In a Macau hotel designed by Zaha Hadid, Alain Ducasse at Morpheus provides an ethereal, fine dining experience
MAY 17, 2019 | By Aneesha Bhadri
The hotel, MORPHEUS City of Dreams, built by architect Zaha Hadid lies on a piece of reclaimed land between the Taipa and Coloane islands in Macau. On the third floor of this dynamic monolith, Alain Ducasse has opened Alain Ducasse at Morpheus designed by the Jouin Manku studio. On the south side of the tower, the restaurant unfolds like an exotic dream where Asian reverie merges with French tradition. It has an intimate, yet formal vibe with an otherworldly aura.
From the lobby, a maître d’hôtel escorts guests along a long corridor lit with lanterns. Upon entering the restaurant, clusters of blown glass installations, made by Lasvit, hang from the ceiling and glisten like water, creating a shimmering forest. There are three ‘dining suites’ screened by an envelope of glass. Each suite is furnished with a dining table that emanates faint illumination like moonlight. At the end of the meal, the light dims and, at the push of a button, a glass screen draws back to reveal a private salon, to which guests may retire to relax with a drink. The focal point is the table areas that form layers of glass to create a plunging view up through the structure of the Eiffel Tower and the dazzling lights of Paris by night. The design gives the surreal effect of looking through the other side of the veil.
An exclusive dining experience conceived by Jouin Manku for Alain Ducasse is the Chef’s Table. It provides a lucky few with a unique opportunity to experience the private world of the Chef up close. Guests enter through a hidden door, which opens into an exclusive wine cellar, which resembles that of traditional French wine merchants. On the wall, artwork by French artist François Houtin—an imaginary landscape inspired by French countryside and drawn in the Chinese tradition of pen and China ink, represents the entire philosophy of Alain Ducasse at Morpheus. The Table du Chef stands near the ovens behind a glazed partition, which can be rendered opaque at the touch of a button. Guests can watch the Chef at work on a large, solid oak worktop lit by a bronze and glass chandelier, experimenting with the cuisine inspired by Macao. The new restaurant offers the finest in French haute cuisine and only a few months after opening has recently been awarded two Michelin stars.