Macau bites: Don Alfonso 1890
We celebrated our two year anniversary more than two months ago and had a tasting menu done by chef Vincenzo Castaldo. Living apart memorising country codes and numbers of +33/+86/+212/+852/+853 over the last two years hasn’t easy nor cheap. Going to so many weddings this year puts many things in perspective.
I’m surprised that Don Alfonso in Macau hasn’t got a star yet given the other very average Chinese restaurants (will get round to posting more on those restaurants) that have not just one but two stars or il teatro the pizzeria that used to have one star. It’s puzzling how the rules work for the guides in Asia and big hotel chains tend to be starred more easily as when it comes to Chinese food with their accessible tasting menus. One would need a Chinese old hand to order matching dishes to make sure the whole cadence and rhythm flows, including the selection of tea pairing. Even I only have the confidence to order in a Beijing, Cantonese, Teochew or Hokkien restaurant.
If you are anticipating a good simple Italian meal at Don Alfonso, you won’t find your aglio olio or your Cotoletta alla milanese kind of thing here. The food here is in a league of its own: delicate, layered, complex and well executed. There’s a certain kind of poetry almost the way everything falls together. Like I said, it’s probably not for everyone as people tend to have a very generic impression of Italian food, but the restaurant is definitely worth a visit.
I’ve been to Positano and Sorrento in 2006, but Don Alfonso was definitely way out of my budget then.
As the menu was generous and long, much time have lapsed, I don’t remember everything I ate, so will highlight my favourites. Plenty of land and sea flavours going on.
The mozzerella stuffed in a deep fried artichoke was very interesting and delicious, range of textures and flavours which Castaldo said it’s a traditional way of doing it. I lived in Italy and I don’t remember eating something like that!
And this was the highlight, an amazing squid ink pasta with scallops and uni (sea urchin) for chef
And because of my skin allergies I had to opt out of seafood and was given a foie gras and pear ravioli in place of uni pasta, that latter was many times more flavourful and awesome!
Fish for me and lamb for chef.
And a very very beautiful almond based cake with pretty fresh flowers. :) Wasn’t my kind of dessert as I’d have opted for the heavier ones. This one was a little too…feminine and a little uneventful.
Happy anniversary mon amour et merci pour tous les moments delicieux et tourjours beaucoup de rires! :)
We took a chef menu and the bill came up to about 1500MOP+ per person.
Don Alfonso 1890
3/F, Grand de Lisboa Macau, Avenida De Lisboa,
Tel: (853) 8803 7722don alfonso, grand lisboa, italian, Macau, vicenzo castaldo