Delish Eats: Vida Rica Bar, Macau’s Only Cocktail Pairing Menu
October 18, 2023
Restaurant history: Vida Rica Bar swung its doors open to thirsty patrons in 2013, hidden inside the pleasure-centric Mandarin Oriental, Macau hotel. In a decade of mixing, Vida Rica Bar has hosted a wealth of travelling mixologists in the region to flex their craft in the sleek and airy venue.
What’s the vibe and venue like: Chic, mysterious, and magical – think 1970s design meets Chinese style. Vida Rica Bar soaks up light and marvellous views of Macau Tower and Zhuhai in the day. At night, the bar’s double-height windows boast a sense of grandeur rare in other Macau bars.
How much does it cost: MOP1,064 for four cocktails paired with seasonal Chinese and Western-influenced plates, split between two people.
What is the menu about: Vida Rica Bar’s cocktail pairing menu, the only one in Macau according to Mandarin Oriental, is inspired by the bar’s Cocktails of Canton bar menu, meeting reminiscent and herby flavours from southern China with complementary food-pairings.
What did we order: Marinated Grill Skirt Steak Pickled Pumpkin Strips (MOP168) and Ginger Snaps (MOP148), Tuna Tataki Five-Grain Salad Bowl Sesame Dress (MOP138) and Lo Mai Gai (MOP148), General’s Son Chicken (MOP98) and The Calamansi (MOP148), and Teriyaki Grilled Eggplant Rice Crackers (MOP68) and Chrysanthemum Tea (MOP148)
Marinated Grill Skirt Steak Pickled Pumpkin Strips and Ginger Snaps: The skirt steak, cooked well-done, may not be my first choice for steak texture, but the addition of umami with the soy sauce and sourness with the vinegar pickled pumpkin highlights powerful meaty and sharp flavours, rather than the steak's tough texture.
My favourite cocktail, the Ginger Snaps, blends clarified milk, ginger, guava, elderflower, and Tanqueray gin to recreate the flavour of Canton’s ginger milk pudding. I tasted jungle fruit, clouded apples, and buttery lemon in this cocktail, bursting with fruity life!
Tuna Tataki Five-Grain Salad Bowl Sesame Dress and Lo Mai Gai: I was pleasantly surprised with this dish. The tuna tataki was grilled well with a peppery body that worked nicely with the fruity, fleshy body. The sesame dressing was balanced. These are both feats in my book that are hard to achieve in dishes like this.
Lo Mai Gai’s strength is its high ABV content, powered with lotus leaf sake, mandarine liqueur, and sherry wine. A sip will tempt your tongue, and a whole glug will awaken you for late-night drinking at Vida Rica or beyond in Macau.
General’s Son Chicken and The Calamansi: My favourite and most visually stimulating food pairing was light and coated the tongue with a cool blend of soy, honey, and cashew flavour, in line with the classic American-Chinese dish.
The lemon-forward Calamansi cocktail brought herby and sweet tones with the inclusion of liquorice and spicy honey. I wished the chicken dish was spicier to solidify the food-cocktail pairing as one of opposing sweet-spicy flavours.
Teriyaki Grilled Eggplant Rice Crackers and Chrysanthemum Tea: Great balance of crunchy texture with the rice crackers and softness with the grilled eggplant mince, tasting like tuna with notes of iron and sea salt.
The Chrysanthemum Tea cocktail effectively employs baijiu and its liquorice-plum-peach flavour to pair with the brown rice tea for light, floral drinking, important for countering the salt of the eggplant.
What we liked: The Ginger Snaps cocktail was spiced with great lemony and ginger flavours that gave me vibrancy. The sweet and sour notes of the General Son’s chicken and eggplant dish were noted dishes you should order.
What we didn’t like: The Calamansi cocktail initially presents itself as a strong lemon cocktail, but the base is too acidic and is hard to balance against the Chinese chicken plate.
What you should order: Teriyaki Grilled Eggplant Rice Crackers, Tuna Tataki Five-Grain Salad Bowl Sesame Dress, Marinated Grill Skirt Steak Pickled Pumpkin Strips, Wagyu Burger.
Location: Vida Rica Bar, Mandarin Oriental, Macau, N.◦945, Avenida Dr. Sun Yat Sen, Macau
Contact details: +853 8805 8928
This food review is based on a complimentary media tasting provided by Mandarin Oriental, Macau, in exchange for a truthful review and no compensation. The opinions expressed within represent the views of the author.
Enjoyed this article? Check out our previous Delish Eats reviews here.
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