20 Rue da Cuhna, Taipa, Macau
Visited 5th December 2008
The Macau Marathon's a good race; it's pretty flat, easily accessible to Hong Kong, yet smaller than it's ridiculously hectic counter-part across the Pearl River Delta. Staying near the stadium on Taipa meant that we were near Taipa Village, the quaint old town now in shadowed by the sprawling mass of circus Venetian. The village has a good selection of local eateries and Friday night a group of us found ourselves in O Santos. The restaurant's a thin two story place, simply decked out that looks like its recently been re-decorated; though the decoration consists mainly of plain white walls.
The food on offer is a good selection of the usual Macanese Portuguese classics. To start we shared plates of cod cakes and fried chouriço. The fish cakes were tasty, though mainly potato, while the chunks of meaty sausage were good with a nice smoky paprika flavour. For mains we split half a grilled chicken, lamb stew, chicken curry, grilled bacalhau and a mixed salad. The chicken and cod were both good with obvious flavour from the char grilling, though the chips that came with them were way too oily. While the curry was OK, the well flavoured stew was fantastic with ultra tender lamb. The wilted salad however was a disappointment and looked like it had been prepared three days ago. Despite a number of athletes in training drinks flowed and O Santos' great value wine list got a work out. From this impressive document (that lists wines regionally and with an illustrated picture) we enjoyed excellent value bottles of Rose, Vinho Verde and a couple of different Alentejos.
Embarrassingly, for 'athletes', we were the last to leave, though we still got a farewell handshake and friendly grin from the boss as we staggered out. This friendly casualness was one of the things I like about O Santos; which in several ways it reminded me of my local Italian back in Melbourne. Though I was disappointed with the salad and chips the rest of the food was good and the big serves were perfect for sharing. The wine list was excellent, with a good selection at very fair prices. Actually the whole place was great value; the mains were all under MOP100 and a huge meal with entrees, mains, dessert and plenty of drinks came to a very reasonable MOP180 each. Good Portuguese grub in a friendly setting; O Santos certainly has plenty going for it.