Tasked with finding a eatery in Tribeca to discuss business prospects on one of our budding schemes, there was no place more suitably named than Macao Trading Company. An unassuming bar/restaurant combination, it is the noisier neighbor to Morimoto’s eerily quiet Canvas. In hopes of keeping a clear head–and because our business conspirators ordered no drinks themselves–I can only recount to you all the visual appeal of the bar and its offerings. Let us live vicariously through you no?
The prospect of food however, was exciting enough. Having blitzed through the real Macao en route to Shenzhen, there was some mental salivating when I opened up the menu…only to find.
No pork (chop) buns.
Some ambiguously labeled grilled bacon buns was available, but did the Portuguese occupation yield nothing?
I recovered in stride and shot off a quick order of Charred Octopus Escabeche. It was properly charred, with still a hint of natural chewiness. Two tentacles was not enough to satisfy the hole left by absent buns. So we tried again, with orders of African chicken and steam Chaozhou hake.
The chicken was grilled well, and the entire thing was sweet, creamy and satisfying with the red coconut gravy atop. The impressive mound of cole slaw could have been more jazzed up, as it laid there forgotten once our conversation kicked up.
The Chaozhou hake was definitely a proper steamed texture, but given the nature of the fish, it would perhaps have been difficult to produce it otherwise. It tasted fresh, with some hints of the flavored vegetables to season each constructed bite. Nothing outlandish about it, but Hake was an excellent choice and it was executed soundly.
While the Portuguese feeling came across resoundingly in the African Chicken (some Moorish influences plus a coconut dressing is potentially sourced from Goa, a fellow colony), I had in my mind that pork buns would be the order of the day, but perhaps that is only because my own excursion in Macao. The flavors were sound, and just sidestepped hackneyed–with some drinks I imagine it would really all come together.
But like I mentioned, I can only imagine.
What does this rating mean?
Macao Trading Co.
311 Church St
New York, NY 10013