Cantonese-speaking, 7th-generation Macanese, Susana Batalha, is one of the most passionate chefs I’d ever met. She helms Fat Tea, KL’s premier Macanese eatery, showcasing Macao’s unique Portuguese-Cantonese dishes, perhaps the world’s oldest fusion cuisine.
The Portuguese has been in Macao since 1557, when the Ming emperor of China granted the Portuguese a permanent trading base there. Over at Fat Tea, the brainchild of Susana Batalha and her partner, June Yap (who manages the front of the restaurant), one gets to savour a whole range of Macanese staples - from the humble minchee and lacassa to the more elaborate meat dishes like porco balichão tamarindo (pork with fermented shrimp paste and tamarind).
Our dinner here started off with Rissóis de Camarõnes - Macanese shrimp rissoles: crisp-fried, crusty golden exterior encasing creamy shrimp filling. These were very good.
Minchi - a classic Macanese dish of minced pork-beef cooked with soy-sauce & molasses, served with pan-fried potato cubes, lardons, chopped long beans sprinkled with toasted sesame seeds, and a fried egg. Chef Susana served the dish with chopped birds-eye chilis in soy-sauce - a clever nod to the Chinese-Malaysians’ predilection for very spicy food.
Porco Balichao Tamarindo - tamarind & fermented shrimp paste-flavoured braised pork. This very flavoursome stew was absolutely addictive, with a complex sour-sweet-savoury mix of flavours.
Bolo de Laranja - Portuguese orange cake: a very zesty, citrusy pound cake.
Serradura - Macanese “sawdust” pudding, which consisted of of whipped cream and crushed Marie biscuits. This was creamier than many of the versions I’d had in Macao during my last visit in June last year, and I attribute this to Chef Susana’s acumen in harnessing the richness of fresh cream, and balancing it against the sweet, crushed biscuit crumbs,
This place still packs in a good crowd on most evenings, so book ahead.
LG05, Emerald Plaza North
Jalan PJU 8/3A, Damansara Perdana
47820 Petaling Jaya, Malaysia
Opening hours: 10am-3pm, 6pm-10pm, Tue to Sun. Closed on Mondays