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orangeblossom

Macau Food/Restaurant Recommendations

43 posts in this topic

Macau update... just spent a few days mid-week (the best time to visit) there. Only time for a few meals.

I'll start off with a place that I've been keeping quiet about: the 'IFT Educational Restaurant' on the IFT Campus at Mong-Ha Hill. It's the training restaurant for Macau's tourism school, so service can be a little variable but at its worst is still better than in most Macau restaurants these days.

They recently renovated and sadly the tablecloths are now gone. But the (student-cooked) food is still absurdly good value. Apps from MOP 30, up to MOP60 for foie terrine. Mains MOP60-90, and that's including some first class seafood and beef fillet. The food is best described as Macanese/Portuguese influenced fine dining. Solid, reasonably-priced Portuguese wine list, too. Because it's government-run, there's no tax or service charge. Open breakfast, lunch and dinner Mon-Fri; closed weekends and all holidays. Friday dinner is Macanese/Portuguese buffet, and that's crowded. Resos a good idea at any time. Tel 2851 5222; no bus goes up Mong-Ha so tell a taxi driver "mong ha ban goon". The restaurant is at the turnaround at the highest point the taxi can drive.

Club Militare: no big changes here, although it was less busy than usual. This is still the Portuguese expat downtown lunch spot and everyone else in the room seemed to know each other. They had their usual lunch buffet (around MOP110), but we opted to go a la carte: pasteis de bacalhau with warm black-eyed peas and a very generous plate of properly sliced pata negra ham for starters, green salad, and duck rice and crispy-skin suckling pig for mains. And some dessert for my delectable companion, and a bottle of vinho verde and a brandy and coffee and a big bottle of mineral water. This was more than we could eat; total was under MOP700. The cooking wasn't quite as good as on previous visits; the home-made potato crisps with the pork were limp and weren't seasoned (in fact everything seemed a little under-seasoned this time), and salads weren't properly dressed. But overall it was a fine meal, and I'll be back. Lunch and dinner, tel 28714009, no obvious sports clothes allowed (jeans are ok), resos a good idea at lunch but not usually needed at dinner. It's the old pink building beside Grand Lisboa casino.

Alfonso III: I hadn't tried Alfonso III before, but it has something of a reputation as an old-school Portuguese place. It's on Rua Central near São Lourenço church, and near the police HQ. It took 2 exceptionally rude phone calls to secure a reservation - which turned out to be unnecessary; they're not exactly busy.

We ordered basics: chorizo, clams, pork liver, grilled chicken and salad. The food was ok... except the salad, which was a mound of wet limp shredded iceberg, and except for the bread, which was limp buns. But the service... this is a restaurant that just doesn't give a damn. Full plates coming up from the basement kitchen were put on the floor (!) at the top of the stairs for pickup, buns coming off other tables - even buns that had been torn in half - were thrown back in the bread bin in full view of guests, and then served again. When our sullen waitress was asked by the other server if we had ordered anything to drink (nobody bothered asking us), she just shrugged and walked away. When we finally were able to order some wine, it was brought, already uncorked, and plunked on the table - no ice bucket, no pretense of presentation or tasting or pouring, even though she had exactly zero other tables to deal with at the time.

This was all happening while the owner was seated alone at a table facing the corner, with his back to the room. He didn't look at us all night. Like I said, this is a restaurant that doesn't give a damn. I assume they look after their regulars better than visitors, but for the rest of us, I'll chalk this up to taking one for the team. My worst restaurant experience in Macau, ever.

After that, we wanted our final meal this trip to be a guaranteed good one, and that made it easy: Fernando's.

Their salad - just green-leaf lettuce, ripe tomatoes, sweet white onion, good olive oil... the difference in attitude from Alfonso was made absolutely clear right there. Fernando's excellent Portuguese buns come to the table warm, fresh and crusty. Our mains were grilled sardines (again, just fresh fish and salt; they're excellent at this time of year and we saw them on almost every other table as well) and what used to just be called beef steak but now seems to be called drunken steak (it's the one without the egg); it's a cheap mystery cut of beef served with an addictive sauce that I have no idea how to make. The french fries with the steak, which were average on previous visits, were a lot better this time.

