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A friend of mine made a booking appointment with his skin allergic doctor one day; its almost impossible to look for a good parking spot, eventually ending up as his designated driver; Meantime, enjoying a decent Portuguese lunch next door. The missing Cozinha Aida Restaurant, which haven’t been there ten years ago, is located at Avenida de Sidonio Pais, right opposite to Hoi Fu Garden.

Everyone’s childhood memory

Remembering each time hosting a birthday party when young, the first thing always thinking of is the “Old Park’n Shop” Portuguese restaurant; In one of the main street and alleyways comes few well-honored Portuguese restaurant location; the Apomac Retirement Association and Riquexo Restaurant. Riquexo has a 100-year-old lady Dona Aida de Jesus and her daughter in charge nearly 40 years. It’s sad that just recently he great old lady passed away at the age of 104 this year and her daughter took over the restaurant business thereafter, moving from small streets of alleyways to the main road restaurant’s place.

The old spot thus has changed to today’s Cozinha Aida that will introduce today, currently another family member in charge of the food operations; They mainly provide family-style Macanese cuisines, which the tastes were almost the same as grand father’s preferred receipes.

The way how it looks

The exterior looks like a very simple dine-in restaurant, on the wall sticking lots of old Macau photos; when moved to the back wall, you can see the sketch of Auntie Aida’s drawing. Such kind of old neighboring feeling is quite rare to find in Macau.

Saw from outside food display counter some watercress honey beverages, the red and white is a must for sure, they provide too the special Portuguese Sangrias; Most beer and sodas are mostly Portuguese brands; and right under the glass and shelves, comes ready to serve Portuguese meals heating up on the stoves; My favorite Portuguese-Macanese style Tacho, Minchi beef and pork, red bean pork knuckle, stewed oxtail, local steamed minced pork, etc.;

Today presented too my favorite salted shrimp paste with pork ribs and western style fried rice noodles. Their rice noodles precisely cooked in a way exactly the same when young; they use reddish, sweet and sour shredded ginger, olives, shredded barbecued pork, choy sum or bean sprouts, stir-fried with shredded fried eggs slices. When eaten it comes with a bit of sour and sweet tastes, the fried wok tastes still persist, and the fried meat slices has a rich taste.

My favorite Tacho

My favorite dish is Tacho, a stewed Portuguese dish imitating the traditional Portuguese famous ones; with broccoli, ham, pork, chicken, pig skin, etc. all in one together. The original style contained chouriço, versus most Macanese uses Chinese sausages instead. The traditional Porco bafassa is a rich Portuguese main dish, consists of assorted, tender stewed pork, well-stewed with potatoes and turmeric sauce.

Their potatoes and roasted chicken are really amazing. They first fried half of a size chicken and mini potato cubes, layering a translucent thick chicken sauce on top; it tastes very like “real” chicken tastes, crispy from the outside and tendering soft inside. The potato cubes originally like ping-pong sizes cut in halves, tastes flavorful when eaten.

Their curry braised beef brisket and red bean pork knuckles are doing excellent; the curry powder has a little bit of turmeric powder spice and sweetness; Their red bean pork knuckles stewed very well, and don’t feel greasy at all. Their red bean served with cabbage rice is very appetizing. The serving size is just right for one person. If not worrying too much wasting food when ordering too much, you can order several more dishes.

Dessert Time

It’s dessert time; their Bicho Bicho biscuit, mango pudding, egg pudding, especially their potato cakes, chocolate and marble cake, etc. are my best favorites.

If wish trying any traditional homy-Macanese style dishes, Aida Cozinha can almost provide all. Food is one of the most important element for most Macanese families; eating and drinking are their customs. Whenever there is a family gathering, they always can’t get rid of sharing their food master pieces; especially when it comes to flavor and tastes, they always loved to give advises; Their food topics can be discussed for hours.

This is our culture, always missioned maintaining local communities’ involvement; sharing over hundred years of Macanese cooking recipes and own pride, spreading out worldwide.

It is believed that “Humanity always look for food to survive” ; this endless rule of the thumb would surely impact most people around, allowing its own unique culture continuing to maintain its authentic taste. This is the “Macao culture”, and it is not only just purely understood by “Macanese cultural Group”.

And our team, like many other “Macanese communites”, equally works hard to promote Macau cuisine in bests ways.

Angela Fung