DANCING WITH THE STARS
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