Both of us were shaking our heads; how does this place get it so right? It's not remotely fancy (no air-con, no credit cards), the food is simple, and the service is best described as 'efficient', but I have to strongly disagree with reports that it's somehow gone downhill. I've been coming here for about 15 years and the most impressive thing about Fernando's is their consistency. While some traditional Portuguese restaurants in Macau may do some dishes a little better these days, none are dramatically better. The real issue people seem to have with Fernando's is that it's not remotely fashionable and has zero snob appeal. Everyone knows about it, and it's in every guidebook. We were there for a weekday lunch, which used to be just a couple of tables of locals, and this time it was full of tourists, and there was a wait for tables. I don't care; the food is still good, the weird atmosphere still appeals to me, and I hope it's there for another 15 years. Tel 2888 2264. Tell any taxi driver "Fernando" and you'll get there, or save MOP80 and take bus 21A or 25 heading south to the end of the line at Hac Sa beach.

A couple of bars... the main casino bar at the Sands has raised prices a little but is still the place for inexpensive quality booze and good bands. It is the only bar on earth you might see an African-American singing patriotic songs in acceptable Mandarin to an appreciative audience of mainlander gamblers (the sight is enough to make them look up from the baccarat tables), followed by a troupe of lightly-clad young Aussie women flouncing around to 'Candyman' (less reaction from the gamblers), followed by a Filipino long-hair rock band covering old-school heavy metal (no reaction at all). Something for everyone, and it all seems to make more sense as the evening wears on. And Old Taipa Tavern in (you guessed it) old Taipa village is a decent place for a pint of Guinness, complete with the inevitable whinging expats. Unlike many other establishments in Macau, they seem to understand the mysterious effect that attractive barmaids can have on alcohol sales.

Macau cookbook update: the are 3 new ones that I'm aware of. The IFT has 2: "The Art of Modern Portuguese and other IFT Delights" at MOP100, and another more Macanese one whose name escapes me at MOP250. Both are available at the IFT restaurant. I had a quick glance through them, but neither seemed destined to be the Great Macau Cookbook.

Also, the Council of Macau Communities cookbook I mentioned upthread back in November is now in print. It's called "Macanese Cooking - a Journey across Generations" by Cecilia Jorge, and it's supposedly available at the Portuguese Bookstore on Rua St Dominic. Three editions; Chinese, Portuguese and English, MOP250. I haven't checked it out yet.


Hong Kong Dave

O que nao mata engorda.

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Thanks HKDave for the latest update. We're back in HK at the end of October and am planning a day trip to Macau as we've never been. So if we absolutely had to choose one place to eat then it would definitely be Fernando's. What about the best Po Tarts and pastry shops in general, if we had to choose one, which would it be and where is it?

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What about the best Po Tarts and pastry shops in general, if we had to choose one, which would it be and where is it?

There are 2 places that are equally famous for Portuguese egg tarts, Margret's Cafe e Nata and Lord Stowes; in fact Margaret Wong and Andrew "Lord" Stow used to be married. Margret's is downtown, in a lane between Leal Senado and the Lisboa, and Lord Stow's is in Coloane Village, a couple minutes by bus or taxi from Fernando's.

BTW, you also can also get Lord Stow's tarts at a shop in the lobby of the Excelsior Hotel in Causeway Bay, Hong Kong... but they won't be hot from the oven there.

For Macanese pastries and candies, there are 2 well-known chains that sell all the usual local stuff (almond cookies, peanut candy, pineapple buns etc) and have outlets all over Macau: Koi Kei and Choi Heong Yuen.

http://www.koikei.com/introduction-e.htm

http://www.choi-heong-yuen.com/current/en/main.php

The latter has a shop in Yaohan (near the ferry terminal) if you want to shop on your way back to HK.


