Eating Out Macau: Café Litoral
Dona Manuela Ferreira is one of the forerunners holding the fort for Macanese cuisine and has to her credit received lots of International press that helps spread the word and demystify Macanese cuisine, that sprung from the home kitchens of big Macanese families. Dona Manuela is the force behind Restaurante Litoral, one of my favourite Macanese restaurants in Macau and from the extensive menu and the amount of work she’s put into preserving Macanese cuisine and culinary heritage.
I interviewed Luis Machados, the President of The Confraria Gastronomia Macaense recently and he shared that the three grand dames of Macanese cuisine in Macau all used to work at the Macau Club – a country club of sorts where Macanese families went to dine for gatherings. Dona Manuela went on to open Café Litorial and Restaurante Litoral (got to love that retro music on the website!), while Dona Aida Jesus – a household name here in Macau and internationally continues to run Riquexo even as she’s nearing 100 years old and Dona Vitoria is the chef at APOMAC, the Macau retiree Club serving some of the city’s best Macanese cuisine.
I usually go to Café Litoral and brings visitors here as it’s conveniently located in Taipa. On the first page of the menu you’ll find chef recommendations and this Tacho dish typically takes 48 hours to cook, and it’s readily available here without advance reservations of the dish. It is a rich stew of meats (mainly pork and beef) and vegetables in a very tasty broth and best served after it’s sat overnight. A recipe to come from Marina de Senna Fernandes who taught myself and Chicago’s Fat Rice duo how to cook this delicious dish.
Minchi – a dish you must definitely order as it’s a quintessential Macanese dish -usually of minced beef and/or pork cooked with deep fried cubes of potatoes and three types of soy sauce, topped with a sunny side up egg. Perfect with a side of steamed white rice, then garlic chilli prawns, a simple dish but so easy to go wrong when it gets overcooked. It was perfect here alongside a delicious octopus salad and bacalhau.
And from our last feasting sessions with Abe and Adrienne visiting from Chicago, we ordered all the desserts on the menu. Our favourites remain the Serradura “sawdust” dish consisting of layers of cream, condensed milk and crushed Marie biscuits, the chocolate mousse and bebinca – a custard like dessert made from egg yolks, sugar and cornstarched. I don’t think this one had coconut in it. The coconut agar agar and chocolate flan was also worth the calories.
Macanese food is best enjoyed in big groups, so gather some friends and order plenty so you get to try a little bit of everything
Address: Rua do Regedor, Bloco 4 Wai Chin Ko Nº 53/57 Taipa
Tel: +853 2882 5255