[Macau] Traditional Macanese food @ Riquexo

I first became aware of this restaurant by reading an article in the Guardian the week before. It was about the disappearing language of Patuá and mentioned the 102 year old Aida de Jesus who oversees the restaurant and she did indeed make an appearance during our lunch.

This is the link to the article and there’s a video (the first one) showing Aida in the restaurant for those interested.

The restaurant is quite small and a little difficult to find as it’s tucked down an alley. It’s well worth seeking out though. I knew that there would be strong Portuguese influence but beyond that wasn’t completely sure what to expect.

I love salt cod so the Bacalhau a bras was a must. A very good example. The salt cod went very well with the beautifully soft eggs. I really liked the addition of fresh coriander as it lightened the dish.

Galinha a macau was a lovely lightly curried chicken stew with potatoes. Very much the sweeter East Asian style curry rather than a South Asian one.

Chinese kale as a side.

All in all not only a very tasty but also interesting to be eating this kind of food after so long in Asia.

https://goo.gl/maps/YXyXuJ3cpE32

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One of my main dining destinations for this visit to Macao has to be this legendary Macanese dining spot. Any place helmed by a sprightly, energetic century-old owner-chef, in this case 103-years-old Doña Aida de Jesus, has to be worth checking out.

The address is still the same as when @paprikaboy was there, but Riquexo has actually moved to a larger premises fronting the main thoroughfare, Avenida de Sidónio Pais itself, so no more hidden backlane entrance. This new premises, as of 1st Aug 2019, is much easier to find. The seating area has also been doubled compared to the old place.

  1. We ordered the minchi - a minced pork and cubed, fried potatoes dish somewhat similar to binchee, a Penang-Nyonya dish which also has Portuguese (by way of Malacca) origins. We understood that this was one of the most popular dishes at Riquexo (besides the feijoada bean stew and the chicken curry). It was very tasty.

  2. The other dish we had was the galinha à africana or African chicken - and the version here pulled no punches, bristling with chili spices. The addition of coconut milk tempered the heat somewhat, but it still made us broke out in sweat. Delicious, nonetheless.

  3. Arroz de Portuguesa - a truly Macanese-style fried rice which uses, in place of Chinese waxed sausages, Portuguese chourico, a spicier version of chorizo, its Spanish cousin. This rendition was really full of flavour and a must-order:

We ordered two types of desserts at the end - an egg flan and a coconut tart. Both were pretty ‘meh’.


I’d skip those next time, but must return for the feijoada and chicken curry one day soon.

Address
Riquexo
69 Avenida de Sidónio Pais, Macao
Tel: +853 2856 5655
Opening hours: 12 noon - 9.30pm daily

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I’ve been to Riquexo, that was back in 2008. No wonder I don’t recognise the new premises at all. The old canteen was homely and simple. Looking at the photos as we speak… I had minchi, chicken curry and bacalhau a bras.

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We got a bit confused as well whilst looking for the restaurant - the new place was only 10-days-old then.

Was there on April 16, 2008. It was a simple canteen back then. We went in the afternoon between lunch and dinner time, no crowd, just a few locals.

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Macanese cuisine, the original fusion food!

The partner loves chicken curry in Vietnam, Hong Kong and here in Macau. I think it’s the same recipe.

Lots of onions (the partner ate them).

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I find Vietnam’s chicken curry to be pretty mild and tepid, much like the HK/Macau ones. The ones we cook in Malaysia & Singapore are way more assertive, with more spices (cumin, coriander, cloves, cardamom), ginger, shallots, and lots of chilis (both fresh and dried varieties). This is the version we cooked at home during the last Chinese New Year reunion dinner:

The typical Nyonya (Peranakan) Chinese New Year dinner spread is also markedly different from other Chinese regional types, as we emphasise more on the use of spices:

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You are used to the strongly spiced versions. The Nyonya feast in the second photo looks good. I can eat heat and spices but not coconut milk so save for those dishes I think I would enjoy Nyonya food very much. And I’m fond of fermented shrimp paste/sauce, also balichão.

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