Monday, 3 December 2007

Restaurante Fernando

9 Praia de Hac Sa, Coloane, Macau
Visited 2nd December

After running 21km in the Macou half marathon I wanted a beer. Restaurante Fernando is as popular as the song and perhaps more justifiably so. Located at Hac Sa Beach on the southeast of Coloane Island it's in a pretty isolated spot, but that's half the joy. I'd called to try and make a booking, but was told they didn't do bookings on weekends and to make sure I got there early. Arriving at 11.30 we were the second group in a line that soon became a mass excess of seething punters. When the doors finally opened at midday the throng pushed forwards in a mad and chaotic rush to get tables. Elbows, knees and the odd head butt and we were finally sitting, but it was worth it. The front room is OK, but out back is where it all happens at Fernandos; there's a large open area with airy windows, views of the garden and plenty of heavy rustic timber.

A priority was my thirst and I quenched it with a couple of crisp Portuguese beers. When I asked about wine I was told to go look at a shelf somewhere; I stuck to beer. To start our table shared a delicious garden salad, a plate of tasty chouri├žo and olives, along with the compulsory loafs of soft, fluffy bread. I couldn't resist the salted cod I was talked out of the previous evening. The generous serve of grilled Bacalhau was presented with potatoes and a garlicky butter sauce. I was mightily impressed with the food; it was extremely well done in its authentic simplicity. Getting an itemised receipt for the prices was another difficulty, but I remember everything offering outstanding value.

I'm very much in two minds about Fernandos - it certainly gets votes for authentic Portuguese fare, yet it's almost arrogantly run with off putting service. I loved the delicious, rustic food and the awesome prices. After the riot finished the atmosphere was great and the garden bar - where the disappointed waited - looked like a winner for an afternoon session. Despite all the positives I couldn't understand queuing for half an hour just to have to brawl to get a table. Not taking bookings and not opening before noon meant that the whole restaurant ordered at exactly the same time; while we didn't have to wait too long for our food it did take nearly half an hour to initially be served. There's lots to love about Restaurante Fernando just avoid the weekend battle.Visit restaurant website.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

This is a nice informative blog, thank you.

About Fernando's: I have been there a few times, and have never been particularly impressed by either the food (which is average) or the service (which is "couldn't really care, and anyway don't know").

I do like a restaurant that you don't seem to have reviewed: that is O Santos on Taipa. This establishment serves mainly Portuguese (as opposed to Macanese) dishes. The food is rather better than average, the (Portuguese) winelist is adequate, and the service is competent knowledgeable and friendly.

Anyway, please keep up your blog: I do enjoy reading it, and we seem to have not disimilar tastes.

Best wishes,

John D

Andrew said...

Hi John

Thanks for the feedback. I've had a few serious IT issues recently, but have just re-acquired some photo editing software so should start publishing the huge backlog of posts I've got waiting.

I wrote my review of Fernando's on my first visit and since my opinion has dropped quite a bit. The last couple of times I've been the service has bordered on being outright rude and the whole place has a really off putting arrogant attitude. To be fair the location is fantastic, but that's probably not enough to get me back there again.

I do have a few reviews from Macau to publish including one for O Santos. I went with a group of friends a couple of weeks ago and was impressed. I thought it offered terrific value, the wine list contained a good selection of fairly priced Portuguese wines and the owner was genuinely friendly. I also visited A Petisqueira that is also in Taipa Village and was even more impressed. More to come soon...

Thanks again for your comment and kind words,
Andrew

Anonymous said...

Andrew

You mentioned A Petisqueira which ad now made a mention in the Hongkong and Macao Michelin Guide.

When are you starting blogging again? I miss your analysis.

Best wishes

John D

Andrew said...

Hi John

Thanks for the positive feedback mate.

I'm starting to get through the backlog of posts. I had a pretty rough end to 2008 with some personal issues, a hard drive crashing and as a result a whole lot of lost photos and content. I've got a pile of half finished posts I'm trying to rush through and things should (hopefully) be back up to date soon!

Cheers
Andrew

Anonymous said...

Andrew

I had almost given up on you!

It is good to know that things should be up and running again soon. Please accept my continuing encouragement.

John D