Banza is another Maven of Macau special, an anonymous little restaurant far off the beaten tourist path, but highly regarded by the Portuguese in town. The very antithesis of style and swank, it’s working class through and through, made by the locals for the locals.
Menu prices are excellent and their weekday lunch special is of particularly good value – only $88 for one soup, main and dessert.
I visited on a Sunday afternoon and stuck out like a sore thumb, the only one speaking English in a sea of Portuguese. Every other table was occupied by local families, who all seemed to know each other and go there regularly, a beautiful reminder of Macau’s rich colonial past.
Keeping just with seafood, I tried Shrimp Soup ($48), Octopus Salad ($98), Shrimp Rissole ($48), and Grilled Sea Bass ($180).
Extremely consistent, each dish was prepared well and of solid portion size, especially the soup and salad.
The grilled sea bass could have used better sides to make it more of a complete dish, but that was my only complaint.
All told the bill came to $430, a very fair price for the quality of food that I had.
Before choosing Banza, you need to be clear on what you want out of your dinner or lunch. It offers has zero star appeal or Wow Factor, and is definitely not the place for selfies or Instagram.
Far away from the glitz and glamour of the Cotai Strip, the restaurant hasn’t caught on with tourists yet and probably never will. And that ultimately might be the best reason to track it down and give it a try.