Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > San Francisco Bay Area >
Nov 10, 2007 02:04 PM

Macanese restaurant...?

Been reading up on the history of Macau and recent developments, learned about Macanese foods, interesting influences from the Chinese, Portugese, Indian, African ingredients, these all represent my favorite ethnic cuisine. Where can i get a taste of true authentic Macanse food?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I spent a little time in Macau many years ago (when it was still a Portuguese Crown Colony, and HK was a British Crown Colony).

    Canton Delights in Cupertino (which I knew some time ago at 10125 Bandley Drive, 95014, 408-777-9888, but moved to 20370 Town Center Lane, 408-252-4838) had an obvious Macanese style (from the shellfish dishes with tomato sauce, etc.) but I don't know its current status.

    3 Replies
    1. re: eatzalot

      Have you eaten at this new location of Canton Delights yet? I've called the number several times, per the listing in google, and no one ever answers. Also, I sent an email to Simon Leong, the owner of the closed Canton Delights on Bandley, asking if he had reopened and he said he had no plans to do so. Wondering if it is a different business or whether it exists at all.

      1. re: Melanie Wong

        No, just knew the old location. It's unfortunate, because that was a notable distinctive offering among the several good Chinese restaurants in and around Cupertino.

        (I still morn the demise -- or rather ownership change which had the same effect -- of the old Huo Kuo House on Vine in Berkeley, a neighbor of Chez Panisse and predating it, operated by a couple named Wan and Fraser Wu. Can still taste one of their specialties, and last time was probably 1968. "Nothing remains so firmly in the mind as a dish which has been enjoyed." -- Larousse Gastronomique [Crown, 1961] on the origin of "Chaud-Froid" cooking.)

        1. re: eatzalot

          Hi Eatzalot, I must have eaten at Huo Kuo 80 times or more back then. Didn't they make into the 70's? So good. And Fraser and Wan were pivotal to it too. Raised in Berkeley back then. I still CRAVE their food. Thanks for sharing this thought.

    2. I have never been to Macau. A friend of a friend who is from Macau has found several dishes on the menu at the Kitchen in Millbrae. There is also a restaurant in the 99 Ranch complex in Richmond.

      2 Replies
      1. re: wally

        Yes, it's Macau Cafe/Orchid Bowl. Many of the western dishes (like short ribs) are none too exciting, but I love the crispy roast pork app and some of the other dishes. Same ownership as Asian Pearl in the same complex (and other Chinese restaurants in the South Bay and Southern California). Sadly, no Macanese custard tarts (though you can purchase them next door at Sheng Kee Bakery).

        1. re: lexdevil

          I tried a Macanese custard tart from Sheng Kee on Irving St in SF last week. It's been some time since I last had one from this bakery chain. Now $1.25, it had a nice carmelized top and a thin crust with a rich buttery taste. But the custard wasn't as good as it used to be, feeling a little powdery on the palate and I wondered if it included dried eggs.

      2. You can find elements of Chinese Macanese at many Chinese restaurants, but I'd say nothing comes really close (is my best guess). Macau/Orchid Bowl Cafe as lexdevil has mentioned may be one of the better places, but that's still Macanese Chinese that's more Cantonese influenced. They're good. Same conglomerate that owns The Kitchen, Asian Pearl. The Macau Cafe in Sacramento is apparently where the chairman/exec chef works.

        Aren't you on a name by name basis with Chef Andy Wai (judging from your previous posts)? I'm sure he can come up with Macanese style dishes if you asked him and probably do it better than 99% of the folks out there.

        Supposedly T-28 Cafe and Bakery (SF by Tarval and 28th) did have a few things that Macanese style western cafes might offer. I'm sure Macanese Chinese expats will find this place a disgrace but there were a few decent items there last I went, like the pork bone soup, fried pork chop buns (a very famous street snack). Not sure about the fried mackeral fish balls.

        Jade Palace in Palo Alto (formerly Lucky Buddha in San Carlos), if they retained their chef, I recall he was/is Macanese Chinese. In terms of what are true Macanese Chinese dishes, I wish I had more clue.

        12 Replies
        1. re: K K

          Jade Palace will make Portuguese chicken if you call them a day ahead. Haven't ordered it.

          Jade Palace
          151 S California Ave, Palo Alto, CA 94306

          1757 Taraval St, San Francisco, CA 94116

          1. re: Melanie Wong

            Since I bumped this thread above, guess I should add an update that Jade Palace has a new owner and no longer has a Macanese chef.

          2. re: K K

            Could you tell me more about those fried pork chop buns? I've been looking everywhere for the -fried pork chop buns that I used to get in Hong Kong - just a deep fried juicy breaded pork chop in a toasted hamburger bun, so simple yet so delicious! Do they have those at T-28 Cafe?

