We recently visited Macau it town to try out their new winter menu! It was my first visit and I absolutely loved the decor and delicious food. Macau is an explosion of flavours. Macau draws on the country’s heritage of Southern Chinese cuisine fused with Portuguese influence from Africa, Latin American and India. You will find Chinese steamed Bao happily sharing the menu with Peri Peri chicken and trinchado. Sounds a lil crazy? Don’t worry – you’re in safe hands!
I first met Chef Kuan when he was head chef at Kitima – a local favourite in Hout Bay which has sadly closed down. He has made Macau his new home and has brought his brilliant crispy duck and other exciting flavours with him.
Perfect plates for sharing
We started with the freshest and most delicious salad! I would highly recommend starting with the edamame, wakame and avo salad. The zingy salty asian style dressing packs a punch and really awakens your palate for a fantastic lunch. I know a salad sounds like a sad start but you’re going to have to trust me here!
Next up you’re ready for dim sum! We tried and would recommend the siu mai pork and prawn dumplings topped with seared scallops and the cream cheese and spinach gao. I loved the combination of the juicey sui mai dumpling with slightly smokey sweet scallops. I would never normally order a dumpling with cream cheese but the spinach to cream cheese ratio is spot on and these dumplings are divine!
We also tried the crispy prawn lollipops with smoked mozzarella. These are a famous Chef Kuan dish and they are possibly even better than I remember! They are absolutely flavour bursts packed with prawns and melted cheese with a crispy outer crumb holding it all together.
We didn’t get to try the Chinese steamed bao but with fillings like crispy duck, honey glazed pork belly and crayfish tempura I’ll definitely be back!
Main dishes at Macau
Kitima was famous for their crispy duck pancakes and I am delighted to have found them again at Macau. The crispy duck is served ready for wrapping up with little pancakes, hoisin sauce, fresh cucumber and spring onions. This really is a highlight of their menu and I recommend ordering it to share.
Another great option to share is the Macau mixed grill pit bowl which features their Chinatown style roast duck, honey glazed cha siu pork, peri-peri chicken and Portuguese chorizo. This dish is a brilliant celebration of East meets West with the Portuguese and Chinese flavours all highlighted in one bowl. The grilled meets are served a top sticky rice and are absolutely packed with favourites. That cha siu pork is the highlight of the bowl but you will love every mouthful.
The menu lists the grill pit bowl as a meal for two. This could be a main meal for two if you have indulged in starters or a couple of side dishes. But it won’t be enough food for two if it is the only dish you try on the menu.
On the drinking front, I am sad to report that such an exciting menu is paired with very “big brands” and makes for a largely boring wine list. I would hope that the care and attention paid to the food would carry through to the wine list. We opted instead for cocktails which took about an hour to reach the table and the Thai green curry style cocktail was terribly sweet. I think Macau is a fantastic spot but work needs to be done on their drinks offering.
Little bit of sushi and a winter special
I am a huge sushi fan and I am hoping to head back to Macau to try more of their sushi menu. This time round we had the Signature Macau roll which is a prawn roll topped with flame seared salmon and mayo and the rock shrimp rolls filled with tempura prawns. I loved both these sushi options with the Macau roll being my favourite with the slight toastiness from the flame seared salmon.
They’re offering a daily winter lunch special with 50% off selected sushi and ramen. I love ramen and think it makes for a perfect winter dish. I am definitely going to take advantage of this special before the end of winter! And hopefully the Macau rolls are included in the selected sushi caveat!
The Desserts of Macau
For dessert we tried the chocolate fondant, Portuguese custard tart and Macau Malva pudding. The chocolate fondant had a perfect gooey middle and was served with an incredible Thai basil ice cream. The fresh Thai basil ice cream, made on site with Thai basil grown in Chef Kuan’s garden, was the perfect pairing to this decadent and rich dessert. This dessert was my highlight and one I would recommend saving space for!
We tried Macau’s take on a malva pudding which was delicious with crunchy crispy sweet edges and a light middle. I haven’t seen this dish included on their new menu so not sure if this is something you can order anymore. The Portuguese tart with sesame ice cream was unfortunately underwhelming for a spot so proud of their Portuguese connection. Definitely order the chocolate fondant – you’ll be impressed!
- Location: 101 Hout St, Cape Town
- Opening times: Monday to Saturday from 12am to 10:30pm
- Contact details: 021 422 2400
Disclaimer: We enjoyed our lunch as guests of Macau. However, all images and opinions are my own.