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Dinner at Macao Trading Co.

A blissful prix-fixe meal paired with Portuguese wines, Macao Trading Co.

*All of the photos from this meal can be viewed on Flickr

In honor of Ceci's birthday - and our, then, upcoming trip to Hong Kong/Macao - I decided that it was only fitting that I treat her to a celebratory dinner at Macao Trading Co.  For those of you who do not know, Macao is a small island - about an hour ferry's ride away from Hong Kong - that was colonized by the Portuguese in the 16th century.  In December 1999, the Portuguese Republic transferred sovereignty of Macao to the People's Republic of China. 

Macanese fare is a hearty blend of Cantonese and Portuguese cuisines.

Prior to our dining experience, I had always assumed that MTC (Macao Trading Co.) was just another trendy, ornately-decorated restaurant with mediocre food and a bar scene mobbed with models, wannabe actors, and young investment bankers.  Boy, was I wrong - at least in terms of the food/drink.  The demographic, on the other hand, was spot-on.

Sky-high ceilings, dim lighting and twinkling votive candles, exposed brick walls, ornately carved and etched honey-colored wood, and Macanese souvenirs authentically grace the interior of the restaurant.  The aura evokes sensuality and flirtation.

On the evening that we dined at MTC, a $65/person multi-course prix-fixe menu with Portuguese wine pairings was offered, in addition to the restaurant's daily a-la-carte items.  Ceci and I simply could not pass up this incredible value! 

Please enjoy my chronological photo tour of a meal that, I'm pleased to report, exceeded any and every expectation, from start to finish.  The only negative aspect of our experience at MTC?  The fact that the local Macanese cuisine *in Macao* had nothing on MCT. 

*Descriptions can be found as captions below each picture.

Dinner at Macao Trading Co: prix-fixe menu with Portuguese wine pairings, $65Dinner at Macao Trading Co: table settingDinner at Macao Trading Co: the menu noted the starter dish as "Bacalhau Fresco," which is salt-cured cod fish. Since neither Ceci nor I are fans, we asked our server if the bacalhau could be exchanged for another item. Et voila! Oysters seemed like quite an upgrade, don't you think? These morsels arrived on a bed of ice and were paired with a tangy concoction of rice wine vinegar and cucumber mignonette.Dinner at Macao Trading Co: sauteed diver scallops with Malaysian curry sauce, country ham, and pea shoots.Dinner at Macao Trading Co: grilled Blue Hawaiian prawns with garlic refrito, cashews, and grilled country breadDinner at Macao Trading Co: oxtail ravioli with chanterelle cream sauce and shisoDinner at Macao Trading Co: aged balsamic-braised heritage pork belly with kale & mustard greens, and grapefruit segmentsDinner at Macao Trading Co: although this item wasn't included on the prix-fixe menu, Ceci and I were so taken aback by its description that we ordered it on the side. What you're looking at are heritage pork and lamb meatballs stuffed with tetilla cheese, served in a shallow pool of smoked paprika tomato sauce. Sliced country bread accompanied the meatballs.Dinner at Macao Trading Co: heritage pork and lamb meatball cut in half. Note the gooey tetilla cheese oozing from the center!Dinner at Macao Trading Co: sugared malasadas, Portuguese-style donuts, were accompanied by a side of rum spiked guava sauce. This is a dessert that you'd beg for as one of your last bites on death row!

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