40-46 Avenue Sir Anders Ljungstedt, Macau
Visited 5th December 2009 The first weekend in December and yet again it's time for the Macau Marathon. The night before the big race a group of us got together for a feed at Antica Trattoria. A few friends have recommended this Italian joint and we thought we'd give it a go in the name of carb-loading. It's on the second floor in a bit of an odd location; halfway between Fisherman's Wharf and the city centre. Climbing the stars you certainly get the impression of an Italian restaurant; red bricks, timber and a walls covered with the usual black and white photos of old Italy; I'm even sure I saw a few old style Chianti bottles stuffed with candles.
The menu was packed with all the usual suspects; pasta, pizza and a selection of grilled stuff. There actually looked like a really good selection of antipasti on offer, but instead we shared a gorgonzola pizza to start. The pizza itself was OK - thin base, rich tomato sauce and too much cheese - but what blew me away was when the waiter came over and told me I couldn't take photos of the food. WTF? Was he serious? When he asked me to stop snapping he was smiling and I thought he was joking, but no, seriously you couldn't take photos of the food. Is this legal? Anyway, as you'd imagine we all went for pasta and the serves of bolognese, pomodoro and lasagna spun past, but my selection was tortellini with mushrooms. The cheese filled pasta dumplings were good and added to the rich creamy sauce made a filling dish with plenty of flavour from tasty mushrooms. I also helped a friend finish her disappointing cannelloni; it was too dry, heavy on the ricotta and lacked the flavour and texture of sufficient spinach. The couple of desserts that others ordered looked OK, though one friend was pretty frustrated that her lemon gelato was served in a lemon; her reasoning was a lemon is a lot smaller than a bowl and she wanted more than too mouthfuls. Playing at being athletes we all drunk soft drink or water. My visit was tarnished by the fact I was shocked and kind of frustrated at been told I couldn't take photos, but I started annoyed when even though I'd rung from Hong Kong to book they had no record of it. My mate, Mr Camera Police, was actually an efficient and friendly bloke, though a couple of the other waitresses were a bit slow on the uptake. The pizza was just OK and the cannelloni average, however I did enjoy my tortellini and most of my friends seemed happy with their meals. Food in Macau is normally pretty good value, but in this case I thought Antica Trattoria to be, if anything, a bit overpriced. Our bill came to over $200 a head which for a bowl of pasta, a slice of average pizza, mouthful of dessert and glass of Coke isn't fantastic. For those looking for an authentic feed of Italian Antica Trattoria meets the criteria, though I have to wonder why visitors would bother when there're a heap of great Portuguese joints in town.