Hong Kong Dave

O que nao mata engorda.

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Actually, doing a bit more planning for our trip. Do you think we’ll be rushed for time going to Fernando’s all the way down there? Especially on a day trip and our first time. Plus does Fernando’s only do Portuguese food? Because I could go to Portugal for that! Where are the best places to go for local Macanese food?

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Back from a 2 day trip to Macau...

Fernando's (worth going? Yes)

Food is decent, suckling pig was tender and skin was well cracked ($130/quarter pig). Sardines were reasonable ($40 /2) and the roast bacalhau tasted authentic ($130/"serving"). The environment inside and the immediate areas of the restaurant quite relaxing, nothing like the run-down or under-construction or flashing-lights parts of Macau, but the "black sand" beach is quite umm "black" so don't plan to walk along it for digestion. Food is comparable to to Ole in HK @ half the price so why not...

~

Lord Stow vs Margaret's (worth going? Definitely for both)

Lord Stow has the superior crust: the layers are flaky with nice butteryness in between layers, bitting the crust snaps crisply. Margaret's crusts are more dense and "tough", biting though the pastry requires force. The custard on the other hand is superior in Margarets with more eggyness and a better caramelized surface, Stow's was rather bland.

~

洪馨 (worth going? Yes)

They're a small shop selling coconuts but also makes coconut ice cream, more like a gelato really as there's not much cream but the ice crystals are surprisingly fine. Very coconut-ty and refreshing even on a cold winter's day. The taro version is also popular but no longer made. I don't know of any coconut gelatos in HK so yes it's worth going.

~

保健牛奶 (worth going? Slightly)

By far superior to 義順牛奶. There's a "milked coagulated by ginger" and "double skinned milk", both lactose rich. The ginger one was coagulated on demand and the curds were nicely soft. It's similar food and quality to Australian Milk Company in HK, so no real reason to go.

~

Robuchon a Galeria (worth going? Definitely)

Definitely 3 Michelin stars worthy, we had a 20 course tasting, of which 6 were white truffled, yes definite gluttony. Robuchon and Bouchenoire being there doens't hurt either haha

~

三元粥品 (worth going? Slightly)

We had pork balls+fish+raw egg and beef balls+pork liver. The pork balls were excellent, with a rillette rather than a quennelle texture, the beef balls were good too but not as excellent compared to the pork. The best congee in Macau no doubt but nothing special compared to HK.

~

強記咖啡 @營地街市 @新馬路 (worth going? Slightly)

When you're walking down 新馬路 (yes eventually you will be there), and need a 'fix, then instead of starbucks you can try 強記咖啡. The coffee beans are boiled whole (not grounded) in a ceramic pot, yielding a surprisingly fragrant and non sour beverage. Not worth going just for it though.

~

祥記 (worth going? Slightly)

Prawn roe are very nicely roasted but lack the flavours of prawn roe, rather it added "smokyness" to the noodles instead of roe. The noodles itself were alright but not comparable to HK's famous one. The 炸鯪魚球 was quite actually, similar to Lau Fu Gay in Central.

~

大利來記(worth going? Yes)

A game of expectations here: the bread is simply worse than ordinary, it's pre baked then toasted in the oven at 3pm, not crispy not yeasty not tender and not gluton-y. The pork chop though is excellent a whole 1.5 cm thick, bone-in, well brined and full of Maillard reaction. No queueing needed if you order a pork chop bun (ordinary bun) or even a pork chop "pineapple" bun =)

For those who still wanna queue up, arrive at 2:30 and take a seat inside the restaurant (most seats are outside), tell the boss lady you're queuing for pork chop bun but will order a drink first. The queue starts inside the restaurant (where you're seating) so it takes <5sec for you to react and join the queue, which the boss lady starts at ~2:45)

~

Santos (worth going? No)

We went at 8pm Saturday night so it was busy, do not let them seat you upstairs, the room is small with no curtains so it is NOISY, not helped by the shouting of mainland/HK tourists. The duck rice "au pot" was a huge dissapointment: the rice was precooked and simpled warmed in the pot, the salamander was too weak to brown the surface, flavours were bland the dish tasted simply of chicken stock. The chorizo was of cheap quality and fried on an overheated pan, the Portugese chicken was again pre cooked and simply slapped with sauce and warmed in the oven. Maybe it's Saturday night so they weren't cooking the usual way, maybe. For proper portugese go to La Lorcha or even Galo's.

