Just an hour off Hong Kong’s shore lies the former Portuguese territory, Macau, where this small peninsula still stands vibrant with its mix of Portuguese and Chinese heritage.
Living in Hong Kong, you’re bound to visit Macau at least once for a mini getaway. Although it’s picturesque Portuguese architecture stands out to visitors during the day, it’s the casino lights that gleams throughout Taipa and Cotai. But between its exciting casinos and its brightly-colored tiles and churches is what many Hong Kongers and tourists look forward to when they step into Macau — the food.
Hong Kong people have a common enthusiasm for traveling and eating, and when the weekends are not long enough for a quick trip to Osaka or Bangkok, Macau is the next best thing. Macau’s Cotai strips and Taipa village alleys and shopping areas are lined with a similar international variety of food stalls and restaurants to its elder brother, Hong Kong. While Macau may fall relatively short of exciting local attractions, it will not fail to stimulate your palate, whether you’re looking for an English pub to kick back at, a fancy table side personal cook, or a simple local favorite dessert house.
Despite Hong Kong’s vastly diverse international cuisines, there is one thing that Macau has to offer that you may not get the most of while you’re in Hong Kong — Portuguese food. Not only is the Portuguese egg tart heavenly in Macau, its traditional Portuguese dishes are humbly delicious; Simple in its presentation but a month pack of flavors.
With only a duffle bag and a list of recommended places to eat at. I was determined to make my third short trip to Macau one that left me with satisfaction lingering on my tongue.
Since my mom and I were in Macau to get away from work and spend a few days relaxing at a hotel, we paced our fist two days slowly; Visiting some of the places I had on my list, while also resorting to whatever pleasant dine-in areas we stumbled upon after our somewhat long walks (aka getting lost in the maze that is The Venetian). One of which was the three-storey tapas restaurant, Casa de Tapas, just walking distance from the bus terminal outside The Venetian towards the boundary of Taipa village.
Their dishes were surprisingly pleasant and absolutely worth a try, especially for its affordable prices. Though we had to skip a few places I had intended to visit, I was persistent about trying one particular Portuguese restaurant on the far end of Taipa, beyond Senado Square, but only 2 minutes away from the A-Ma Temple.
A Lorcha is on the list of recommended restaurants for traditional Portuguese food in Macao. Located along Rue do Alm Sergio, the homey Portuguese restaurant served the kind of authentic Portuguese food I have been longing to taste on the multiple occasions I’ve visited the peninsula.
Upon entering the dining hall early in the afternoon, the warm and homey interior had already been packed with diners both visitors and locals alike. Skimming through their menu, our waitress was helpful enough to recommend some of their customer favorites, which included their garlic and coriander clams.
We ordered a small portion of the clams, the African Chicken and a plate of their Portuguese fried rice. Since we were there for their traditional Portuguese food, I also went ahead and ordered myself a Portuguese soda which was surprisingly tasty and refreshing. A little sweeter than your regular lemonade but not too much that it would linger at the back of your tongue.
For the wait, we were served a basket of warm complimentary bread while our order was being prepared. We started off with the garlic and coriander clams served in a clay hot pot with clear broth. Personally, I can never have too much coriander or garlic. With every bite as satisfying as the first, the dish was a balanced combination of savory and green from the strong essence of garlic and coriander, neither one overpowering the other. A Lorcha serves the dish in two portions: a small and a large. Had our next dish not arrived just in time for us to sip on the last spoon of broth, we might have ordered another portion of clams.
The African chicken followed. Not having had any reference to any form of African chicken, I remain convinced that this was the best chicken dish I have had in Macao, if not in Asia. Tender chicken thighs mixed in with a savory red sauce and served with a side of fries. Classically, the sauce is a combination of a variety of spices which is then cooked into a gravy with the chicken. Though our dish was not spicy, we were informed that we do have the option to request the dish to be made spicy depending on our preference. Either way, it was delicious. Had it not been for the convenience of the crispy-on-the-outside-soft-on-the-inside fries, I would have asked for more bread just to wipe the plate clean off its gravy.
We had a few minutes to lean back before we concluded our meal with the vibrant Portuguese fried rice. Stir fried with black olives, capsicums, and chorizo sausage. The rice was seasoned light enough to bring out the flavors of the ingredients without burdening the dish with an obvious saltiness which my stomach was absolutely thankful for after having had generous portions of the first two dishes.
There was not a single plate with its garnish undevoured that meal. With delighted bellies, we ended our meal at 3 pm, just in time for them to close for their dinner preparations. After which, we took a brief stroll along the seaside just across the restaurant to bask in our pleasant dining experience. Conveniently enough, there is a local bus stop just along the road that stops close to our hotel in the Cotai area which made our journey back for an evening of relaxation easier after a satisfying meal.
A Lorcha is definitely a recommended and my current personal favorite dine-in place in Macao. The service was friendly and quick but didn’t fall short in delivering flavorful dishes. Although modest looking and a little beyond the overly populated strips of popular food stalls and dining areas, it’s unsurprising why the place is packed with diners with delicious food and warm ambiance to traditional Portuguese food. Although they do close in the mid-afternoon from 3 pm to 6:30 pm to prepare for dinner service, you might want to reserve your table for lunch or dinner during their opening hours.
For more information on their menu and the restaurant click here (this is not a sponsored post).
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