Macao-style hot pot at Rua Do Cunha features quality beef, delicious soup base and a wide range of seafood. Ye Jun / China Daily
There is food you eat and forget. And there is food you eat and remember, like the meal I had at Rua Do Cunha Macao Hot Pot Restaurant. The well-marbled beef and the beef tendons we ate were full of flavor, and drew us back like epicurean magnets.
A few days ago, I had the pleasure of repeating that happy experience at the restaurant's new branch at Dongzhimennei Street. Owner Frankie Chan duplicates his Macao hot pot treats here, except that the location here is bigger, better decorated and more comfortable.
Chan emphasizes the effort he makes in picking out the best beef for his hot pot, and says he had to change several suppliers because they found him too picky and troublesome.
"I'm always after a better product with better taste," he says. "It is more than just getting the freshest beef. You'll have to understand which is the best among a batch of meat."
The beef he uses is sourced from Shandong, and costs from 70 to 268 yuan ($11-43) a plate of 250 grams, depending on the cut and quality. While other chefs simply slice the beef, Chan butterflies the slices, saying his customers seem to prefer them this way.
The most popular soup base for the hot pot is made from pork bones, chicken feet, pork skin, turnip and corn. After 15 hours of boiling, the soup turns a milky white - delicious on its own.
Macao-style hot pot has cooked ingredients with the soup base that are ready to eat when the soup is served up, unlike the Hong Kong version that comes only with soup for cooking the raw meats.
A popular option is soup that comes with tripe and trotters, slow-boiled and tender. After the trotters and tripe are eaten, customers can then add beef, seafood and vegetables.
Other soups come with black chicken and fungus, which is supposed to be a beauty tonic, while turtle and chicken is nourishing for men. Tomato with beef is a red soup that whets the appetite, and those looking at healthy options can choose mushroom with clam.
The restaurant offers a wide range of seafood, including 10 to 20 varieties of fishes and palm-sized fresh scallops. Chan also recommends the geoduck sashimi, which costs about 1,000 yuan for a 1 kg shellfish.
Rua Do Cunha is the name of a famous food street in Macao. Frankie Chan says although the hot pot is Macao style, the dcor is meant to be contemporary and comfortable.