Macau is known for three types of cuisines:
- French influenced Western cuisines (fine dining restaurants in many of their hotels)
- Portuguese Cuisine (local restaurants ran by the Portuguese families in Macau)
- Macanese Cuisine (a beautiful hybrid of Portuguese cuisine and Cantonse / Chinese cuisine!)
There's a lot to show for the food here but let me start with one of my favorite restaurants called "La Paloma", located at the tip of the Macau Peninsula inside a 17th century fortress that is now turned into a hotel named "Pousada de São Tiago".
Once you finish your order you will be greeted with this wonderful basket of homemade bread served with that is to die for!! With delicious chunks of chorizos and cheese in each bite, this crispy on the outside, soft and warm on the inside bread is devine. At all the places I've been to, this is the best bread I've ever had as a pre-appetizer. This is one of the things I most look forward to whenever I come as it is just mouthwatering! (Look at it!!)
So what did we order? We decided to go for 4 appetizers, the first one being "Pata Negra Iberico" Ham served with Tomato Bread, Catalonian Style Snails, Baby Squids in Black Ink with Aioli and Mussels & Clams with Marinera Sauce. Sounds like a lot, right? But hey! You get to choose four Tapas for HKD$380, why not?
Alright so let's start with the Pata Negra Iberico Ham served with Tomato Bread. This comes with D.O. Arbequina's Oil Emulsion, basically olive oil cultivated from the Arberquina trees, which I really like as it has a more buttery and fruity flavor compared to the normal olive oil I use. (Yeahhh I guess EVOO used for cooking doesn't really do the magic with bread).
I very much appreciate the chef's efforts to stick with fresh ingredients (fresh tomatoes!! No disgusting canned diced tomatoes!) and their efforts to serve homemade bread. The Pata Negra Iberico Ham was so good that I wished I ordered two of these. The fat was evenly distributed, very well coated in its own oil, and a very well balanced flavor of pork oil and meat for taste... I almost wish they served this dish with figs rather than the tomato bread. Don't get me wrong, the bread was very nicely flavored, soft on the inside and crispy on the outside, however nothing beats that basket of homemade bread with chorizo and cheese. And the flavors of the figs and the ham together complement each other so well that they completely outshined the poor tomato bread! Overall a very good dish.
Up next, the Catalonian Style Snails. I'm a little disappointed with this dish as the flavors were a bit too much. With the ham, the snails and tomato together, the strong flavors overshadowed the succulent flavor of the snails. The two pieces of bread were good for soaking up the sauce and ham. Overall nothing too special about this one.
After this huge paella dish, we were so full we had no space for dessert! Oh well, until next time!
I hate to say this but I prefer the food in La Paloma than the lunch I had in Robuchon a Galera Restsaurant in the Lisboa Hotel. Bold statement, but I mean it. Food is more comforting, more homey, it is also the more easy going atmosphere that allows you to sit back and really enjoy the meal. The comfort their dishes give you can make you smile even on a rainy day. Your money is so much worth spending here!
Transportation may be a little inconvenient when leaving but I highly recommend you visit this place if you want a quiet lunch or dinner with your friends and family in Macau. Their menu is online so check out their website for the budget, give it a try and let me know what you think! :)
Want to give this a try?
Pousada de São Tiago,
Avenida da Republica,
Fortleza de Sao Tiagoda Barra, Macau
Tel: +853 2837 8111