Macau Soul+ Back

(Last updated: November 1, 2015)

 

Macau Soul exterior at night with the Ruins of St Pauls in the backgroundIf there's one place I wish I could pick up and take back to Zhuhai with me, it'd be Macau Soul.   I don't know how many times the past year I've thought to myself, man I really want to go to Macau Soul tonight, only to realize that I wasn't in Macau.  I might as well have been a million miles away.


Situated near the ruins of St Paul's, this amazing little wine bar just gets it.  In stark contrast to what Macau has become the past ten years, full of flash and fluff, the fake and the frivilous, Macau Soul gets by without any gimmicks.  Owned by a retired British couple by way of Hong Kong, Macau Soul was started up as their retirement hobby, or perhaps more accurately, their retirement hangout.  Their goal was to open the kind of bar they'd enjoy going to, and I for one, can fully appreciate their fine taste.

 

Full of artwork, old photos of Macau and furniture that actually came from their Hong Kong apartment,  the interior of Macau Soul is warm, hospitable and extremely homey.  I think that's why I love the bar so much, because it's so real.  People don't go to Macau Soul to style or be seen; they come instead to relax and to talk, to enjoy a splendid bottle of wine over an excellent spread of food, while some 1950's jazz plays in the background.  There is no pomp or pretense, pizzazz or pageantry, only people enjoying their time together with other people, and doing so in a special wonderful venue.
 

Macau Soul front door at night three windows and wall art at Macau Soul the first floor of Macau Soul with bread and cheese board in the foreground Macau Soul sign hanging from the rafters with lamps and artwork in the background 

 

The owners also care a great deal about their customers, far more than ordinary bar owners at other establishments.  Let me share a story from my personal experience.  When it comes to bar responsibilities, David and Jacky seem to split them: David is in charge of the wine and Jacky takes care of the food.  One time when I was in Macau for a week David was back in Britain and Jacky was running the bar by herself.  David knew I had pre-ordered a few bottles of wine and he made it a point to call Jacky everyday to make sure she used the proper wine glasses, the proper decanter, and let the wines breathe the right amount of time.  That, to me, is unheard of.  How many bar owners are going to care enough to do that?

 

bottle of Scala Coeli at Macau Soul olives and wine glasses on the table at Macau Soul port bottles on shelves in the kok zai at Macau Soul view of Macau's Soul door from the inside


With only the ground floor usually open, it's imperative that you make reservations in advance.  One of the perils of opening a bar as a retirement hobby is that David and Jacky aren't really in it for the money.  Hence, Macau Soul's business hours can be a little unpredictable.  Sometimes it closes for a month or two at a time, and even on days when it is open, it doesn't always make it to closing time.  I've shown up there before at 9 pm only to see David walking out the door shutting up shop an hour early.  He just looked at me and said, "I'm 70 years old man, I want to go home."  Point well taken sir, I should have made reservations.  

 

The upside of not being in it for the money, of course, is that the wine and food are dirt cheap.  As far as I can tell, their prices are at least 70% cheaper than other Macau establishments, and sometimes 100% cheaper. 

 

hummus and bread at Macau Soul cheese board at Macau Soul large spread of Parma ham at Macau Soul 

 

Delicious (and full) plates of fresh meat, cheese, hummus and salad run only $65 to $195, while bottles from their large and exclusively Portuguese wine list start from around $250 and up.  Patrons who visit are expected to order at least half a bottle per person, which is not unreasonable given the low cost.

 

plate of Caribbean tuna at Macau Soul char shu special salad at Macau Soul baum kuchen cake at Macau Soul 


Every month or so, Macau Soul will offer live jazz entertainment in their basement performance area.  The pictures below are of a recent evening with the Macau Soul Swing Band, who belted out an array of tunes with youthful exuberance and brought the house down.  Reservations are always recommended on nights with a band as there is usually no cover charge, so tables are sure to fill up.  The best way to learn about band nights is to sign up for their mailing list when you're at the bar, or to frequent their website at www.macausoul.com

Macau Soul basement live music performance area Macau Soul Swing Band performing live at Macau Soul Macau Soul Swing Band with five musicians onstage at Macau Soul


Business hours at Macau Soul are from 3 pm to 10 pm on Sunday, Wednesday, and Thursday, and from 3 pm to 12 am on Friday and Saturday.   Last orders are taken 45 minutes before closing.
 

Now go there and enjoy!!  (Before it's too late!)  

 

For more pictures of Macau Soul, please follow the link for a dozen photos taken by my Mavenette extraordinaire, the amazing A Ping: Macau Soul 2016.

 

 

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