MacauEats: Round The Clock Coffee Shop at Grand Lisboa
I can't remember the last time I ate. Let me see... I definitely ate on Sunday. Did I eat Tuesday? No. I don't think I ate on Tuesday. I did eat on Monday... well... technically that was Sunday night. And then again Monday morning on the plane. Wait, was that Tuesday? Shit. I think I last ate actual food, and not the bag of crunchy Cheetos (LOVE) my wife stuffed in my bag before departure, about 11 hours ago. Right... pork noodles on the plane from Shanghai to Macau. I think I had a sandwich a few hours before that.
All I know is that I'm tired, confused and incredibly hungry. The last 36 hours have been a blur. A red eye from LAX to Shanghai, a wide eye from Shanghai to Macau and a saggy baggy eye here in Macau. In my dumb attempt to beat the jet lag, I've been wandering around testing out these new camera lenses and seeing some of the sights.
Exhaustion and full-on hunger has turned me into a blabbering, cranky mess. Do I go back the room and chance falling asleep before room service arrives or do I schlep my sleep deprived skeleton downstairs to the Round The Clock Coffee Shop the bellboy mentioned.
Coffee shop. Obviously.
Call them whatever you want - coffee shop, diner, cafe, dining car, delicatessen - I love 'em. I'm filled with wonder about what strangeness awaits inside of the casino cafe at one of Macau's most Chinese of all resort hotels.
I schlump downstairs and wander about before eventually locating Grand Lisboa's Round The Clock Coffee Shop. Three waitresses wearing gold and orange uniforms buzz about serving a smattering of customers. The host, tinkering with the touch-screen point of sale terminal, sees me from across the room, approches the podium and says "table for one?" in Asian accented, yet perfect English. He leads me through the mostly empty dining room to a semi-private table with full view of the dining room. He hands me the menu and leaves, returning moments later with a glass of cool, not cold, water... I'm reminded that the rest of the world doesn't share the American obsession with iced down drinks. I could get behind this.
I scan the menu. Lunch, dinner, breakfast, dumplings, Chinese, Macanese and Portuguese dishes, plus a coterie of burgers, sandwiches and a sizable selection of Thai food. Hunger and jet lag paired with expansive offerings has made this decision very difficult. After waving off the inquiring waitress twice, I fall back on Chuck's Golden Rule of Dining; every establishment - be it cafe, restaurant or room service - can be judged by its Club Sandwich.
The waitress arrives for a third time and asks me if I'm ready to order. "Yes. I am." She smiled. I ordered the Lisboa Club sandwich and a fresh pressed apple juice. She took the menu and returned three times to refill my water glass. Proper hydration is the key to successful travel and up I've been delinquent since Sunday. What day is today?
Periodically, servers came to my table to check on my health. I went from sitting fully upright to chin-on-the-table in the time it took for the kitchen to hand press this ice cold glass of apple juice.
Obviously, this juice wasn't pressed in the kitchen. Regardless, the Chinese apples it was made from are goshdarn delicious. It was ice cold too. Smooth, sweet, fruity and served with a frothy head... just the way I like it.
Moments later... the Lisboa Club arrives.
I dont think I've ever seen any food built like this before. The sandwich is a toast roll up, filled with turkey, ham, lettuce, tomato, egg, tomato and lettuce. It is served with a stand up salad (!) of romaine lettuce wrapped in a belt of zucchini and drizzled with a balsamic vinagrete topped with a dramatic waterfall of bacon. A clip of sliced red teardrop tomatoes are placed along the base of the salad, in deconstruction.
Dinner and a show.
The salad reconstructed with chopped up bits of bacon and tomato easily. Tangy and tasty. The sandwich was messy and delicious. If I had any complaint it would be not asking for a side of mayo to lube up the club. I scarfed the whole thing pretty quickly, then slumped back down onto the table like a tiger savoring the kill.
Whereas before, the wait staff wouldn't leave me alone. Now, when it comes to paying the bill, they completely ignored me. I had forgotten that in Macau wait staff won't bring you the check, it is customary for the guest to request it. Additionally, Macau is not a tipping culture. Often when leaving a tip, staff will be confused, return your tip as change or simply gasp. If you receive exceptional service, then do leave a gratuity... it is not required. Don't feel guilty.