~

氹仔峰景 (worth going? No)

We considered 誠昌飯店's 3 type of crab blend congee but it seemed very touristy and the service was known to be crap, 氹仔峰景 seems more like a "locals" place. But 峰景's congee only uses coral crab (whose meat isn't tasty) and the final product was rather bland ($90 for small pot, = 6 large bowls). The steamed eel was quite nice but expensive at $140. Service is good, but of no important when the food is bad.

That's it!!


~ Sher * =]

. . . . .I HEART FOOD. . . . .

Sleep 'til you're hungry, eat 'til you're sleepy. - Anon

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That's it?? That's IT?? god, what a wimp! :biggrin:

That's a lot of eating in two days. You know, I've never eaten the pork chop bun... must plan a trip to Macau.

When did you book Robuchon a Galera? I love that place - love almost everything about it (except the decor). The breads are incredible, the petits four trolly is amazing, the cheese selection is the best in the region (that I've seen, anyway). And Francky is an extremely talented chef. The service has always been excellent, especially now the French sommelier is gone (I found him supercilious).

About a month ago, some French people asked me what's my favourite French restaurant in HK and I said, "it's in Macau!" They had never heard of Robuchon a Galera!

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That's a lot of eating in two days. You know, I've never eaten the pork chop bun... must plan a trip to Macau.

Oh... you gotta try one. I had my very first near Ruins of St. Paul’s last year. Very good.


W.K. Leung ("Ah Leung") aka "hzrt8w"

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Sher.eats report reminded me that I have a report from my last Macau trip, a month ago, still sitting unposted on my desktop. Here it is:

---------

Another Macau update... just back from another 3 days. Taxi fares have gone up 20% since Sept. I was in and out just before the Grand Prix.

Day 1 lunch: "Macau Lou Sa Chung Restaurant" (they don't have an English name, that's the best I can do), 185 Shanghai St corner of Av do Rodrigo Rodrigues, tel 2878 9992. Open lunch - 4am. I'd noticed this restaurant on previous trips because its signboard has a background of red chilies, which you also see at many Sichuan places on the mainland. No English but the menu has several photos. The food is authentic; lots of hua jiao, and very good value. Some other aspects are also authentic: service is random, zero English and it's, well, about as clean as a typical restaurant on the mainland. I always wondered if Sichuan restaurants, ahem, 'recycle' the big mountain of dried chili and spice you get with that classic chicken-with-lots-of-dried-peppers dish. Well, now I know the answer, and I wish I didn't. It was only MOP155 for 4 dishes (1 app, 3 mains), more than the 2 of us could eat.

Dinner: We went to Carlos in the NAPE area, which a few people had recommended. However, when we got there, the shutters were down (found out later they close Mondays). Plan B: grab a taxi and head to Fernandos. How busy could they be on a Monday? As it turns out, very. My opinions on Fernandos are well documented upthread - I love the place - and I wish people would write more bad things about it so I don't have to wait so long for a table. We had all the usual stuff (again, see upthread) and it was good, as always. We stopped at Sands for a nightcap but this time the bar was so smoky we were driven out after one drink.

Day 2 breakfast: The Delectable Ms A (TDMA) had to work so I was on my own. I got a ju pa bao (fried pork chop in a bun; very popular Macau fast food, available everywhere) at a neighbourhood place and wandered through Macau's back streets to Leal Senado for breakfast part 2 at Chua Lam, the Macau branch of HK's Wing Lai Yuen (the dan dan mein place in Whampoa). I found it - it's beside the McD's - but it was closed for renovations, so no dan dan mein for me. As a backup I hit the reliable noodle bar in the Grand Lisboa for a bowl of pork dumpling congee.

