There are Portuguese Restaurants, and there are Portuguese Restaurants with style. And the latter is where I would put this small homey restaurant called Antonio Restaurante at Taipa Island’s Old Quarters, owned by Macau celebrity chef, Antonio Coelho. We tagged along with him that morning while he bought the ingredients he will use for the dishes he will serve that evening.
The place feels like I’m dining as a special guest in someone’s Portuguese home. Antonio’s name can be found elegantly embossed on the napkins and dinner ware. Everything here is very personal — even Antonio takes time off from kitchen chores to join the customers’ tables for conversation. He also cooks some of the meal near the tables so the guest could see what’s cooking. Dining here is more than just about eating as Antonio Coelho puts up a show. As a vivid example, every diner’s sure to watch riveted to his seat as he opens a wine bottle with a samurai sword.
And talk about the food. There’s the delicious smoky flavored Pata Negra Hams served as starters. It was thinly sliced and very tasty. Then came our first dish, the Prawn with Cheese Cocktail. I thought that the prawn sitting on cheese looked unconventional. This is not really part of the regular menu which Chef Antonio does from time to time. But having tasted it, I was delighted by the creamy flavor and hint of spiciness infused by the imported “cow” cheese. Mango strips added a playful fruitiness in the mix.
Then came Antonio’s version of Seafood Rice, served on a beautiful ceramic plate. The quite sticky rice had lots of seafood ingredients swimming in the mix, even clams with their shells intact. I thought it was good but I have to go with Ristorante Litoral’s version on this one.
The real hit for the evening was the Black Pork Fillet. I enjoyed the smoky barbecue flavor which I found just right, maybe owing to the way it was char-grilled. The meat was really flavorful and juicy. The fried potatoes that came with it were really tasty.
A number of desserts were served, from special breads and cakes, but of course Chef Antonio’s Cream Brulee was really the most satisfying standout. A perfect way to end an entertaining meal.
Rua dos Negociantes No.3, Taipa
+853 2899 9998
Lunch: 12:00-15:00 Dinner: 18:00-23:00 weekdays Weekends: 12:00-23:00