Experience the mashup of Portuguese and Chinese flavors (aka Macanese) at Alves Cafe and understand how East meets West. We are lucky and proud to have a range of foods as our “national cuisine”. Here’s our guide to eating like a local in Macau.
Deep Fried Cod Fish Balls Croquette
Also well known as Bacalhau (Portuguese salt cod) fritters. This snack looks a bit like falafel and is prepared with small balls of Bacalhau fried up into delicious bites. A popular staple in Macau, its rich taste and smooth texture makes it a great appetizer. If you order some extra, bring them home and they still taste delicious eaten hot or cold as a snack for later.
This layered sandwich makes a tasty meal for one or to share with the crowd. It is the all in one sandwich that is a meal all by itself. The Alves Club Sandwich seems to be loved by everyone so it never disappoints. Kids and even adults will all love it. Paired with a cup of their house coffee or pressured tea. Ah, the simplicity of perfection!
Portuguese Minced with Rice
Portuguese minced with rice, or the traditional Minchi, is an authentic Macanese dish. The name of this recipe derives from the English “to mince” as it includes minced pork or beef, diced potatoes relished with soy sauce, and a fried egg on top. It may sound simple but it is one of our favorite Macanese dishes and it is delicious. This comfort food is the go-to choice for locals and should be on your must-try foodie list too!
Vermicelli Singapore Style
One of the most popular and classic stir-fried noodles, get your chopsticks (or fork) into these aromatic noodles packed with shrimp, cha siu (Chinese roast pork), a mix of vegetables, and lots of flavor. The dish is lightly seasoned with curry powder and a touch of spice, giving the thin rice noodles a beautiful yellow hue. Its origins are a bit indefinite as you won’t actually find the so-called “Singapore noodles” at any restaurant in Singapore, but as curry is one of the popular spices and rice noodles is a staple there… whoever created this wonderful recipe and regardless of where they’re really from, they’re a stir-fry classic!
This version of curry chicken comes with smoky chorizo, olives and chunky potatoes. It is a mild, slightly sweet chicken curry with a rich, creamy sauce thanks to coconut milk. It goes really well with rice and is tasty with every bite. You might be thinking so what is Macanese food really? Is it Chinese, Portuguese, Indian or African? Many of the spices, such as curry and turmeric, aren’t used in traditional Portuguese cooking or traditional Chinese cooking either. So why are such spices showing up in Macanese cooking? Since Macau was a major port city with ships coming in from all parts of Asia and beyond, different spices made their way here and were eventually infused into local cooking. And we’re glad they did!
While dining in Cafe Alves, we love observing the small details from their combined logo of Portuguese tiles known as azulejos, traditional Portuguese painted tile work, and Chinese patterned window to their signature look in every branch. They always have wooden interior, a side bar and al fresco dining. A great place for breakfast, brunch or even tea time. Very affordable with great friendly staff and service. Check our guide for locations of their various branches around town.