Lunch: I reconnected with TDMA and we went to Taipa, and found Savory Crab, a new restaurant highly recommended by an American expat blogger. It was totally empty, and the combination of the bored staff and unexciting-looking menu drove us instead to O Santos, a Portuguese place in old Taipa village. The owner welcomed us but then fell asleep at a table, and the Filipino staff were barely going through the motions; our vinho verde was served at room temperature in an "ice" bucket full of lukewarm water, it took 3 tries to get a salt shaker that had salt in it, and despite our ordering appies well before we chose mains, the dishes came out in a random order, with one of the mains hitting the table first. All this while the owner slept peacefully in the corner, although he woke up in time to say goodbye to us. The dishes were servicable renditions of Portugese classics - chorizo, codfish balls, grilled chicken, clams with garlic. It wasn't bad, but there's no reason to eat here when there are better options such as O Manel or Fernando's or just-around-the-corner A Petisqueira, all 3 of which have one thing in common: an owner who gives a damn.

Since we were in Taipa village, we then had a quick peek in Antonio's (he was ex-Espaco Lisboa owner, ex-Club Militar chef) new place, called simply Antonio. It's classier than the usual Macau-Portuguese places, with fancier plating and prices that match. I've had his food before elsewhere and while it's good, I'm not sure there's a market for this kind of price point. He had only one table in for lunch.

Then onward to Cafe Tai Lei Loi Kei. This stall in Taipa village square is famous for their ju pa bau (the same thing I had for breakfast) which they only serve from 3pm until they run out, usually a couple of hours later. We were able to get one at 3:30pm with no line-up, which is unusual. Frankly, I can't see what the fuss is all about. The pork is good but it's basically a deep fried pork chop. They supposedly bake their own buns, but the one I had sure tasted commercial. OK, it was better than the ju pa bau I had for breakfast, but I wouldn't line up for it.

Dinner: another visit to the Educational Restaurant, also mentioned upthread. The problem with this place is sometimes you get a new class in the kitchen, and this was one of those times. Both the kitchen and the servers were apparently on day 2 of their program. TDMA's consomme and fish pie were excellent, but my foie terrine wasn't seasoned or cooked properly, and let's not talk about the main. I didn't mind at all. This place is cheap for a reason; it's a school first and foremost.

Day 3 breakfast: I still felt a perverse obligation to try that Savory Crab place - the American blogger was extremely enthusiastic about it - so we headed back to Taipa. Once again, the restaurant was dead. The only visible staff member was eating a meal at another table, which she was still chewing when she brought us menus. She then went back to finish her meal. We kept it simple: egg Benny for TDMA, over-easy w/bacon for me. The Benny came covered with a bright yellow liquid that bore no resemblence to Hollandaise. I asked the server about it, but she didn't know what it was, or, for that matter, what Hollandaise was. My over-easy arrived cooked-to-rubber, with broken yolks. The potatoes were oily, floppy and tepid. My tea was undrinkable Lipton ditchwater, so bad I wondered if they reused the teabag. This place is a joke.

Lunch: Back to the tried and true: Club Militar. We both went for the buffet. As usual, the place was packed, and since most of the tables are booked every lunch by the local suit-and-tie crowd, reservations are a must. They turned away several tables of tourists while we were there. No shorts or sandals, and don't take your bags into the dining room (you can check them at Reception). It's not a huge buffet, but it's decent food in a beautiful old room, and it's only MOP118. Best thing was a variation on the delicious black-eyed pea salad we had last time we visited.

So, not the best trip, foodwise, but enjoyable none the less. I'm heading back next week.


Hong Kong Dave

O que nao mata engorda.

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Just back from a quick trip to Macau as well.

For dinner, I had to return to Fernando's, since I haven't been there in about three years. It may not be haute cuisine but what they do falls firmly into what I call comfort food.

