António takes you on culinary journey back to the old country
Rua dos Clerigos No 7, Old Taipa Village, Taipa, Macau
(853) 2899 9998, [email protected]
Situated among the quaint European-style alleyways of old Taipa Village, António is a charming award-winning restaurant by chef António Coelho. Occupying a three-storey village house, there is a small terrace area and the dining rooms are divided between the ground and first floor. The main area sits no more than 30 people, so large groups need to call in advance to book.
Blue and white glazed tiles, wooden floors and leather seats help set the mood, and the walls are decorated with colourful paintings - including a portrait of the chef - and his culinary awards. Serving authentic Portuguese cuisine with specialities that need to be ordered in advance, the establishment has an extensive list of Portuguese wines and includes vintage port, madeira and muscatel wines and liquors.
We had heard good things about the place. With assorted Portuguese olives and warm bread as accompaniment, we dug into the sauteed clams with garlic, coriander, olive oil and white wine sauce. The clams were fresh and fragrant, but were full of sand.
The waiter whisked the offending dish away and returned with another one, but the sand was back with the clams. The next dish we tried faired much better, it was bacalhau - fried codfish cakes that were hot, flaky and delicious. For the main, we chose the quintessential Macau dish - African chicken with garlic, onions, ginger and desiccated coconut sauce served with gratinated potatoes and a mixed salad.
The yellow sauce together with the tinged chicken, which was imported from Portugal, was tasty, but the potatoes and salad unmemorable. For dessert, we liked the serradura - sawdust pudding, served in generous cups.
Other dishes to try next time include the flambéed roasted home-made Portuguese sausage, gratinated goat's cheese with olive oil and acadia honey served on toast with balsamic vinegar and the Portuguese duck rice. To apologise for the naughty clams, our friendly waiter offered us some nice port and with our bellies full, we were off to explore more of Macau.