Macao Trading Company

By grace.g.yang ยท July 29, 2009
Under: Desserts,Dinner,My Life,Tribeca

I always love getting dinner with my friends Joe, Ariel, and Kris; they always let me order, they usually don’t complain, and they eat a lot so we usually have the opportunity to order a variety of dishes. The last time we went out, we headed to Macao Trading Company, a restaurant in Tribeca that specializes in Chinese and Portuguese cuisine. The restaurant’s menu was created by the chefs at Chanterelle and the drinks were created by the mixologists behind Employees Only’s drinks – a pretty winning combination for a restaurant, don’t you think?

The gimmick at Macao is that everything can be prepared two different ways – a Chinese way and a Portuguese way. The reason they prepare every dish two ways is because Macao used to be ruled under the Portuguese, but the two islands were given back to the Chinese in 1999. I’ve never been to Macao, but I’d read that people love to gamble there and there are buses that will take you from casino to casino so you can gamble all of your money away.

Okay, back to dinner. I decided to order a bunch of different dishes and see what we ended up liking more. We started with the Portuguese-style shrimp with almonds and green sauce:


The green sauce might’ve been made from pureed parsley or cilantro – it was very mild in flavor and tasted pretty good with the baguette and shrimp.

We also ordered Portuguese style meatballs (lamb balls filled with cheese):


The meatballs also came with a healthy dose of tomato sauce and cheese (which I think clashed with the lamb):


Wasn’t a fan of the Portuguese preparation of the meatballs, but the Chinese preparation didn’t sound appetizing, either.

Our third dish was fried goat cheese with onions and peppers:


I’m not sure if you can ever go wrong with goat cheese (especially if it’s FRIED):


For our main courses, we ordered the grilled sirloin with blue cheese butter and spinach:


Another favorite dish (I figured it would be good because blue cheese butter just sounds amazing). Ariel and I disagreed on how much they should cook the steak (I am a staunch supporter of the medium rare and Ariel believes steak should be cooked WELL), but even Ariel didn’t mind eating the steak.

One of my favorite dishes from the meal was ants climbing the tree (glass noodles with minced pork and chilis):


My mom used to make the dish and I thought the name was extremely odd (it’s a literal translation) but the minced pork and chilis taste really good with the lightly flavored rice noodles.

For dessert, we ordered the fried milk with a honey citrus salad (I bet you’re thinking how did we fit anymore food in after all of those dishes, but we somehow managed):


The dish wasn’t what I expected, although I’m not sure what I was really expecting. There was a lot of cinnamon dusted on the fried milk and I thought the contrast with the citrus salad just did not taste good.

Macao Trading Company has a great selection of small dishes to share, lots of cocktails to choose from, and a pretty interesting decor. The only thing I didn’t like about Macao was the smell; it reeked like a really cheap Chinese restaurant. No one else really noticed (maybe I’m just more sensitive to smell because I used to live above Philippe Chow and walking up the stairs would make me gag from the smell). The restaurant was pretty packed (especially for a Sunday night) and a lot of people were just enjoying drinks and eating by the bar. Next time, I think I’ll eat at the bar because it definitely didn’t smell like the rest of the restaurant.

Macao Trading Co. on Urbanspoon

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