Lai Wah

(Last updated: June 1, 2024)

Situated in Coloane Village seconds away from the serene Chapel of St. Francis Xavier, on the first floor of a restored home that’s as charming as the day is long, Lai Wah has the potential to be a special dining venue.

Lai Wah restaurant exterior

It’s held back by one critical issue though that cannot be overcome, and that’s subpar food. A lot of it is surprisingly simple cafeteria like fare, which makes the pretty Portuguese azulejos adorning the tables, walls and floors, seem excessive and out of place.

Lai Wah indoor seating and tables

There was nothing doing with either noodle dish, with the Chicken Laksa ($38) too spicy and the Pork Noodles ($28) suffering from substandard soup.

Lai Wah chicken laksa
Chicken Laksa
Lai Wah pork noodles
Pork Noodles

The Black Pepper Pork Chop with Spaghetti ($38) probably doesn’t need to be commented upon, with the picture sufficing.

Lai Wah Black Pepper Pork Chop with Spaghetti
Black Pepper Pork Chop with Spaghetti

Look, it was just some noodles with pork thrown on top, and if you could point me to the food court where it came from, then I’d gladly appreciate it.

A few of their pricier dishes failed to move the needle as well, with the Steamed Pork Belly with Shrimp Paste ($58) the best of the bunch.

Lai Wah Steamed Pork Belly with Shrimp Paste
Steamed Pork Belly with Shrimp Paste

Shrimp paste is a unique Macanese flavour, very fishy and strong, probably not up everyone’s alley, so just know that going in.  I was kind of surprised to see it served in such a soupy form, as it goes much better with rice, which cost an extra $10.

Lai Wah fried beef tongue
Fried Beef Tongue

Fried Beef Tongue ($58) typically takes some stones for Westerners to try, but it’s done a lot better at Hei Lin Cafe, while the Fried Dried Fish Floss with Chinese Kale ($68) could have used far less vegetables and a bit more fish.

Lai Wah Fried Dried Fish Floss with Chinese Kale
Fried Dried Fish Floss with Chinese Kale

In business since 1989, Lai Wah would normally be the kind of restaurant I’d be drooling over, given its history, warm dining environs, friendly staff, and location in picturesque Coloane Village. However, it seems far more suited to locals looking to save a quick buck than tourists, who likely expect a more memorable meal.

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