DANC­ING WITH THE STARS

Wynn Magazine - - MACAU SPOTLIGHT - BY MATT KELE­MEN

99 Noo­dles com­bines tra­di­tion and fla­vor at Encore at Wynn Ma­cau.

ncore Ma­cau’s 99 Noo­dles is one of the most art­ful places to en­joy hand-pulled and hand-cut noo­dles; only here can din­ers ex­pe­ri­ence a “dance of the chop­sticks” while sit­ting down to their food. As with all Wynn din­ing ex­pe­ri­ences, a vis­ual feast ac­com­pa­nies the menu of­fer­ings. In this case, the menu was care­fully cu­rated by Chef de Cui­sine Liu Jie and his fa­ther, Master Chef Liu Guo Zhu, while Wynn De­sign and De­vel­op­ment bor­rowed from the past to play­fully push de­sign into the fu­ture. 99 Noo­dles’ legacy goes back 50 years. Master Chef Liu Guo Zhu, renowned for his ex­per­tise in the elab­o­rate Tan cui­sine of the Chi­nese aris­toc­racy, spent 20 years at the his­toric Bei­jing Grand Ho­tel, where he fa­mously pre­pared din­ners for Deng Xiao Ping, Bri­tain’s Queen El­iz­a­beth, and Henry Kissinger, among oth­ers. Liu Jie’s ca­reer in­cludes 17 years at the Bei­jing Grand Ho­tel be­fore be­com­ing ex­ec­u­tive chef at Kai Xuan at the Hong Kong Jockey Club in Bei­jing. He then joined his fa­ther at Wynn Ma­cau’s Golden Flower and 99 Noo­dles. “The con­cept of 99 Noo­dles

Eis dif­fer­ent,” says Master Chef Liu Guo Zhu. “There is a great va­ri­ety of Chi­nese noo­dles, which varies ac­cord­ing to their re­gion of pro­duc­tion, in­gre­di­ents, shape or width, and man­ner of prepa­ra­tion. We would like to share this cul­ture and tra­di­tional gourmet [food] with our guests.” Chef Liu Jie leads a team of chefs from China’s Gansu and Shanxi prov­inces, both famed for their noo­dles. The res­tau­rant’s in­ter­ac­tive menu gives guests the op­por­tu­nity to se­lect from nine kinds of noo­dles (in­clud­ing La Mein from Bei­jing and knife-shaved noo­dles with Shanxi ori­gins), nine hot broths, and var­i­ous gar­nishes and sauces (such as Bei­jing minced pork with yel­low bean sauce) in or­der to cus­tom­ize their own din­ner. “It takes at least eight hours to pre­pare the broths by us­ing the best in­gre­di­ents, and our noo­dles are all hand­made,” says Liu. “We of­fer the finest and the orig­i­nal fla­vor of north­ern China. I think the suc­cess of 99 Noo­dles comes from at­ten­tion to de­tails and ex­quis­ite qual­ity.” That de­tail ex­tends to the de­sign of the room. Brightly col­ored chop­sticks com­ple­ment cream-col­ored brick­work fronting the or­ange walls, vivid red flo­ral-print car­pet­ing, and rich black fur­ni­ture. “Chop­sticks play

a key role in Chi­nese din­ing cul­ture,” says Chef Liu Guo Zhu. The col­or­ful ‘dance of the chop­sticks’ not only beau­ti­fies the en­vi­ron­ment but also gives our guests a sense of en­joy­ment of the Chi­nese cul­ture.” Ex­ec­u­tive Vice Pres­i­dent for Wynn De­sign and De­vel­op­ment Roger Thomas also em­ployed the 18th-cen­tury French Chi­nois­erie style in the form of golden bells, cal­lig­ra­phy, and golden Parisian birds in his de­sign. “The in­ter­pre­ta­tion of the ex­otic East ex­pressed in the baroque era of 17th-cen­tury Europe is never far from my mind’s eye when work­ing on a pro­ject in China,” says Thomas. As pleas­ant a vis­ual ex­pe­ri­ence as 99 Noo­dles is, Chef Liu is, of course, most con­cerned about the re­ac­tion to the menu items for which the chop­sticks are de­signed. “When it comes to din­ers’ com­ments, it al­ways makes me happy to hear that the food at 99 Noo­dles re­minds them of home,” says Chef Liu Guo Zhu. “Din­ers en­joy and ap­pre­ci­ate the au­then­tic north­ern Chi­nese noo­dles and dim sum at 99 Noo­dles, which are rare to find in Ma­cau.” n

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