One of Macau’s 10 Iconic Restaurants, Cozinha Aida is run by the son of the legendary “Godmother of Macanese Cuisine”, Aida De Jesus, who made it all the way to 105 years old. Perhaps the youngest looking centenarian of all time, she could have easily been mistaken for someone in her 80’s, while her daughter still doesn’t look a day over 55. I don’t know how both got secret access to the Fountain of Youth, but a few pity splashes my way would make my day, week, month and year.
Here’s a pic I took together with her in 2019, a few years before her passing in 2021.
One thing is for certain though: flaunting such fat flabby cheeks as those, there’s no way I’m making it to 80!
Trying Macanese cuisine is a must while in Macau, and Cozinha Aida is the cheapest place to do it in town. Their daily specials cost just $68 and are usually composed of 3 or 4 classic Macanese favourites, with the rest on offer on their standard menu ($68 to $130).
In particular, I’d make it a point to try the Minchi, which might be the best in town, while they do pretty good Pork with Tamirand and Feijoada as well.
If you’re a spice lover, the Curry Fish packs quite the epic punch, while the Braised Pork is another standard go to that I always enjoy. Very similar to another classic Macanese dish, Porco Bafasso, the pork is so soft and scintillating that it never goes wrong, while the vegetables and gravy are just perfect with rice.
I’m not as high on the Roasted Chicken though, simply because other restaurants in town do it much better, especially O Manel down in Taipa Village. Still though, for the price you pay when it’s on the Daily Menu, just $68, it’s not a bad option at all.
On the flip side, two dishes to avoid at Rickshaw are the Bacalhau a Bras and Pato Cabidela.
Maybe Bacalhau just isn’t my thing because I rarely like it anywhere, often finding it far too oily. Save this one for when you’re down the street at Apo Mac as they do it far far better.
As for the Pato Cabidela, it’s an old time Macanese favorite that can’t be found in Macau anymore, probably because it’s so hard to make. A slow cooked duck stew seasoned in red wine and duck’s blood needs time, patience, prep and care, but the Rickshaw’s version felt super rushed.
Ultimately there is nothing to it – no taste, no texture, no foundation, no finish, just a pleasant sauce that went well with rice. Save your Cabidela adventures for places outside of Macau, preferably doing it in Portugal if you can, because it really is brilliant when done right.
The very definition of working class, people don’t go to Cozinha Aida for selfies or sommeliers, white table cloths or $800 bottles of wine, but that’s exactly why I love it so much. Pretty much frequented by the same cast of local characters night after night, it’s as consistent as consistent can be. Definitely visit it while in town for a glimpse of what Macau used to be, at prices that still belong to last century.
To learn about the first time I visited this Macau institution, please follow the link to the 2014 Grand Prix Race.