A former Portuguese colony, Macau has increasingly become a popular first stop for many European chefs and restaurants who are looking to break into Asia’s dining scene. From multi-Michelin starred French fine-dining to award winning Portuguese, Italian and a variety of guest chef pop-ups, there’s something to tempt all tastes. Macau is also one of the best places in Asia to enjoy top-grade European cuisine at affordable prices – here are some of our favourites. Bon appétit!
For your Italian food fix, look no further than Bene at Sheraton Grand Macao. A great place to bring all the family for authentic homestyle Italian dishes in a relaxed and friendly setting. You’ll find Italian classics like homemade pasta, wood-fired oven pizzas, fresh salads, a large selection of antipasti, seafood platters, steaks, risotto and more. The set lunch Mon-Fri starts from just MOP$138 and the semi-buffet Sunday brunch is a popular option on weekends starting from MOP$438.
Dining at The Manor is an elegant affair, from the refined and intimate setting to the prime-sourced food and impeccable service. The Manor has five distinct, but equally inviting dining areas – The Verandah, a casual-bistro style area; The Dining Room, the main dining space; The Wine Gallery, a more intimate area; and The Penthouse Kitchen and The Library which are both private dining spaces.
The menu is varied and offers an international array of gastronomic delights, including many classic European dishes. Highlights include the oysters from France (Fine de Claire and Gillardeau), fine Culatello di Zibello Italian cured ham, Australian lobster sashimi, Robata-grilled steaks, trout from Tasmania, ibérico ham from Spain, crab from Alaska and scallops from Hokkaido, just to name a few. A set lunch starts from MOP$228 and a lavish weekend brunch from MOP$488.
There is an air of class about this place that eludes some of the more brash resorts in Macau. Housed in the Mandarin Oriental, from its decor to its food, Vida Rica reflects the best of Macau’s dual European and Chinese heritage. They serve everything from tapas to dim sum. Highlights include Portuguese favourites like roasted bacalhau, and traditional cataplana (Portuguese seafood dishes), smoked and braised beef ribs, slow cooked Australian lamb rack, even Alaskan spider crab and caviar. The restaurant and adjacent bar are also known for hosting regular guest chef and mixologist pop-ups – a prime opportunity to sample the best cuisine and cocktails from the world’s top chefs and bar stars.
Aurora is the Michelin recommended signature Italian restaurant in Altira Hotel. Situated on the 10th floor, it provides sweeping views looking out over the Macau peninsula. It also boasts a beautifully designed outdoor terrace area and so having a drink here is a must before sitting down to eat.
The restaurant has an elegant and sophisticated feel with an open kitchen and also some counter seating and private dining spaces. Signature highlights include Italian cold cut platter, lobster ravioli, line caught sea bass, suckling pig porchetta, and seared black Angus sirloin. Their Forbes five-star Italian set lunch is great value starting at MOP$338 for three courses. The Sunday brunch buffet is also popular and serves a wide selection of seafood – lobster, oysters, clams, great ham and cheese.
Come to Antonio’s for a taste of old Portugal in Macau. A great place to enjoy some authentic Portuguese food in the heart of Taipa Village. The restaurant itself is cosy and charming, adorned with yellow, blue, and white tiles and Portuguese-style paintings. Standout dishes include African chicken with garlic, onions, chili, ginger and coconut sauce, and the Portuguese duck rice. Chef/owner António Coelho’s has won a string of international awards for this venerable establishment – and if customer satisfaction is anything to go by, it’s not hard to see why. For the real deal when it comes to Portuguese cuisine, this place is a must-visit.
If Italian tickles your fancy, then look no further than this one-Michelin starred outlet from Italian chef Umberto Bombana, often hailed “Best Italian Chef in Asia.” Nothing’s overly complicated here, but rather, finely presented and using only the highest quality ingredients. Stand-out dishes include the signature seared tuna, cooked to perfection, Trenette pasta al dente and Greffeuille AAA lamb rack and loin. Dessert lovers are not to miss the crispy pear tart. Given that chef Bombana is the only Italian chef outside of Italy to receive three Michelin stars, you cannot only expect Italian food, but excellent food at that.
This was the first fine dining restaurant to ever open in Macau and has retained its three-star Michelin status for several years. For fine French cuisine in a beautiful setting, you can’t go wrong here. The set lunch menu is one of the best meal deals in Asia. The wine list, with its 14,500 labels (the most extensive collection in the whole of Asia) is equally impressive. The traditional dessert trolley wheeled out at the end of the meal is the icing on the cake. Eating and drinking here is a real treat.
Portugalia is one of Lisbon’s best-known restaurant chains and this is their first outlet in Macau. Located in Macau’s historic Taipa Village, the restaurant is styled on a traditional Portuguese house with three floors for dining which are accented with classic Portuguese tiles brought directly from Portugal. Must-try dishes include the ever-popular and delicious seafood rice, the Bacalhau (baked codfish) and their signature Steak “à Portugália”. Wash it down with a nice glass of Sangria. Traditional, simple and unpretentious, Portugalia brings the best of Lisbon’s dining scene to Macau.
Opened just last year, the Parisian Macao resort is Macau’s very own little piece of Paris, complete with its own half-scale replica of the iconic Eiffel Tower. So where better to head for a taste of all things French than the resort’s very own Brasserie. For classic French dishes in a welcoming and relaxed setting, they do France rather proud. Sample from a Parisian seafood tower to artisanal French cured meats, traditional French-style galettes, steaks, burgers, salmon, boeuf bourguignon – and why not treat yourself to delicious banana and Nutella crepes to finish. C’est delicieux!
Albergue 1601 is a bit of a hidden gem. Set in a courtyard in a stunning two-story colonial building, it offers superb ambiance, character, and great food. You could be forgiven for thinking you were in Europe rather than Macau. The restaurant serves both Portuguese and Macanese cuisine, offering various dishes from seafood to roast crispy skin pork, which is delicious. Unquestionably, this restaurant is the perfect place to come for a spot of al fresco lunch, enjoyed in a leisurely fashion at one of the outside tables.