>> Macao Trading Co. | Eat the World NYC

13 December 2017

Macao Trading Co.


These days on the actual island of Macau, it may be hard to discover the true historical Macanese cuisine, which brings a combination of Portuguese and southern Chinese as well as bits from throughout the Lusophone world. Thankfully Tribeca's Macao Trading Co. is here in New York City taking care of that for us, replicating the dishes that were born when the wives of Portuguese sailors were forced into substituting spices they found in the far east when cooking meals from back home.

The design is said to take its inspiration from a 1930's opium den or brothel in Macau, but most customers seem to overlook this and come here for the famous cocktails. In all honesty, this is probably the source of the most success.

We took our meal at the bar and asked for dishes one by one because of the limited space. This plan worked out beautifully as most of the energy seems to be up front, and the bartenders all take good care of you and know exactly what they are doing. The three person team working this night definitely upped our level of enjoyment in the night as a whole.

The blistered shishito peppers ($13, below) are a good start, somehow with a much higher spicy to non-spicy pepper ratio than normal.

The charred octopus ($18, below) is covered in a salsa verde and black vinegar combination, dusted with pine nuts, and garnished with baby greens and olives.

Macanese steamed fish ($32, below) is served as two thick hunks of mahi mahi. The fish is good and fresh, but the real star is the dark mushroom broth that is infused with hot ginger oil.

Besides Brazil, East Timor, and Macau, most of the Lusophone world is made up of coastal African countries from all sides of the continent. Portuguese ships colonized almost every coastline and transferred the things they found (stole) between them and on to Asia and South America. Because of this, the spices and cooking techniques of these African countries show up in Macanese cuisine as well.

Galinha à africana, which is called African chicken ($29, below) here, is roasted bird marinated with piri-piri. This spicy chili comes straight from southern Africa, but the Macanese would add things like the coconut milk based curry peanut sauce and serve it on a ginger sesame slaw.

If you were doing math in your head as we went along, you can see that a meal here can get pricier than most written on this website. Depending on the number of cocktails you have, a dinner for two will probably run in the range of $150-250.

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Macao Trading Co. Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato