Tuesday, July 30, 2013

A Lorcha : Famous Portuguese Restaurant in Macau

Paul and I stayed overnight only in Macau. Our first day after checking in at Hotel Sintra, was spent at the Cotai Strip where we checked out the City of Dreams and the ever-famous Venetian Hotel. We were initially planning to stay at the Venetian after hearing my Kongkong rave endlessly about it. But since Kongkong had a bigger traveling budget than us, we opted to just stay at the other side of the island but made sure to still spend some time explore this much-talked about hotel. Since it was my first time in Macau and I hardly had time to research prior to our trip thus, our first day dining choices were quite disappointing. Not that it tastes bad but it definitely wasn't memorable enough. You see, we had lunch at McDonald's and dinner at Fat Burger. Not very Macanese at all.

So, I woke up the next day with a plan. We have to dine at an authentic Macanese or Portuguese restaurant before we fly back home. The question is, where to? Thanks to the impressively fast WiFi connection available in our hotel room, I began checking out blogs and later on narrowed my list down to two. It was a toss between Fernando's at Coloane or A Lorcha near the A-Ma Temple. Since we didn't have much time and A-Ma Temple is just a bus ride away from our hotel, this was eventually my choice. I'm saying my because Paul was still in lalaland while I was doing my research and I just wanted to surprise him with our authentic Portuguese lunch date plan.

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The dilemma though is that A Lorcha is a very popular restaurant and reservation is required. They open at 1PM (yes, I know quite odd for a restaurant) and if we want to grab a chance to dine there, I decided not to wait till 1 to make the call but instead to ensure that we're there at their doorstep just in case a table is available for us. So that was the plan, we got there at 1245pm and I was really crossing my fingers we'd be able to get a table or I'm dead meat for dragging Paul all the way to this part of town for nothing.

So this was how the drama queen in me got us a table. I opened the door, as they were still closed when we got there and saw the staff busily fixing the table. I politely asked if I can make a reservation for two and probably noticing my accent, the Chinese waitstaff called a Pinoy waiter to attend to me. I asked him if they still have a table for two and he apologized and said they're fully booked as it was a Sunday.

Then the dramatic act began.

I put on my ala-Puss in Boots pleading eyes with matching pout and told him that we're heading back to the Philippines that evening. It would be really great if he can find a small table for two for us to be able to try A Lorcha before heading home. I think I said please a dozen times just to stress that I really really really wanted to dine there. He sighed and told me to come back in 15 minutes. We wondered if that was a yes but we obediently waited outside. At exactly 1PM, I opened the still-closed door and flashed him my biggest smile while asking if we can go in already. The waiter apparently created a small corner table to fit us in and we were so grateful for his kind act. Wasn't he just awesome?

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We made a mental note to leave him a generous tip! Before that though, let me share with you what we had that day. Our meal began with a piece of warm bread which was on the house. The waiter even gave us a second round of bread as he noticed that we ate the first one so fast. It was so delicious as it was very warm and the butter instantly melted as we spread it on the bread.

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We were so spoiled! After serving us with complimentary bread, our friendly server also gave us a plate of chorizo and olives, once again on the house! It really goes to show how hospitable Pinoys are wherever they may be in the world. We happily ate these delicious chorizo with our toasted bread.

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Now came our real starter, we got the Pasteis de Bacalhau (MOP48/3 pieces). When dining at a Portuguese restaurant, make sure to try the bacalhau as this is one of their signature ingredient. We were initially thinking of getting this as well as the bacalhau fried rice but our server told us that might be too much. He's right, we have to try other dishes after all.

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The Pasteis de Bacalhau is basically a potato croquette with bacalhau flakes inside. We're happy that the fish wasn't very salty however, it was a bit dry and sadly they didn't serve any dipping sauce to go with it. The inside was packed with creamy potato filling and the outside was deep-fried to crunchy perfection.

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Next up was the Frango Assado na Brasa com Piripiri (MOP 128) a.k.a. Chicken Peri Peri. We were initially planning to get the African Chicken but our server told us we'll enjoy this one better. The African Chicken had a thick curry-like sauce while this one was served dry and somewhat reminds me of Max's Fried Chicken. It was delicious and really tender all right but somehow part of me still wonder what the African Chicken tastes like. I'll definitely order this on our next return. Nonetheless, Paul ate this with gusto and happily declared that A Lorcha was definitely a good choice for our last lunch in Macau. *yay!!!*

but wait... we're not done yet.

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We also got the Arroz "Chau Chau" a Portuguesa (MOP 98). Don't be fooled by the funny sounding name that reminds me of a way fluffier doggie breed than my Scottie. It's their ever famous Portuguese Fried Rice and I tell you, this was the highlight of my meal. Well, it's no big secret that I love fried rice and this, I keep on telling people would be my kryptonite. However, I can be very picky too when it comes to the flavor, the texture of the rice, the amount of toppings, the oiliness level and the list goes on and on. A Lorcha has passed my fried rice test with flying colours and to this day, I daydream about it wishing Macau is just a bus ride away.

We're so happy that our last meal was at A Lorcha and indeed gave us a good memory of Macau. We were so full after our meal that we decided to check out the A-Ma Temple beside it as well as the small stores and bakery behind it. I love the quiet, rustic charm in this part of town.

Just to share with you that our server was not kidding that they were fully booked that day (and almost everyday, for that matter):

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Photo taken as soon as we were seated at 1PM

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30 minutes after... there's a long line at the door!

*photos by: Paul Ang

Related entries:
Hotel Sintra in Macau

A Lorcha is located at Rua Almirante Sergio No.289, Sao Lourenco, Macau. Take my word for it, call to reserve -- 2831 3195

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