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Culinary students shine at Macao's tourism school

By Rebecca Lo in Macao ( China Daily ) Updated: 2014-04-26 10:26:57

Scanning the wine list, I couldn't believe what a bargain it was. It featured all-Portuguese vintages, with three reds and three whites by the glass priced at MOP50 ($6.25) each. I decided to try a Casa Cadaval Vinha Padre Pedro 2009 from Ribatejo while Dora had a glass of Carmim Monsaraz 2009 from Alentejo.

The menu was extensive and featured the best of the best in Portuguese, Macanese and Chinese food. There was literally something for everyone, and it was too bad we couldn't indulge in more than what our tummies could accommodate.

We decided to share a starter of bacalhau fish cakes with Greek salad. Like the dishes to follow, the presentation was excellent: homey and rustic, but also borderlining on fine dining in its professionalism. I thought that it was a good way to show off a very traditional Macanese dish that can usually look a bit sloppy in other restaurants.

The deep-fried fish cake was thick, generous and beautifully seasoned. Laid onto a variety of tomatoes and feta cheese with a teeny moat of olive oil surrounding it, the medley of fresh vegetables combined with the salty fish whet our appetites for more.

I chose African chicken as my main. IFT served half a spring chicken with couscous and roasted courgettes, in a nod to the continent's spices permeating the chicken.

I loved everything about the dish: its moist and succulent meat wrapped in a crispy skin then smothered in an intense, slightly sweet and spicy sauce with hints of butter, chili, cumin, coriander and coconut.

Dora let me try her three-cheese ravioli with sweet pumpkin and pine nuts, and I was immediately addicted to its rich and creamy sauce.

Although we really wanted to continue with dessert, I had to catch my ferry by this time and sadly asked for the bill. On the bright side, coming back for the dessert menu is a good enough reason to bring a group of friends with more time to indulge.

IF YOU GO

IFT Educational Restaurant

Colina de Mong-Ha, Macao, 853-8598-3077.

Cost per person: MOP250 ($32.50)

Recommended: Bacalhau Fish Cakes with Greek Salad, Three-Cheese Ravioli with Sweet Pumpkin and Pine Nuts, African Chicken with Couscous and Roasted Courgettes.

 

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