19 January 2014
I made my way to Macau after a rather headache-filled morning. From the horribly sign-posted ferry port to a dimsum place that was slow as hell I had to abandon some of the food to catch my boat (never go to a place called “Kung Fu” anything…), it was not fun. I got to my hotel, the venerable Hotel Lisboa, which was in end-of-weekend chaos. Crazy trouble checking in…like they misread my booking to be “3 rooms for 1 night” instead of the more reasonable… And after I cleared it all up they told me room not ready until 4pm. Ugh…utter chaos…
So instead of going out to explore the town, I was too aggravated. I wandered through the labyrinth of this hotel’s public areas and after getting lost a few times I settled with the Portuguese restaurant Guincho a Galera. This restaurant is linked to the well-respected Fortaleza do Guincho* in Portugal, as the name suggests. It was a fancy place, and my expectations were high — especially looking at the prices.
It was empty as it was 2pm on a Sunday when everyone is probably doing dimsum or still sleeping. The service was excellent, which was a nice improvement from Hong Kong. I even got an amuse bouche out of this…
I was looking towards this meal as the dishes sounded just fantastic. There were so many possibilites (check out the menu on the website). I chose as a starter, alongside a nice glass of Portuguese white, ouriço do mar — the sea urchin dish.
This beautiful dish featured 2 hollowed-out urchins filled with different shellfish (crab, abalone), filled with avocado and urchin foam. Extremely tasty and the shellfish selection was of good quality. The urchin mixing with avocado was quite a nice blend. And you see that beautiful veg presentation? Very tasty, and with abalone hidden away between the colourful vegetables. Beautiful and tasty!
My expectations are met by far. I switched to a red before my main course, porco preto Alentejano assado — roasted black (Iberico) pork from Alentejo.
The meat was super juicy and the fat was perfect. The few pieces of leitão, or suckling pig, was an awesome touch. And under the veg, which was excellent, a bed of morels were lurking! That was an unexpected surprise! Too bad the photo doesn’t show it. Wow, this was a tour-de-force of a dish.
I was really happy with this meal. I was bloody full as that pork was voluminous. And I still had the “Kung Fu dim sum” fighting it way through me… I was spent and happy…
They brought this out for me as I enjoyed a 30-year port. The custard in the centre is by far the highlight, one of Macau’s greatest treats — the pastel de nata, the egg tart. I was so happy I almost forgot the crazy hotel stuff earlier…
I headed downstairs and faced more craziness. Let’s say it all calmed down finally after a room change, and I finally relaxed. Macau is starting totally nuts, but the food has been utterly fantastic so far! With excellent service, I expect this place to join several other restaurants in this complex (Lisboa and Grand Lisboa) with a Michelin star soon.
Guincho a Galera
2-4 Avenida de Lisboa