It always amazes me how easy it is to get to Macau, yet how insanely different it is to Hong Kong once you get there. A recent trip across the water took me to the gigantic, glitzy Galaxy Macau for the first time, to try out its signature Italian restaurant, Terrazza.
Much like all of Macau’s big hotels, nothing is done in halves at the Galaxy; everything is big, everything is bold and everything is intentionally exaggerated. The same can be said for Terrazza; as you enter, you feel a million miles from the Galaxy’s shiny casino, as if you have been transported to an elegant restaurant somewhere on the Mediterranean coast. Soft shades of bronze and deep reds give the space a warm, inviting feel, enhanced by dim lighting and elegant, modern chandeliers. Attention is naturally drawn to the semi-open kitchen at the back of the room, where diners can watch the chefs hard at work through a big glass window.
The team is led by Chef Gleb Snegin, who has previously worked at many Michellin-starred Italian restaurants in Europe and Asia. He does not focus on one specific region of Italy, but takes inspiration from the entire country, using only the finest seasonal ingredients to create delicious yet unfussy Italian fare, which he insists he wants to be “beautiful in its simplicity”.
After unavoidably gorging on the delicious freshly baked breads on offer, we were each presented with a slice of Trentino pizza. This white-based pizza, laden with taleggio, mozzarella, broccoli, zucchini, spinach and speck, was insanely good, whilst somehow remaining light and summery. Knowing there were still four courses to go, I refrained from reaching for a second slice.
The crispy veal roll served with vegetable caponata was heavenly. Beneath the crispy outer layer, was wonderfully tender meat, which contrasted well with the slightly al dente vegetables, all brought together by a drizzle of sweet and sour honey mustard dressing.
One of Chef Gleb’s favourite dishes is the spaghetti chitarra, and quite rightly so. Here, slightly square spaghetti is effortlessly presented with pine nuts, bottarga, burrata, dill and saffron. Alone, these seemed like very simple ingredients, yet together they exemplified the perfect, comforting Italian (specifically Sicilian in this case) dish.
Given the choice between black cod and rack of lamb, I chose the latter, and was served a perfectly pink, incredibly juicy, and most importantly wonderfully tasty herb-crusted rack of lamb that simply melted in the mouth. Not only were the colours on the plate beautiful to look at, but also worked together to create what was without a doubt my favourite dish of the night.
Being a chocoholic and usually leaning heavily towards any chocolate dessert on the menu, the idea of Chef Gleb’s Giardino – a herb sponge with white melon ice cream, sage mint macaron and white chocolate sauce – filled me with intrigue, yet didn’t sound utterly convincing. I was, however, taken completely by surprise; the herb sponge was light, fluffy and wonderfully summery, enhanced by the deep, sweet flavour of the white melon ice cream. Picture a beautiful garden on a warm summer’s day – if you could put a flavour to that garden, this would be it.
Service at Terrazza is excellent and prices, for an Italian restaurant of this calibre, aren’t too outrageous, with starters around MOP70-200 and main courses mostly under MOP300. It is definitely somewhere worth visiting, whether the night ends with a ferry back to HK or a good night’s sleep in one of the Galaxy’s gigantic, comfortable beds.
201, 2/F, Galaxy Macau
Estrada da Baia de Nossa Senhora da Esperença
Tel: +853 8883 2221