            1. re: kcchan

              Yes they have it at Taraval & 28th Ave in SF (T-28) but last time I had it was 3 years ago, not sure if it is still any good.

              There is a new place in SF that supposedly serves similar fare.

              Macau Friends (For Gei)

              2240 Irving St
              (between 23rd Ave & 24th Ave)
              San Francisco, CA 94122

              Report back if you try it.

              1. re: K K

                The Macao Friends pork chop bun is excellent - highly recommended. For all I know it tastes that way because it's covered in MSG, but whatever they season it with sure is tasty.

                Does anyone have other recommended dishes here? I had the Portuguese seafood here and found the creamy sauce too rich.

                1. re: bigwheel042

                  Here's my brief report, . The yee mein was good, if a smallish serving.

                  1. re: bigwheel042

                    Excellent! I walked past the restaurant and noticed they had pork chop bun on the menu a few weeks ago, but didn't step in to try it. I'll have to go there next time I'm in the area to satisfy my years-long pork chop bun craving.

                    1. re: bigwheel042


                      Macao Friends
                      2240 Irving St, San Francisco, CA 94122

                    2. re: K K

                      Macao Friends has been flying a banner for Macau (or maybe that's Portuguese) style curry crab for $14.95. Now that it's crab season again, I'm wondering if anyone has tried it?

                      1. re: Melanie Wong

                        OK, I will admit I have had the curry crab at Macau Friends. Since my Father (my mentor in eat and cooking always said not eat any seafood with curry since it would be so easy to hide un-fresh food).

                        We sampled the crab and found it to be fresh and taste of the curry did not hide the taste of the crab. It was wonderful with a hint of both coconut milk and puree sweetened coconut. The curry (even if the posted signs said hot) was on the mild side. The sauce was really the hit of the dish. The crab was just fine but the sauce with curry, coconut and crab flavors want me to just have that over rice (another thing my Father would not approve of).

                        Melanie if you are in the area give it a try. I watched a couple order a clay pot soup (did not see what it was) and overheard that it was good but not worth the price whatever it was. The soup was no the Chinese menu on the wall.

                        With that said I would go again if and when the chef has added African Chicken (a dish make in Macau by African Soldier stationed in Macau). Had this dish in Macau this year but was told by my host it was not that good.

                        1. re: yimster

                          Thanks for the report, yimster. For that price I thought it might use frozen crab. I'll have to make a point to try it in the next couple months while good crab is abundant.

                          1. re: Melanie Wong

                            The day we had the crab it was fresh and alive when they started the cooking process. But we will never know if the next one will be as fresh.

                            Actually Irving below 19th has become a Mecca of very interesting if not great Chinese food. Worth eating you way down the street. Only if I had the time, money and most important the weight to put on. Not a place I can go too often.

                2. At Ulfert's Center in Dublin (Dublin Blvd between Hacienda and Tassajara Rd) Macau Bistro looks like it may finally open before too long. Chairs, etc are visible in the window.

                  The Korean BBQ place next door is making progress also. Koi Palace, the dim sum place upstairs, is taking forever. At the rate they're going, I'd be surprised if they're open by Christmas.

                  We've had great meals recently (again) at Singapore OTC and Just Koi. Thai Basil Express is a disappointment. Bland food often served cold.

                  1. Notes from a Sunday lunch at S&E in February, my first exposure to Maccanese cuisine:

                    "Macau porky buns" turned out to be French rolls with some lard in the dough, which makes them very flaky. Nice pork chop sandwich with lots of mayo.

                    Grilled turnip cake was the best version of that dim sum standard I've had.

                    Salty fish with chicken fried rice was okay, salty fish was like diced salty ham, not enough of it though. Paled in comparison with Thai House Express's fish paste fried rice.

                    Baked seafood soup with pastry was rich French-style cream soup with a couple of shrimp and chunks of delicate white fish, topped with a dome of buttery puff paste. Quite good though nothing Chinese about it.

                    French fries with meat sauce and cheese was gross: fries were greasy, meat sauce was sweet from too many carrots, cheese tasted like supermarket cheddar.

                    From what friends who've been to Macau tell me, this isn't very Maccanese. Seems like the focus is more "Western" dishes for Chinese tastes. Lots of people were getting entrees like pork chops that come with spaghetti and corn on the side, preceded by soup of the day and dinner roll. A couple at the next table had a delicious-looking chow fun with scrambled eggs and beef.

                    The room was decorated with beautiful pictures of the food.

                    S & E Cafe
                    2406 19th Ave, San Francisco, CA 94116