I just love how cute these are!
I know most of you are confused because Chinese restaurants generally are stereotyped as inexpensive, and with cold or bad service. But if you visit The 8, you may just be convinced otherwise.
Originally we wanted to visit during lunch, as they are well famed for their intricate dim-sum designs which I've grown obsessive over (not to mention that a lot of reviews online say it's a steal). But our schedule didn't work out so we opted for dinner instead (we made reservations in person and was advised of the strict business dress code).
Their lobby art collection literally left me speechless. It was the most amazing (and free) hotel lobby that I've seen so far.
The owner, and Tycoon-- Stanley Ho has impeccable taste. (Wow, I would too if I had that much bank roll).
On display, was the world's largest, flawless, D Colored-Cushion diamond (218.09 ct), and Cushion Emerald (210.34 ct)--heavily guarded of course. Not to mention all of the relics that puts the Forbidden City to shame. Some of his pieces I've seen their counterparts at the Taipei Palace Museum before. There's mammoth tusk carvings, gold and jade pieces (even a replica of the Jade Cabbage that was once buried with Empress Dowager Empress Ci Ci).
Once seated, I noticed how serene it felt, yet very opulent (the table tops were inlay-ed with mother-of-pearls).
All of the main servers were dressed in long, black velvet Qi-pao. The way they walk reminds me of the elegance of Goldfishes. I was going to speak Chinese to them, but realized that some of them spoke Mandarin (which I was horrible at) so they found us a server that was bilingual. Both the Menu and your bill is shown in English.
If you are a wine lover, you won't find shortage of choice as their wine list tops close to 15k+ bottles. It's no wonder Grand Lisboa was one of the first to receive the Wine Spectator Grand awards in Asia (they share their list with Robuchon Au Dome). Their wine list consists of close to 500 pages alone. But we decided not to drink wine tonight as tea felt more appropriate.
Everything was just spectacular from plating presentation, ambiance, to service. While the restaurant tacks on a 10% "service charge" (~ $18 usd in our case) to our final bill, we felt so well taken care of that my friend and I agreed that we needed to tip our server (I know, we are radically ruining the concept of "no tips" in Asia). I think we slipped an extra 400 MOP (~$50 USD) to our server for their service and gave it to her personally.
We couldn't finish all of the dishes, so the server was so kind to package it very nicely for us (in reusable containers & gave us a pair of re-useable chopsticks (the type you would use at home, not the cheap ones).
When we first saw our bill, we were quite shocked. We were expecting to run up quite a tab, but it turns out it was a lot less than we thought; 1600+ MOP (~$200+ USD). Do note there is a small charge for Jasmine rice (15 MOP | ~ 2 USD each). I guess it helped that we didn't ordered anything too exotic (abalone, birds nest, shark fin soup).
Of course, you can definitely spend a lot less by not ordering seafood. Overall, it was such a bargain for such amazing food, service and overall experience. This restaurant definitely deserves their 3 stars! I can't wait to return to Macau and eat here again.