Sherman's Food Adventures: Macao Restaurant

Macao Restaurant

At least not that I can recall, I've never eaten at Kam's Bakery & Restaurant out on Main Street near Broadway.  Heck, it's been there forever and it's not like I haven't driven or walked by it hundreds of times.  Well, according to past reviews, I wasn't missing a whole lot (other than the occasional mouse...  wonderful).  So I finally made some time to visit the place and presto...  it changed names and chef.  Now know as Macao Restaurant, it sports a renovated dining space and a chef that hails from, you guessed it, Macao.

Although they feature Macanese specialties on the menu, we generally stuck to the usual HK-style cafe options including the classic Baked Pork Chop Rice as well as the Baked Spaghetti Bolognese.  These arrived bubbling hot in some pretty distinctive squarish bowls.  Crispy and completely tender, the sliced pork chop was on point.  Even though it was covered with sauce, it didn't soften much.  About that sauce, it was tasty with a mild tang and enough saltiness to flavour the dry and chewy fried rice.  Not sure if they needed to put that much onion into the mix though.  Sporting fairly chewy noodles, the spaghetti bolognese was covered with a nice layer of melted mozzarella.  There was a certain sweetness from the diced carrots and onions.  The sauce lack a bit of depth, but it was still certainly impactful with only a mild tang.  We found the generous amount of meat to be nicely cooked until tender.

The one special dish we did order was the Stewed Oxtail with rice.  From the moment it hit the table, I knew it was not the real deal.  With veggies that were added after the fact and with oxtail that was not specifically prepared for this dish, the flavours did not meld.  It goes without saying that the veggies, in particular the celery and onions were crunchy and did not absorb any of the braising liquid.  The oxtail was also on the chewy side and didn't seem like it married the flavours with the veggies.  We also got the Chicken Steak with black pepper sauce and white rice (we asked for spaghetti, but whatever).  The large pieces of deboned chicken leg were juicy and well-seared where the skin was nicely rendered.  Thick and peppery, the sauce tasted a lot different than it appeared.  However, there was some tomato tang in the background.

Just because the kiddies love it, we added the Fried Basa with French Fries just for good measure.  Turned out that it was a good decision after all since the large piece of fish was fried beautifully.  The meat was tender and flaky while the panko breading was firmly crispy and only lightly greasy.  Although generic, the fries were fairly decent being crispy and not oily.  One thing though as the tartar sauce tasted strange because it was a mix of Miracle Whip and jalapenos.  This wasn't unlike the Breakfast Combo B consisting of 2 sunny side eggs with 2 pieces of fried basa.  It also came with thick-sliced buttered toast and the same weird tartar sauce.  Toast was good though being airy and light. This was actually on a return visit because I failed to order 2 of their signature dishes.

These dishes consisted of the veritable Baked Portuguese Chicken with rice and the Baked African Chicken with rice.  Lightly spiced and purposefully creamy, the Portuguese chicken was pretty good.  I would say it probably needed a bit more punch, but that is nitpicking.  The pieces of chicken were excellent being juicy and cooked just right.  As for the African chicken, it was really on point as well with juicy dark meat and moist white meat.  It was flavourful in a spiced manner while not being reliant on salt.  There was a mildly spicy nuttiness that gave way to some sweetness and aromatics.  Loved the crispy potatoes underneath!  Overall, we thought the dishes were decent at Macao Restaurant.  However, there is a certain level of sticker shock as the menu prices are on the higher end.

The Good:
- Unique Macanese dishes not normally found in Vancity
- Proteins generally on point (except for the oxtail)
- Friendly service

The Bad:
- Service is good but error-prone (mixed up spaghetti for rice and totally forgot an item on my 2nd visit
- Expensive

1 comments:

exitstrategiesweb said...

Bang on about the oxtail. I wasn't quite sure if black olives were common in Macanese or even Portuguese cuisine. The flavor was ok, but the veggies and oxtail weren't cooked enough. I outright told them that. At least they were open to suggestions.

Really wanted to try the African chicken. Glad to know that was on point.


- Kai.sersoze