Saturday night, of course a one hour wait for a table, made much easier with a pitcher of sangria, a plate of grilled chorizo and some olives and a basket of their bread.

Once seated, the garlic prawns (didn't seem as splendiferous as in the past but still good), the clams (this dish was on every table and deservedly so) and some grilled sardines.

Incidentally, I'm told the reason Fernando's isn't reviewed in Michelin is because after all these years they still don't have a restaurant license.

Sunday lunch, not sure where to go .... walking around the Venetian casino/shopping mall, I recalled seeing an ad for a special at Roka. Roka is a Japanese restaurant in London, with a second branch at Pacific Place in HK and the third in the Venetian.

The lunch special was unlimited robata and tempura for $138MOP per person or $168MOP with soba, rice and miso soup. There are about 12 items on the list and they bring you all 12, and then you can order more of specific items if you're still hungry. They served them almost all at once which of course is not the way to do it and it meant that by the time we reached the bottom of the plate, things were getting cold. The robata was nicer than the tempura, especially the salmon, prawn and tofu.

At 12:30 on a Sunday afternoon, only three tables were occupied in this large restaurant. The servers (mostly from Philippines and Nepal) told us that the place was busy when it first opened but not since then. Their regular menu is expensive and it's my impression that most gamblers who come down from the mainland aren't looking to save their money for the gambling tables and eat as cheap as possible (so the food court in the mall was quite busy).

After all these years, I still haven't had a chance to try some of the renowned places in Macau like A Lorcha - guess I need to plan a longer trip there one of these days. But I'm not into casino gambling and much of the charm of Old Macau seems to be disappearing underneath the glitz and neon of the gambling world.

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....


Edited by Sher.eats (log)

~ Sher * =]

. . . . .I HEART FOOD. . . . .

Sleep 'til you're hungry, eat 'til you're sleepy. - Anon

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Back from another Macau quicky. Just one night.

Day 1 lunch was at Fernando's, and since the meal lasted 4 hours, we can call it dinner as well. Salad, chorizo, garlic prawns, drunken steak, roast pork, feijoada, cheese, pudding and quite a bit of various kinds of alcohol. Very good as always.

Day 2 breakfast was at the Long (aka Lung) Wa Tea House, which is on the 2nd floor of the 3-story yellow building just north of the Red Market. This place is... very old school. It's been there since the '60s and they haven't ever renovated, other than to remove the spitoons a few years ago. It's like a cross between a movie set and an art gallery and an old relative's living room. You order tea, of course; if you know your tea they have some really good stuff. You pick what you want from the small selection of dim sum in the steamer, and if you can communicate in Cantonese, maybe order one of the few things on the menu. They are known for their chicken rice and beef chow fun (which we tried; greasy but good).

I loved the place. No English, but they're remarkably friendly to gweilo visitors, probably because they don't get many. Open 7am - 2pm. And afterward, if you like checking out food markets, the Red Market is is a good one.

Day 2 lunch was going to be O Manel but they're closed Wednesday so it was Club Militar again. Nothing new to report that hasn't been said upthread on that.

Cheapest place to drink in Macau at the moment is the 3pm - 8pm happy 'hour' at the Educational Restaurant at IFT Mong-Ha. Cocktails are MOP15 - that's US$2! If you're heading there for dinner, come early and help with the hospitality program students' education by ordering a couple of government-subsidized cocktails.

Edit: spelling.


Edited by HKDave (log)

Hong Kong Dave

O que nao mata engorda.

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Took a trip to Macau yesterday, just to eat at my favourite French restaurant in the region, Robuchon a Galera. I haven't been back for a few months (for awhile I was going about once a month) so this is the first time I've been there since it received the three stars in the HK/Macau Michelin guide. My BF called the restaurant only two days before so I was surprised we were able to get a table - the person on the phone said they were fully booked but when my BF asked them to call if they had any tables open up, they called back within 15 minutes - I think they might have recognised our names because we've been there so many times before. This is the first time I've ever been there that the place was absolutely packed - in fact, they set up extra tables near the lounge area and they also had tables in one of the nearby banquet rooms for a private party.

