Favourite restaurants of Macanese Gastronomic Association president
Luis Pimenta de Castro Machado finds it hard to single out places in Macau to eat Macanese food - lest he offend some chefs
My lifelong mission is to promote and preserve Macanese cuisine and culture. I am very careful not to hurt the feelings of chefs and owners of restaurants, so it's really very hard for me to pick the best places in town where I go out for Macanese food. I eat at home very often and the best meals take place over large get-togethers.
For dining options, Macau has no secrets. Everybody knows where to go and where to eat depends on your preference and your budget.
African chicken is very popular among locals and visitors and was created by a genuine Macau filo (Macau-born son) — chef Americo Angelo, who worked at renowned places Pousada de Macau, Hotel Estoril and later Hotel Lisboa in the Portas do Sol restaurant — he was a legend. For this dish, I go to Litoral (261 R. do Almirante. Sergio, Macau, tel: +853 2896 7878 ) as well as for Macanese speciality dishes from the good old days, including minchi and tacho (a meat casserole). Litoral is run by D. Manuela who learned how to cook the dish from chef Angelo himself.
I also often go to Riquexo (69 Avenida de Sidonio Pais, Macau, tel: +853 2856 5655) where D. Aida has been serving traditional home-style Macanese dishes for decades. D. Vitoria heads the kitchen that serves up delicious traditional Macanese specials at Apomac Canteen (Avenida de Sidonio Pais No. 49-B R/C China Plaza Building, Macau, tel: +853 2878 8813), the civil servants' retirement association open to the public with an extensive menu of Macanese speciality dishes and great value set lunches.
Occasionally, I go to a little coffee shop called Cafe Lisboa (Mei Do Court, Edf. Mei Keng Garden, 47D R. de Braganca, tel: +853 2884 3313), near my home in Taipa. It's owned by a very nice Portuguese couple; she's in the kitchen and he's behind the bar. Here, you can try home cooking, delicious cakes and almond cookies, at a very reasonable price.
My other regular spot is Restaurante Carlos in the Wong Chiu area (432-438 Rua Cidade de Braga, Alameda Dutor Carlos d'Assumpcao, tel: +853 2875 1838) and I recommend the tacho. The restaurant has been around for more than two decades and is run by Henrique Castilho, an old Macanese chef.
Other times, I go to the educational restaurant at IFT — Institute for Tourism Studies (Colina de Mong-Ha. Macau, tel: +853 8598 3077) for minchi and cabelo de noiva (bridal hair) also known as fios de ovos (egg threads) — a sweet dish made mostly with egg yolks drawn into thin strands and boiled in sugar syrup.
As told to Juliana Loh