1/2I knew little to nothing about Macanese food before setting out for the little island, and my knowledge is now merely slightly broader. We only got to eat one meal due to transportation woes, language difficulties and a general inhospitable vibe from the city. I'm sure its a fun place if you know what youre doing, which we apparently did not.
My original plan was a beachy sunset suckling pig at Fernandos but we couldnt figure out how to get to Coloane. Buses were confusing, a taxi took nearly an hour to track down and refused to take us, I wasnt about to hop on the back of a motorbike as locals were doing (very Thai, its easy to judge the wealth of a country by the motorbike to car ratio. Malaysia had plenty, Hong Kong and Singapore not at all). We were screwed. Getting a cab back to the ferry so we could get the hell out of Macau was tough enough.
But the afternoon started out well with an easy jaunt to Restaurante Litoral. I'd never given it much thought, but the Chinese-Portuguese crisscross cuisine is kind of Filipino in ways. I'm pretty sure our waitresses were speaking Tagalog, too. The décor was Spanish with whitewashed walls, dark wood beams, a tropical hacienda.
We were accidentally served a dried sausage and olive appetizer that belonged to someone else. By the time the error was discovered wed both taken bites and were happy to keep it for ourselves. We tried a pretty Portuguese dish of bacalao with potatoes and massive amounts of garlic and olive oil.
African chicken was my pick since it seemed like a good example of the natural Latin-Asian fusion (the African part, I'm not sure about). Lush orange oil pooled around the chicken and was perfect for soaking up with the fried potato rounds served alongside, and crusty Portuguese rolls. The overall taste is sweet, spicy and incredibly rich (I didnt think fat content once while on vacation) which isn't surprising considering the coconut milk, peanut butter and chicken skin had all been simmering and gathering goodness. African chicken also often contains five-spice powder, rosemary, and as you can see in the photo, sweet pickles.
[I had the urge to revise history after randomly re-reading this post. I researched African chicken and found a great Wall St. Journal article on the dish that strangely was published today, February 29, 2008.]
We had enough food for an entire family and I felt guilty not being able to eat much of it (we were still saving our appetites for suckling pig later–if I'd only known) so we took it to go, which was kind of weird. I carted the bag around all day and night and ultimately we left it in our hotel, which I'm sure pleased the cleaning staff. Still, salt cod is less stinky than durian.
Restaurante Litoral * 261A Rua do Almirante Sérgio, Macau