Arriving in Macau and walking 30 minutes to find this quaint little homey restaurant (Walk up the hill it’s to your right) Take a picture first at the fountain and work up your appetite because it’s the best Portuguese food I’ve had ever. Really….
While we perused the menu, a bread basket came with 3 options, olive oil and balsamic vinegar, butter and marinated olives. Usually restaurants only offer 1 but here everyone need not complain, there’s something for everyone. Warning note here, don’t fill up on the bread, the food is excellent, it’s piping hot, yeasty, crunchy and soft. It’s really good bread. We each ate 3 before the food came, it really was that good. It also arrived piping hot which already set the bar quite high for me, it’s amazing how some restaurants serve you cold crappy bread. (Note to readers: In Macau they charge you for everything so it’s not complimentary!!!)
The first dish to come was the Octopus Salad. It was fresh, olive oil and lemon balance was nice with the right salty and savory with the octopus. Great technique, it was soft and with the right amount of chewy, i tried cooking octopus an my puppy buried hers right away! The onions weren’t spicy i think they soaked it in water first so it didn’t over power the delicate balance of flavors and the flat leaf parsley gave it that greeny veggie freshness.
You also cannot come to a Portuguese place and not try their cured meats right? We ordered the house specialty the pata negro the equivalent of the iberico which is from the black pig. Some of these cured hams that i tried if of a lower quality it’s like eating a ham dipped in salt. It didn’t mesh together which some of the best cured hams i tried have achieved, and the pale creaminess of the fat must help contribute to the meaty flavor and the texture which is firm yet soft but not mushy. This is what that quality looks like:
And then the Clams Portuguese style arrived. The clams were plump, with delicious white wine sauce to mop up, it was garlicky deliciousness. The sauce tasted clamy and garlicky without being salt overpowering at all, and of course we mopped up all the juices with our yummy bread. Sometimes the clams if not properly cooked or soaked turns the whole dish into a gritty salty broth. Didn’t happen here!
The Prawns Gamberi was huge prawns in an intense garlicky olive oil. More bread mopping, the prawns were fresh and the meat was really tight you can hear the skins bursting when you bite into it, my sister spooned the oil right into the head and she squeezed all the juices onto the bread. Just imagine the creamy, salty deliciousness!
I think the key concepts in Roast Chicken is the crispy skin and soft meat. Some places over cook the breast and under cook the thighs, being asian we prefer dark meat but here it was all good. The salty charred skin and the moist meat was great on it’s own and then you dip it in the piri piri sauce (it’s a Portuguese chili sauce with hints of citrus, sour, heat and galicky herbs) then the flavours hit you all at once. The chicken was like the canvas for this amazing sauce, the heat was fabulous I love spicy food and it was yummy without the feeling of oiliness at all!
We were all so full by this time, there was only three of us and so far with the bread and all the plates that we cleaned we actually cringed when the Grilled Cod arrived.
But oh it smelt so good, the fish, garlic, olive oil, the sear… Even the baked potato that came it it smelt divine. You bite into the firm fish and you crunch through the garlic, and the spring onions, and the salt and the olive oil. Really really good. The baked potato was dripping in oil and garlic and the skin was crunchy the the potato was baked until it was like mashed potatoes in it’s own skin. Sigh…. No room for dessert. We literally couldn’t move. A must try in Macau!
No. 16A Travessa de Dominigoes
Sennado Square, Macau