We couldn’t leave Macau without a spot of Portuguese grub. since Macau was once a Portuguese colony. We were recommended to visit Fernando’s, a rustic beach restaurant that serves up authentic Portuguese cuisine. Fronted by Fernando himself, whom you will find sitting idly smoking a cigarette at the front of the restaurant when he’s not busy running the place, this beach side restaurant is as laid-back, casual and no-frills as you can possibly imagine. Think zero air-conditioning and a praying mantis that come-a-visiting when you’re having your meal. Admittedly, I was scared stiff when the massive green thing with pokey long legs perched on the window sill, next to where we were sitting. But thank goodness it came by at the end of the meal. Naturally, I bade the restaurant a hasty goodbye. So here’s a warning to all who are terrified of creepy crawlies, do not sit by the window….
I didn’t quite know what to expect of a Portuguese restaurant. I’ve had authentic home-cooked food at a friend’s family home in Porto, and it was soooo good, I wasn’t sure if any restaurant might live up to my expectations. We didn’t quite know what to order as well, so we went for the obvious.
It was stiflingly hot, so we ordered a pitcher of ice-cold sangria to share, which was delightfully refreshing, deceptively strong and quite simply one of the best sangria I’ve ever had.
To kick off our last meal in Macau, we slurped tasty morsels of meat off garlicky clams, which went superbly well with sangria (do not try the clams without any sort of ice-cold drink though, because the clams were a little salty). We also tucked into grilled bacalhau topped with roasted garlic flakes and roast chicken. Bacalhau dishes are very common in Portugal, and if you don’t know already, bacalhau is Portuguese for dried and salted codfish. I didn’t fancy this at all, because it was too salty and just too much for our taste buds. We left a huge portion of it uneaten, although this is a favourite with the locals. The roast chicken wasn’t great either.
Before you think that this meal looks more and more dismal by the second, I’m happy to say that our Portuguese lunch was very impressively salvaged by an stuffed octopus stew, which wasn’t on the menu. The waiter had informed us that the kitchen was trying out a new dish today, and asked if we would like to give it a go. I was pretty hesitant but M was all game for it and I’m just glad that we went with M’s decision! The pleasurably chewy octopus was stuffed with minced sausage and herbs and cooked in the most delectable gravy. Very slightly reminiscent of a thick tomato stew, the sweet flesh of the octopus revealed a rather excellent and juicy surprise of a savoury filling. We loved it and polished off every single morsel even though we were stuffed. Unfortunately, my gluttony got to me and I failed to get hold of the name of this dish. Perhaps you could try describing it to the waiters….the effort should be worth it, because this stew is just brilliant.
We left Fernando’s feeling that money was wasted on the grilled bacalhau and roast chicken, but we were very happy with the rest of the meal. If we ever returned to Macau, we will try and come back for the stew. And yes, we would like to be intoxicated by the delish sangria too, thank you very much.
Fernando’s is located at:
9 Praia de Hac Sa, Coloane Island, Macau