(Last updated: February 14, 2024)
Given that I literally live next door to Espaço Lisboa, I’ve been visiting it quite a bit at the beginning of 2024. The result is that I am far lower on the restaurant then I was in the original review. For so many places in Macau, and I know this isn’t limited just to Macau, but it does seem 1000% true here, is that restaurants are only as good as what you order. After nailing the selections at Espaço Lisboa the first couple of times, it hasn’t been going very well since, so much so that I’ve knocked them down a full star, to 3.5.
The African Chicken ($162) is unlike anything I’ve ever seen in my life. In fact, in no universe I’m aware of could it actually be called African Chicken, since they do it in their own foul, misinformed way.
It’s just this crusty, shrivelled round mound of fowl that I literally could not finish. Zero stars, in this case, feels like too many. We may have to go into the negative for this dish, for the first time in website history!!
The Macau Sole is really not that much better, and particularly frustrating to boot, given it’s one of the safest, most consistent dishes in town. Quite straightforward to make, it should be fresh, light and super tasty, the polar opposite of Macau’s heavy oily bacalhau that will put you to sleep after three bites.
For some reason, Espaço Lisboa puts a fried banana on top, which does nothing to enhance the flavour of the fish, just take it away. Besides that, the preparation style was something akin to what you might get in a fast food restaurant, as in too charred and too deep fried, if that’s indeed how it’s done. Regardless it was a pretty lame dish, worthy of 1 star.
The last main to disappoint, but only slightly so, was the Fish Stew, for $208.
A solid 3.5 star dish, it would probably work better with rice, but is served with potatoes instead. Not exactly brimming with fish, the tomato sauce was a fine compliment, and the various ingredients inside it did work pretty well together. It was just missing somewhat of a foundation, which neither the thin sauce nor potatoes were able to provide.
Two mains are pretty awesome though, both of which I’d order time and again, if given the chance. The Octopus Rice ($190) is only available sometimes as a special, but is just as good as their Seafood Rice, which costs twice as much. In my original review, I waxed ecstatic about it, something I’m not doing anymore, given it’s way overpriced at $360. Prepped in the same way, with the same soupy tomato broth, the Octopus Rice is excellent bang for the buck, as it basically tastes the exact same.
Saving the best for last, the Duck Rice ($162) is extremely popular with Espaço Lisboa guests, and rightfully so.
It is usually served with an egg on top, but can be taken away if you tell them to do so. The portion is extremely large and the taste is totally on mark, with perfect texture and taste, just a 5 star dish all around.
Three appetizers also hit the mark, and I’ve yet to have a starter there that disappoints. While the clams and prawns described below are better, they also do nice Octopus Salad ($145), Codfish Cakes and Roasted Sausage ($88).
The octopus salad is the best appetizer of the bunch, and the one to choose, after only the clams and prawns described in my first visit below.
Espaço Lisboa is a wonderful find in Coloane Village, a charming little restaurant tucked away in a back street close to A.R Eanes Square.
Set inside a restored two-story home, the environment inside is very warm and inviting and they even have outside seating upstairs on the second floor by way of a small balcony.
The service staff is pre-dominantly Filipino and were in a bit of a bind the first afternoon I visited back in 2014. You see, Manny Pacquiao was fighting at the Venetian that day and they had to walk the tightrope between working and following the action live over the radio near the bar.
I can’t say their service didn’t suffer because of it, but I definitely appreciated the updates I got between rounds, as Manny pummelled some American who had no business being in the same ring with him.
Suffice to say, that put the staff in unusually high spirits that day, and I was feeling pretty good myself, no doubt aided by the decent red we had flowing for $200 called Monte Da Pata.
My friend and I paired that with some pretty standard Portuguese dishes: Clams with Garlic ($118), Prawns with Garlic ($118), Seafood Soup ($65), Lobster Bisque Soup ($104), Grilled Lamb Chops ($167) and Grilled Sea Bass ($181). For dessert, we gave the sweet tooth some love with Serradura ($53) and Ice Cream with Cherry ($116).
Most of what we ordered was seafood and it was all masterful, in particular the clams, prawns and two soups.
The Grilled Sea Bass was a more controversial selection – I loved it, while my friend didn’t care of the lemon butter sauce that came with it.
Besides the seafood though, everything else was disappointing. The Grilled Lamb Chops were far too chewy and the fact that they were barbecued gave it a weird kind of taste, one I’d rather not experience again.
Both desserts were forgettable as well, in particular the Serradura, which tasted clumpy and dry.
In the end though, the seafood at Espaco Lisboa is just too good to pass up. That’s why the restaurant gets 4.5 stars overall and what you should be ordering when you go there.
I’m also a big fan of their seafood rice, which is a perfect dish for those dining in pairs.
One of Coloane Village’s very best restaurants, I’ll certainly be returning to Espaço Lisboa often in the future.