What are you looking for in a nice bar? Is it a drinks menu with your favorite Islay whisky on it or an original cocktail you haven’t tried before? Or do you go out to have an absorbing conversation with a bartender who will mix you the perfect drink effortlessly? Are you looking for a feel-good atmosphere or harmonious design and a unique concept? If you said yes to any or all of these questions, Bar Patuá at MGM Cotai would be an ideal place to visit. Keep on reading to learn what else this stunning spot has to offer!
What is Patuá
In 2020, Bar Patuá temporarily closed due to the COVID-19 restrictions. The MGM team decided to use this chance and reinvent the bar’s concept. In June, the bar opened as a slightly updated establishment. What used to be a normal hotel bar is now dedicated to Macau’s rich culture built on a fusion of traditions. That cool concept is reflected in every little detail– its name, interior, and menu.
The name refers to the local endangered creole language based on Portuguese, with Cantonese, Malay, and Sinhalese elements. Unfortunately, patuá is an essential yet disappearing part of the Macanese culture. Only a few dozens in Macau speak the language today, so when a big fish of the hospitality industry like MGM Macau decides to commemorate the beautiful tradition, we have to acknowledge that.
Design and vibes
To find the bar, head to the emerald lobby and follow the signs (or ask for directions at the reception). On your way, don’t forget to check out the latest additions to the MGM art collection–two paintings by the renowned Chinese artist Cai Guo Qiang.
Upon entering the bar, it’s hard not to sigh in awe. The interior in warm hues with ruby accents represents the mix of Eastern and Western, classic and contemporary. Every detail is well-thought and set to create a wholesome design. Plush sofas and armchairs, intimate corners behind the curtains, spike chandeliers with dimmed lights add to lounge vibes and set mood relaxing mood. With a design so sophisticated and elegant, Patuá is neither pretentious nor snobbish but welcoming and friendly.
Also read: Macau’s Best Hotel Bars
Behind the counter
While sofas tempt guests with their cozy softness, the bar counter is the place to settle for those of us who love an engaging chat with bartenders. The bar manager at Patuá is Paul Zhang, a humble but charismatic young man with impressive experience and skills under his belt.
Paul is especially passionate about Chinese flavors and traditions. And when we say passionate, we mean traveling to distilleries and harvesting tea leaves on the mountains level of passion. Dedicated and meticulous, he dives deep into the craft and sometimes spends months developing a cocktail recipe, learning how to make gin or Dali tie-dying technique in the process. Logically, the results of his creativity often earn Paul international rewards, such as the 2017 Beefeater MIXLDN Global Bartender Competition Content Challenge Winner. Moreover, Paul was the first Chinese bartender to present a Chinese cocktail in London.
Among other things, we recommend checking the signature cocktails page first. Crafted by the local mixology team, the list includes ten original cocktails. Five of them are inspired by a restaurant or bar at MGM and created in collaboration with chefs.
Start with Patuá (see featured image on top of the page). Like the language, it includes elements from several cultures–baijiu from Macau, gin and Pei Pa Koa from Mainland China, and port from Portugal. Pei Pa Koa gives the cocktail a herbal note, balanced by botanicals of gin and sweet, sour taste of 10-year-old port, the distinctive taste of baijiu, and a mix of Shri Lacan, Malay and Indian spices. To make it less strong, Paul adds fresh lemon juice and a homemade tonic. Notably, baijiu used in the cocktail is from a local distillery, the only one in Macau. As an homage to the Chinese tea tradition, the cocktail is served in a tea ceremony set with an almond cookie on the side.
Mixology meets gastronomy
Those who love the spicy and bold flavors of Sichuan cuisine should taste the creation inspired by Five Foot Road, the Chengdu-Sichuan restaurant at MGM Cotai. Based on red and green Sichuan pepper-infused vodka, Sichuan baijiu, and homemade bitters, Five Foot Road cocktail come in a cup surrounded by dried Sichuan peppers. Green peppercorn and red date jelly on the side is the culinary contribution of Five Foot Road’s chef Yang.
Should you wish to enjoy something light and fizzy, go for Rossio. Something between Italian Aperol Spritz and sangria, Rossio is an original cocktail with port, cherry liqueur, and homemade tonic. Another light drink from the signature list is the colorful Imperial Court–namesake of the Cantonese restaurant at MGM Macau. Smooth, gentle, and creamy, it is made with the milk-washed technique that takes its edginess away.
Also read: Shaken or Stirred: Macau’s Best Cocktails
However, it’s not only about cocktails at Patuá. The resourceful bar team has assembled quite a collection of unique liquors. If you like exploring new gins, this is the perfect spot as the bar can offer some brands you’ve probably never tasted before. Give a small-batch Thai gin a try, or opt for a Gin & Tonic with Shanghai gin. Based on the London Dry Gin concept, this one must have at least 80% of botanicals from China to be called Shanghai gin.
Moreover, Paul loves whisky and knows pretty much everything about it. Hence, whisky aficionados will have something to talk about and savor at Patuá.
If you’re feeling hungry, ask for some bar snacks. Instead of your standard chips and burgers, the menu features creative bites such as tea-smoked quail eggs, drunken foie gras lollipops, and sweet treats like compressed watermelon with lime, ginger, and rum.
Whether you are a wine drinker, a cocktail fan, or someone who is looking for a wholesome bar experience, Bar Patuá has something for everyone.
Also read: Where to Have Gin & Tonic in Macau