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“Hidden Gem in the Cotai Strip”
Review of Rice Empire

Rice Empire
Ranked #183 of 756 Restaurants in Macau
Cuisines: Asian
Description: Rice Empire consists of cuisine in Asean countries such as Korea, Malaysia, China, Indonesia, SInagpore, Philippines, etc. All with rice.
Restaurant details
Description: Rice Empire consists of cuisine in Asean countries such as Korea, Malaysia, China, Indonesia, SInagpore, Philippines, etc. All with rice.
Asia
Level 6 Contributor
243 reviews
90 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 476 helpful votes
“Hidden Gem in the Cotai Strip”
Reviewed December 2, 2013 via mobile

The Rice Empire is an excellent restaurant serving a selection of favourite tapas, rice-based dishes, rice noodles and desserts from many Asian countries. Pho from Vietnam, Chicken rice from Singapore, Nasi Goreng from Indonesia, Katsudon from Japan and Rice in Hot Stone Pot from Korea are just some of the varied items on the menu. The restaurant is tucked away in a very quiet corner of the huge Sands Cotai Central Complex, away from the hordes of noisy, chain-smoking tourists from mainland China who descend on Macau by the busloads practically every minute of the day. To locate this hidden gem of a restaurant, look for McDonalds/Mc Cafe on Level 1 of the upmarket Shoppes at Sands Cotai Central Mall and walk straight till the end of the passageway and you'll find the Rice Empire.

The restaurant has a serene ambience with dark wood furniture set against pristine cream coloured walls adorned with pictures of paddy plants. The two English-speaking restaurant captains lead a small crew of waitresses who render prompt, attentive but unobtrusive service. The food is carefully prepared and scrumptious; the appetizers deserve special mention for tasting like the native version served in their country of origin and for being attractively plated. Individual portions of the main courses are big enough to serve two adults, and prices are a steal with most main courses priced between MOP68 (USD8) to MOP98 (USD12). The 10% service charge is waived for Sands Rewards Club members.

My dining companion and I shared an appetizer, a salad and rice dish (see photos). The chef transformed the plebeian Vietnamese rice paper rolls (MOP38) to a wholesome tapas with an irresistable contrast of textures with the addition of shredded beetroot, blanched plump prawns and generous slices of Thai honey mango. The rolls were served with a tangy spicy dipping sauce, as is done in Vietnam, but I found them to be excellent even without the dip.

The Thai Pomelo Salad was served in a deep bowl with big shrimps, plenty of fresh crabmeat and shredded kaffir lime leaf. I was happy the chef had a light touch with the chilli flakes, ground peanuts and fish sauce, allowing the distinct taste of the fresh ingredients used to delight the diner.

The Stone Pot Rice was topped with a chunky piece of flavourful and juicy pork loin that had been sauteed with minced ginger, julienned scallions and white pepper. The rice had absorbed the hearty gravy and scrambled egg, but the acid test came after dinner - we did not get thirsty at all, so we can vouch that this dish is MSG-free. As my dining companion was a member of the Sands Rewards Club, we paid only MOP48, ie half price, for this dish. (Each Club member is restricted to only one order from a list of four promotional priced dishes per visit.)

It was a pity we 'discovered' The Rice Empire on our last night in Macau or we would have had all of our dinners here. We are likely to stay on the Cotai Strip on subsequent trips to Macau so we'll definitely drop by again. It is great that this place stays open till 11pm, with no reservations required, at least for the time being.

  • Visited November 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Frappezz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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41 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    16
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    2
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • English first
  • French first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
  • Russian first
  • Any
English first
Singapore, Singapore
Level 5 Contributor
49 reviews
13 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
“My dailly dinner venue...”
Reviewed July 8, 2013

The only place in Macao you can discover Asian foods under one roof.

Service is getting better and better each time I visit Rice Empire.

Service rendered by Ramita the Restaurant Manager & Raymond the Captain is super friendly and attentive.

Portions for the each meal is very generous. Taste of the is almost the same as you can find from the origin of the food.

  • Visited June 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank ChanZ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
“FOOD DENIED YET PAID FOR”
Reviewed June 7, 2013 via mobile

Paid a lot of money for the cotai discovery package in The Venetian Hotel where we were offered complementary dinner of a set meal at the Rice Empire. We reached there at 2231hrs and we were denied food since we had apparently reached after the time for the last order. The Venetian we were informed about the closing time and we managed to reach well before the closing time... However there is no last order time for a set meal.
The next day when we went back there for food... we had to wait for 20 minutes for our set meal and the prawn seemed to be stale..

  • Visited June 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank MayankMehra
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Level 6 Contributor
712 reviews
593 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 155 helpful votes
“All of Asia in one spot”
Reviewed May 22, 2013 via mobile

All the Asian Rice dishes you could ever think of want or even try they are found here @ Rice Empire.....great food with great prices and great service.

  • Visited May 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Wade G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hong Kong, China
Level 6 Contributor
5,653 reviews
1,768 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 12,117 helpful votes
“Rice Empire - Surprisingly good find at Sands Cotai Strip”
Reviewed May 17, 2013

We recently dined at the somewhat overshadowed Rice Empire restaurant in the Sands Cotai Strip and were pleasantly surprised to find the rice inspired dishes there to be quite good, affordably priced and very much worthy of repeat visits.

During this meal we tried Chef Recommended - Mee Goreng (MOP88) that was a generous portion of well fried and seasoned rice noodles with chicken, two nice sized prawns, some coriander and small lime slice. Not all was perfect - chicken was boiled and nice stir-fried and served prawn crackers were as very dry. However, the dish, itself tasted quite good. It was not as spicy as we liked but that was fine as there were three different chili types on the table so you can just 'spice-up' your dish as you like. Overall, this was a much liked dish (rating 3.75 of 5) that we'd happily reorder.

Our second dish was als a Chef recommendation - Nasi Lemak Ayam (MOP88). Being fans of this classic Malay dish so were intrigued when spotting it on the menu. Not having our hopes set too high as restaurants routinely miss the mark on SE Asia dishes in the Canton region, we ended up being quite pleased with this dish. The chicken curry portion of the dish was very good. The rest, as expected with a nice Nasi Lemak dish. Another surprisingly good dish (4 of 5) that we'd be happy to order again.

Soft drinks were fairly priced (MOP35) for dining at a hotel/casino restaurant. We also found service to be particularly friendly (and smiling), which is not always the case when dining in this part of the world.

Overall, we are not usually fans of the hotel/casino restaurants in Macau but at least on this occasion, the Rice Empire might was the exception to the rule. We were very happy with both of our dishes and would happily order them again. We hope Rice Empire keeps up the standard that we experienced on the evening.

Hint: The Rice Empire is located just outside the Himalaya gaming area and the restaurant called North and it is open until 11pm.

  • Visited May 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
3 Thank BradJill
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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