Thursday, March 28, 2019

Hearty Mecanese Dinner

With 9 people in our group (7 adults plus 2 kids), I figure it’s easier to go for somewhere casual for dinner in Macau – not that I wasn’t tempted of going for another fine-dining option at our hotel after a great dimsum lunch under the same roof. This time I seek advice from my friend, the one-time-Macau-resident J for recommendation and her blog pointed me to this Portuguese/Macanese restaurant called Restaurante Carlos in Macau Peninsula not far from where we were staying.

It’s unfortunate that the occasional heavy rain throughout the evening meant what normally took 20 minutes in leisurely speed was a tough walk with little cover in between, but at the end we made it in pretty much on time, with us being the first group to arrive for their dinner service. The place was just a block away from Wynn Macau and MGM in a quiet neighborhood near to the sea-front promenade. Décor was simple and there’s a homey feel to it with simple wooden furniture and tables in white tablecloth, and they got a wide menu of many Portuguese-Mecanese classics.

After a heavy lunch, we didn’t go for a lot of dishes for the evening, but the ones we ordered were pretty decent. The suckling pig was my clear favorite, perfectly cooked with crispy skin and juicy meat plus the fried rice served underneath. We also ordered a second rice dish, this time served with shredded duck meat, ham and sausages in a clay casserole. Hard to work out whether this is more from the Chinese side, or Portuguese; the duck meat was a tad bit dry but nonetheless flavorful.

One can always find the braised pork and clam dish in just about every Portuguese restaurant in town. At Restaurante Carlos, it’s done in the simplest way, with fresh clams sautéed with onions, potatoes, seared pork cubes, herbs and a dash of white wines. I wiped the dish clean with the crispy buns to take up the remaining of the tasty sauce. Pasteis De Bacalhau is another unique Macanese dish with salted cod shredded, mixed with mash potatoes, battered and deep-fried. It’s served in generous portion though I thought it could live with more seasonings. The chourico was reminded me of the Spanish chorizo. Again, the preparation was simple – just thinly sliced and pan-fried – but they were delicious.

Service was excellent – staff was friendly and helpful and pointed us to the right dishes to order. We were the first group of customers to arrive for that evening but soon the place was filled with people, with a mix of locals and tourists who all came for home-style, no-nonsense food.

When? March 9 2019
Where? Comida Portuguesa a Carlos, G/F, Lojas, AR&AS Edf. Vista Magnifica, Rua Cidade de Braga, Macau
Menu Highlights? Suckling Pig with rice

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