Located in the Grande Praça of MGM Macau, “Aux Beaux Arts” is a restaurant that aims to capture the elegant atmosphere of a classic brasserie, featuring a combination of décor and fresh food for a perfect French gastronomic experience. Besides the interior itself, featuring dark wood panelling, cast iron coat and umbrella racks hanging over the indoor tables, visitors can also see the aquarium at the Grand Praça, a special treat to all fish lovers.
“The restaurant is a French brasserie but both the food and the service are a bit more upscale than a normal brasserie, meaning we have a very high end product, with brasserie food, but presented in a modern style. It’s a bit more sophisticated”, said Chef de Cuisine Elie Khalife.
Although there is more to discover on the menu, seafood is usually the first pick between the costumers, with a long list to choose from according to the preferences of each client. “One of the specialities you find in a Parisian brasserie is the seafood. We have a large seafood collection. We get it fresh everyday from tanks we keep, like oysters, lobsters, clams or mussels. We cook it daily and serve it fresh on ice with condiments”.
Over the years the restaurant was able to gain popularity in Macau, providing meaningful experiences to its loyal costumers. “People come here because we have a good reputation, the cooking, flavour, fresh ingredients and variety, every month we change our three-course set menu and bring a new promotion”, said Chef Elie Khalife during an interview with Magazine & More.
For this F&B experience, the Chef firstly prepared a seafood platter, which is “one of our popular items that people really come for”. It was a fresh and well presented starter, with quite a variety of seafood, including oysters, clams, lobster, Spanish red shrimp, scallops, crab legs and sea urchins. Afterwards, a traditional Parisian onion soup with cheese crouton, to warm your stomach before the main dish, French Dover sole à la meunière, cooked with butter and lemon juice, served with potato puree and sautéed spinach. A very pleasing dish, with the lemon soothing the butter’s taste so it doesn't get too strong for some palates.
As for dessert, and even though there are some traditional sweets on the menu, the very popular crêpe suzette ended up being the choice, which is always a very nice and appropriated way to finish a meal in “Aux Beaux Arts”.
When not in the kitchen preparing the dishes, Chef Elie Khalife likes to “go outside, check their [clients] satisfaction and see the preferences” to get some feedback. “I think it’s important, it makes me understand the perspective of the people regarding the food and what they like”, he added.
When the opportunity came up for this Macau adventure, back in 2008, Chef Elie Khalife confessed that his first reaction was “What is Macau?”, a place he had never heard about before. After some research, he thought that “there was some potential to make something interesting over here”, and so the journey began. “It was something very exotic and very new for me, everything was different and I was very excited to discover more and more. So when I used to be off I would go through the old streets of Macau and discover small restaurants, the Red Market and all these areas, with things that were interesting not only on the cooking side, but also very cultural”, concluded the Chef.