Macau Asian Tavern

Thursday, September 19th, 2019

Reviewed by Carla Schoeman

It was actually my dinner at Three Wise Monkeys last night that reminded me of the review about Macau I'd been meaning to write. Macau is the place for first impressions. Almost everyone I knew who have been here, had a great first time experience. But consequently, their second return was less than desirable and also, often, their last return. This is definitely the case for me. My first visit was in June, for a girls night. The entire experience from arrival to departure was flawless from a service point of view. Our food was sensational too. My only criticism would be the oily smell in the air, which is at first quite comforting, but eventually sticks in your nose and makes you nauseous. My hair also smelled of oil when I got home. The second time around was with my partner. We both enjoy Sundoo and Three Wise Monkeys, which we frequent, so we were fully expecting to love Macau. Even though I booked a table, my reservation seemed to confuse everyone (table for 2) and we spent some time at the bar while the staff decided where to put us. Once we found a table, we ordered some starters, which took very long to arrive. Upon my first visit, we were a group who ordered a variety of dishes to share, and maybe we got lucky, but everything we ordered was totally yum. With 2 people only, we decided to each order a main. The menu itself is massively intimidating, with about 6 different categories to choose from. Now I don't consider myself an expert in running a restaurant, but even I know you cannot have 50+ dishes on the menu and be excellent at every single one. One of the great things about both Sundoo and 3WM is that the menu is small and condensed to what they do really well. While my first experience saw me win the food roulette with great dishes, my second experience was not. The udon noodles in the seafood broth were so soggy they broke up with a spoon. My salmon was overcooked and totally bland. I added salt, which helped. The atmosphere was also vastly different on the Friday night (our girls dinner was in the week) with a live DJ. I have always considered this a weird touch for a restaurant. No one could hear their own table's conversations, and naturally no one is dancing because it's a restaurant. Oh, and the fryer smell is even more pronounced when they are busy. I see other patrons complaining of the same thing. Overall, in a city full of sensational food options, it's unlikely we'll return here. We'll continue to support Sundoo and 3WM, who are definitely nothing fancy, but also not confused about who they are and what they do. Macau is a miss for me.
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