It's still a bargain; I'm positive the food costs are offset by the money they make in the casino (the restaurant is in the Hotel Lisboa). Lunch is HK$368 for three courses, $468 for four and $588 for five. As usual, we (four of us) went for the five courses. The bread basket is still the best in the region - there were at least six types, of which I tasted three - all delicious. The amuse buche was foie gras royale with a thin layer of sherry and topped with parmesan foam - very delicate but you could taste each of the three main elements. There are three selections for each course. For the first course, I had the truffled pied de cochon ragout on toasted baguette which was very enjoyable, although I couldn't discern any truffle flavour. The three men had lightly smoked foie gras with marinated mushrooms. Not sure what type of mushrooms they were but they must have been huge - they were thinly sliced and had a silken texture. The foie gras - thin, curled shavings (how do they do that?) just melts on the tongue.

My soup course of Jerusalem artichoke veloute with shredded duck confit and black truffle was just lovely - although again, I couldn't taste the truffle. The soup was thin and smooth but full of flavour; the pieces of confit (with a few bits of duck crackling) added texture. My fish course of black cod fillet was very light (thank goodness) - it had been cooked en papillote but instead of the usual parchment, it had been wrapped in some type of transparent cellophane. The waitress cut it open on the rolling "chariot" rather than in front of us so we didn't get the first whiff of aroma, but it was still delicious. They had stuffed small pieces of chorizo in slits cut into the fish and cooked it with tomatoes and finely sliced peppers.

For the main, we all chose Bomba rice with caramelised guinea fowl - the other options were braised Wagyu beef cheek or breaded lamb chops with "oriental fragrance" - we figured we could have those any time but guinea fowl is more unusual. The best guinea fowl dishes I've had have been at Chanterelle in New York and Pierre at the Mandarin Oriental in HK - other versions of it made me think of the fowl as chicken with a fancy name. This version was good but let down because it was slightly too salty - all four of us thought so. It was the only dish I didn't finish. We were eating this dish when Francky Semblat - the chef - came out at the request of a table near ours. He chatted with them for a few minutes then as he was going back, he saw me and my BF and recognised us from before. We congratulated him on the three stars and my BF - who is very talkative and curious (some would say "nosey") asked him if they've been much busier since the Michelin guide came out. He said yes, at lunch, but dinner is still quiet. That surprised me; dinner is expensive but still well-priced compared to other top French restaurants - the 16 course degustation menu is HK$2,188 (I've paid about that much for lunch at Michelin-starred places in Paris). Francky said that the restaurant's move to the Grand Lisboa - which was supposed to take place this month (or at least in the early part of 2009) has been delayed to September due to licensing problems. He said it will still be very small (I think he said 55 covers).

Instead of dessert I had the cheese course because it's such an amazing variety. The men had desserts from the dessert trolly - you can have as many as you want! (or at least we've never been told we were picking too many). Between them, the men had a really excellent mille feuille which is rivaled only by the one at Caprice at the Four Seasons, profiteroles with chocolate or coffee, passionfruit tart (excellent), rum baba and ice creams and sorbets. We were rather in a hurry at this point - had to catch the 4pm ferry back to HK - so we asked for the friandises for take-away. They roll over this huge trolley and let you choose: we had lollipops, marshmallows, pistachio financiers with brandied cherries, pates de fruits (apricot, strawberry and passionfruit), nougat, caramels and chocolates. As usual, they are very generous with the selection, asking, "what else?" every time we paused.

The wine list is still amazing, and still well priced compared to restaurants in HK (despite the abolition of wine duty). My BF's guest didn't go for the really expensive bottles, instead choosing one reasonably priced premier cru Burgundy and a super-second Bordeaux. Price per person, with wine, came out to HK$1,500 each.

