Holy Macau! Luso-Asian Macanese and Malacca Portuguese food
Updated: Mar 5
I love discovering a new restaurant. With excellent reviews across the board and multiple awards to its name, Macau Kitchen can hardly be called a ‘hidden gem’. But being slightly outside the centre of town it is possible that many people, myself being one of them, have never heard of it.
The Newington restaurant offers Luso-Asian Macanese and Malacca Portuguese food, drawing on the influences of places along the Portuguese spice route, Goa, Malacca and Macau. Fusion cuisine can often be a bit of a gimmick, however, when it brings together cuisines with such a longstanding shared food culture and history, as in this case, it can produce some of the most exciting and innovative dishes.
The restaurant itself is small and quaint and full of unique knick-knacks that draw on the national heritage of the food. The servers are friendly and accommodating, happy to provide advice on the dishes to an ignorant customer.
The menu includes ‘small plates’ and ‘large plates’, so wanting to try everything as always, we opt for one small plate and three large plates between two. In hindsight, this was way too much food, but each dish is so unique and delicious that I’m glad we get to try them all. “You’re going to love it” my server announced with great prescience.
Having loved the salt cod croquettes in Portugal, we have to go for the Bolinhos de Bacalhau to start, which are predictably delicious. For mains, we obviously have to try the Chef’s Signature dish, Aromatic Crispy Duck – which comes on a bed of vegetables in a tangy, creamy coconut curry sauce. The meat is sweet and tender, once we have managed to remove it from the bones with only chopsticks and a spoon, and the sauce is insanely good.
We also have Classic Minchi, a minced beef dish that is slightly like a cottage pie, except it is served with fried potatoes, rice and a fried egg – a hearty, moreish and comforting meal.
Our third ‘large plate’ is a very spicy but flavourful and perfectly-cooked Calamari Stir Fry.
Despite being ridiculously full, we have to finish with warm, crispy Pasteis de Nata with cinnamon on top.
It’s probably a little early in the year to pick my best meal of 2023, but I have a feeling that Macau Kitchen will be a definite contender. (D. Spencer)
Macau Kitchen - 93 Saint Leonards Street, Edinburgh, EH8 9QY, United Kingdom
For bookings: Call/ Text/WhatsApp: +44 (0)7577667334
Opening times: Thursday, Friday, Saturday & Sunday: 5pm - 10pm (last call at 8.45pm)
Lunch: Friday, Saturday & Sunday: 12pm - 2pm (last call at 1pm)
Closed on Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday