MACAO TRADING CO. – NYC
311 Church St. (nr. Walker St.) New York, NY 10013
Date Dined: 10.1.11
Macao is one of my favorite places in the city to have a big, fun group dinner. For a larger group I believe that the atmosphere of a restaurant can sometimes be more important than the food. While I think Macao generally is quite delicious, the atmosphere is definitely my favorite part of the experience. The relatively small space has a warm bustling vibe thanks to the dim lighting, dark furniture and perpetually packed bar area at the front. There are always people waiting for tables even later into the night. A few weeks ago I had a reservation for 11 people and we were seated 45 minutes late for our 10pm reservation- luckily they also serve very good cocktails so no one seemed to mind the wait.
Chef Kevin Chun has created a menu that is a unique mix of cuisines meant to represent the eclectic style one would find in an ex-Portuguese colony of an Asian country. Since we were a group of eleven people we asked our waitress to bring out whatever she felt was appropriate for our group. With a relatively small menu that is served family style we were able to sample most of the dishes. The prices at Macao are also reasonable (with the exception of cocktails) so you can order a ton of food without having the fun surprise of a frightening bill. Here is a quick run-down of some things we had:
(Sorry no pictures for this one!!)
Chicken & Pork Belly Dumplings: These dumplings can be ordered steamed or fried and served with a light soy-based dipping sauce. I always order these and they are good both steamed and fried.
Mushroom & Truffle Croquettes: Crispy little bite sized croquettes are crunchy fired on the outside and filled with a super creamy filling.
The Grilled Romaine Salad: The salad is good but it is almost exactly like your typical caesar salad with grilled lettuce. If you are looking for something a bit lighter to start with then this might be the way to go.
Praline Crusted Bone Marrow: We actually ordered this for the table but only two of us had any intention of having any so we each got to have our own half bone. The marrow was nicely cooked so it was hot and tender throughout and had a sweet crust with the crunch of the pralines. It was served with lots of torn bread but I only needed one piece to pile the rich buttery marrow onto for a few decadent bites.
Wagyu Flank Steak: The flavor of the steak was good- sort of glazed and sweet and seasoned with szechuan peppercorn butter and king oyster mushrooms. However, I found it to be quite tough and didn’t enjoy it as much as some of the others at the table. Maybe it was just my dish.
Macanese Chili Prawns: Nicely cooked whole prawns in a slightly spicy chili sauce were a favorite of the table.
Ants Climbing the Tree: This dish was a big bowl of smooth glass noodles with minced heritage pork and spiced up a bit with some more chilies. It was a heartier dish that was necessary to ensure that everyone was full by the end of the meal.
Macao also has a late night menu which is served until 3:30am. Always nice to have a quality late-night snack option.