ETA:

Oh, and for all the fans of Fernando's out there, I heard it's closing - but don't know when. The owner sold the property to developers. So I guess the site will end up with a high-rise building on it.


Edited by aprilmei (log)

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I went to Macau last month for a day trip out of Hong Kong - unfortunately, it was raining so hard the whole day that the entire visit seemed to be an exercise in finding a ledge to stand under. It was the kind of rain that punches you in the head, hits the ground, then bounces back up again to try and grab another chance at soaking you. We only had two goals for the trip: eat egg tarts at Lord Stowe's, and find someplace serving African chicken. After a brief taxi ride from the ferry terminal to the Largo de Senado - that was when the skies opened up on us, so we had to go to the nearest place we could find offering African Chicken. Our guidebook directed us to a place called Sol Mar, which turned out to be a perfectly fine place to wait out the rain with a bottle of wine, a plate of chorizo with peppers, and a dish of African chicken. The place was really old school, with two waiters a table, and suspiciously soft white buns and butter packs tonged onto your plate by the staff. We were the only ones in the restaurant for about a half hour, as we arrived before the lunch rush, but the place had filled up with downtown workers by the time we left, and they had started to nail up their New Year's decorations, too, so it got a lot cheerier. The chicken was stand-out amazing, especially with a bottle of dry white wine. Like, pick-the-bones-up-off-the-plate-and-suck-the-sauce-off-good. Look-surreptitiously-around-the-room-and-spoon-sauce-right-off-the-plate-and-into-your-mouth good. I really need a recipe for this.

Chorizo:

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African Chicken:

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We slogged through the rain to all of the traditional sights, had egg tarts at as many places were selling them, passed up the pork-chop on a roll due to being still full from the chicken and the egg tarts, and then took a bus out to Lord Stowe's. The village was so much more peaceful and low-key than I had anticipated. I'm only mildly ashamed to say that when we got to Lord Stowe's, we ate two more egg tarts each, bringing the day's total to four each. Then we got a box of them to take back to Hong Kong with us.

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.....when we got to Lord Stowe's, we ate two more egg tarts each, bringing the day's total to four each. Then we got a box of them to take back to Hong Kong with us.

Thanks for sharing your experience nakji.

I found that different restaurants in Macau offer different versions of African Chicken. I was at a loss on what the "real" African Chicken should look/taste like. For example, at Fernando's (Hac Sa Beach) their African Chicken is not saucey like yours. (Yours look fantastic BTW).

Also, I think taking the Portugese tarts home would not do them justice. Once we bought ours near Ruin of St. Paul's. Only a few hours later in our hotel room we ate the tarts... soggy. The crusts were no longer crispy. Greatly reduced their appeals. The best is probably to consume the tarts at the store/restaurant.


W.K. Leung ("Ah Leung") aka "hzrt8w"

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I found that different restaurants in Macau offer different versions of African Chicken. I was at a loss on what the "real" African Chicken should look/taste like. For example, at Fernando's (Hac Sa Beach) their African Chicken is not saucey like yours. (Yours look fantastic BTW).

It was really flavourful - and I can't help thinking that the coconut in the sauce was actual minced coconut; not just coconut milk. The sauce had a texture to it. As for the egg tarts being soggy; I completely agree. We brought the box back to Hong Kong at our hostess's request - she's an egg tart lover, too.

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Will visit HK and Macau a few weeks from now. :) Thanks for the suggestion. Hope I can try some of them.

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Back from a 2 day trip to Macau...

Fernando's (worth going? Yes)

Food is decent, suckling pig was tender and skin was well cracked ($130/quarter pig). Sardines were reasonable ($40 /2) and the roast bacalhau tasted authentic ($130/"serving"). The environment inside and the immediate areas of the restaurant quite relaxing, nothing like the run-down or under-construction or flashing-lights parts of Macau, but the "black sand" beach is quite umm "black" so don't plan to walk along it for digestion. Food is comparable to to Ole in HK @ half the price so why not...

~

So that's how the price in Fernandos ranges. This is in USD I assume?

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