[dropcap size=small]H[/dropcap]ome-grown pastry chef Janice Wong has upped her game for all things sweet and toothsome.

She will be opening a pastry shop and restaurant, Janice Wong MGM, at the new MGM Cotai Resort in Macau. The shop and restaurant will open by October. It will feature one of the world’s largest chocolate fountains, at 7.3m tall, and will spout streams of dark, milk and white chocolate. It is for display only.

The 2,800 sq ft restaurant, which seats 68, will offer a cornucopia of sweet treats. There will be more than 100 confections, ranging from plated desserts and churros to cookies and mochi. About 60 per cent of the items, including cakes, tarts, eclairs, waffles and edible chocolate crayons, will be new.

Chef Wong is also making a foray into confectioneries such as caramel and nougat. Janice Wong MGM, which is located in the lobby level of the 1,400-room integrated resort, will also have a live chocolate, crepe and dessert station.

Wong, 34, says: “With this shop, I am pushing my boundaries in pastry-making by having my largest collection of desserts.”

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To cater to the Chinese market, she has rolled out East-meets-West flavours such as pork floss sesame shortbread, jasmine tea-infused chocolates and black sesame popcorn cake.

There will also be a touch of Singapore in the all-day dining menu with dishes such as laksa and steamed chilli crab buns and chocolates in flavours such as chilli and gula melaka pandan. It will cost an average of $20 to $25 a person to dine there.

Wong notes that there has been “a growing presence” of tourists from China buying chocolate gift sets at her eponymous flagship restaurant in the National Museum Singapore over the past year. So she jumped at the opportunity to break into the Chinese market when hospitality giant MGM China approached her last year to open a franchised outlet in MGM Cotai.

“What attracted me most was that MGM is known for its innovative and spectacular concepts that also push boundaries. And it is based in the United States, where I hope to also open an outlet,” she adds.

She is confident of braving the “larger-than-life and competitive” Macau dining scene. “We will remain sustainable through innovating with new ideas and techniques,” she says.

To ensure a consistent quality, she will visit the Macau outpost four times in its first year of operations and twice a year thereafter.

Ms Gan Ying, 21, will helm Janice Wong MGM and will lead a team of 50. She has been chef de partie with 2am: dessertbar in Holland Village for two years.

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This is Wong’s third overseas venture and she has invested a five-figure sum in it. Her first foray overseas was Cobo House by 2am:dessertbar, a casual fine-dining restaurant, which opened in Hong Kong in March last year; and Janice Wong Dessert Bar, which opened in Tokyo a month later.

MGM Cotai on Thursday also announced other restaurants it has lined up. They include Aji, a Nikkei (the hybrid Peruvian-Japanese cuisine restaurant by Japanese-Peruvian chef Mitsuharu Tsumura); Grill 58 Degree, a meat-centric restaurant by French-Argentine chef Mauro Colagreco; and Coast, a Western restaurant by American chef Graham Elliot.


Adapted from The Straits Times

Photo credit: The Straits Times