Macau is a former colony of Portugal. One of the key things to do when one visits Macau is to try Portuguese cuisine. They served the best outside of Lisbon, but you can also get Chinese influence in some of the dishes here. Albergue 1601 may not be the best example in Macau, but it was still very good and an ambiance to match.
Immerse yourself in an unforgettable dining experience. The moment you set foot in the St. Lazarus Quarter, one of the best preserved historical neighbourhoods in Macau, you can imagine yourself getting lost in the little alleys of Lisbon.
Ensopado de Frutos do Mar – Seafood Stew – This tasted like cioppino, except it was much lighter and featured more of the delicate taste of saffron.
Lingua de Boi ao Vinho Tinto – Ox tongue braised in red wine – I loved the texture of a good braised ox tongue. It remained tender and have a bite. With the red wine braise, it was so good. I had similar dish at 檀岛 Honolulu Cafe in Hong Kong, it tasted much better here.
Lulas Grelhada – Grilled squid – salt and pepper grill.
Leitão Assado – Roasted suckling pig – Loved this suckling pig. They nailed it with a really crispy skin and tender meat. The Cantonese version usually ended with a really nice skin but dry and tough meat. The Spanish and Portuguese versions are better in my honest opinion
Frango Assado à Africana – African roast chicken – Combining roast chicken with a spicy curry sauce influenced by African cuisine, you get this unique African chicken.
Sardinhas Assadas – Grilled sardines – I loved sardines and very seldom you can get fresh sardines in Singapore markets. Grilled simply with salt and pepper, you tasted the freshness of the fish.
Vanilla Coco Créme Brûlée – creme brûlée, ’nuff said.
Serradua – Sawdust pudding – There’s no sawdust in this pudding. Serradura, also known as sawdust pudding, or Macau pudding, is a well-known dessert of Macau, which shows a layered outlook with a simple combination of whipped cream and crumbled Marie biscuit.
The restaurant is housed in a 100+ year old building (PS: the current manager wrote to say it’s only a century old house). Why is it called “Po Chai House”? Literally it translates to “House of old ladies”. It was used as an old folks home after WWII and when Macau was returned to China, the old folks moved to newer premises, leaving “Po Chai House” vacant. It was not until after that the place was refurbished and used as an open space for art and music performances. The two old Portuguese buildings are used as cafe and housed Abergue 1601.
The service in this restaurant was fantastic. The ambiance was one of its kind and would be a good intro to the architecture of old Macau and old Portugal. I still did not figure out why the roosters, but it is now known as a symbol of Macau and of this restaurant.
Must visit in my opinion.
8 Calçada da Igreja de São Lázaro 瘋堂斜巷8號
+853 2836 1601
Date Visited : Dec 2017
PS (28 May 2020): New Executive Chef since my visit – no longer serving Macanese food – or Portugese-influenced Macau food. Now it’s a proper Portugese restaurant. Will try and write about it when I can travel again.