Sands Cotai Central has become my favorite spot for shopping recently, due to the fact that new stores are opening up at the mall. Usually, to take a break from my shopping spree, I would stop by The Lounge at the Conrad Macao lobby to have a signature cocktail, afternoon tea set, or cold seafood platter. Enjoying myself at The Lounge is a delightfully relaxing affair. It is one of those little luxuries in life that is worth every penny.
An intricately wrought fence runs the circumference of The Lounge, where guests can feel free to relax while watching the world pass by. A dazzling Swarovski chandelier hangs above the bar and separates The Lounge in two. Guests can then decide to go for a tranquil oasis or a more lively side.
Other than offering breakfast and lunch, the venue is well known for its delicious afternoon tea sets. Two tantalizing choices include an English tea set and Spanish tea set. The English tea set offers up such choice morsels as smoked salmon, chicken salad and watercress, ham and green apple, egg salad, scones with Devonshire clotted cream, assorted pastries and fruit tarts, Dundee cake and Scottish shortbread. The Spanish tea set leans towards such exotic tastes as ham with feta and watermelon, quince with manchego cheese, crème catalana, flan de fresas and Spanish crumble cake.
The individual in charge of bringing us such great gastronomic delights is, not surprisingly, a Frenchman. Stephane Blanchard, Executive Pastry Chef at Sands Cotai Central, is originally from Burgundy. While the region in France is known for its heavy flavors, what Chef Stephane is trying to achieve in Macau is to create elements that adapt to the local palate.
“I have worked in many countries around the world. People who live in different places have different taste. Locals in Macau prefer subtle flavors, so we try to cut down on the sugar,” he says.
Dessert selections at The Lounge are never too sweet, but extremely traditional. Chef Stephane’s style is simple and he always tries to not make desserts that mix a lot of ingredients together. The trio of pistachio trifle, raspberry sable, and chocolate mousse with crumble is a classic sample of such an approach.
“I make my chocolate mousse with just chocolate and cream, pistachio trifle is only made with pistachio, and the raspberry sable is just raspberry with a bit of vanilla cream and biscuits,” he explains.
The desserts look like they can be easily made at home, but Chef Stephane warns us that to get the chocolate to merge perfectly with the cream, the temperature of the chocolate must be around forty degrees, nothing more and nothing less. After a long day of shopping, I think it is better to just come to The Lounge and relax instead of going home and make desserts from scratch. Every one of us has the right to indulge and be treated like a princess or prince, at least once in a while.