was a rather indulgent day, I know!) Feel free to read about how we spent the earlier part of our super-indulgent day here, or skip straight to the food part and just keep reading.
After a pre-dinner cocktail at Cinnebar, we were seated in il Teatro, overlooking the spectacular fountain. Said fountain, we had been told, would perform a ‘show’ for us every 15 minutes, something that we were completely convinced we would tire of after the second time. However, every time the amazing cheesy music such as Pocahontas’ Colours of the Wind or Always Look on the Bright Side of Life came on and the water began to dance in time to it, we wanted to wave our arms in the air and join in. The choreography of the water, the music, the lights and the FIRE was incredible and so mesmerising. It is this show that in part gives the restaurant its name – the theatre.
Moving onto the real reason we were there, however – the food! Everything about our six-course meal was pure perfection – from the outstanding service by Bhong our Maitre d’, to the beautiful food presentation, to the taste, to the incredible wine-pairing put together by wonderful sommelier Michael.
To dwell, for a moment, on this wine-pairing, now I have had wine-pairings galore, but without any exaggeration whatsoever, none have been quite so good as Michael’s; although he is only 27 and therefore still learning, Michael is able to match a wine perfectly to its corresponding dish. In fact, even some wines that we initially weren’t sure we liked, when tasted again after a bite of risotto, for example, changed flavour entirely, in a way that perfectly balanced the essence of the dish.
Our first starter of Buffalo mozzarella with Parma ham and melon consommé was a modern twist on the traditional classic Parma ham and melon dish that I so love. Here, the melon came in jelly form, creating a bed for the freshest mozzarella I’ve tasted in a long time.
The Diver sea scallops melted in the mouth and were perfectly complemented by the roasted eggplant puree and shellfish emulsion, not to mention the crispy orange peel and eggplant skin – it’s just a shame we only got the tiniest pieces of these.
Dish number three of Pan-seared Sicilian red prawns over artichoke risotto was divine, made the more so by a sweet saffron emulsion. Perhaps it boils down to chef Anthony Alaimo’s New York-Italian background, but the risotto was so authentic, that we could close our eyes and be transported to somewhere in Northern Italy.
Following this came a Pan-seared black cod with lobster salad that was so divinely flaky, offering a subtle flavour that was enhanced by the lemongrass-scented clam broth. I’m not always fond of Chardonnay, but this fruity, unoaked Chamisal Chardonnay with its refreshing flavour, definitely won my heart.
The first meat and final savoury dish of the night was a Lamb chop scottadito. This translates literally to ‘burnt fingers’ due to their being so delicious that it’s hard to resist eating them straight off the sizzling grill, and I must say they fit their name exactly right; the meat was so tender and bursting with flavour that I had to stop myself from picking them up and licking the bone clean. I also definitely polished off the Chateau Bernadotte 2007 Merlot it was so magically paired with.
Ending the meal as it started with fresh, clean flavours came our Tahitian vanilla panna cotta with spiced pineapple and passion fruit sorbet – beautiful.
Chef Anthony’s signature menu with Michael’s wine-pairing will set you back MOP1,268 (around the same in HKD) which isn’t dreadful considering you’re dining at a five-star hotel, and hey, they even through in a damn good fountain show too; who needs the House of Dancing Water when you’ve got il Teatro?!
Rua Cidade de Sintra
Tel: +853 8986 3663