Macau’s prettiest looking restaurant from the outside dates back to 1870, when it was founded as a private military club. Redone and refurbished in 1995, it reopened as the restaurant you see today, serving Portuguese cuisine for lunch and dinner.
Reservations are essential at night and only club members can dine at lunchtime – non members have to wait until after 1:45 pm. A dress code is enforced so watch what you wear, but they don’t require anything too formal or dressy.
As for the food, friends who’ve gone there for years tell me that the quality wavers. When it’s at its best, the restaurant is brilliant, but it’s prone to slipping.
After having dined there I think it’s fair to say that the Military Club is not quite at its best these days. I ordered three dishes for dinner: a selection of Portuguese Cold Cuts, King Crab and a Rack of Lamb.
The cold cuts and king crab were definite disappointments. The meat was not fresh and the king crab nothing special, being a little on the dry side. Although I had no complaints with the rack of lamb, I have had better elsewhere.
On the flip side, the restaurant has a good wine list and food prices are generally affordable. Most mains are in the $100 to $200 range while starters and soups don’t exceed $80. Staff is friendly and efficient, and the restaurant has an unmistakable Old World feel about it.
Beautiful and charming, the Military Club is a relic from Macau’s colonial past, a small piece of tradition in a city that is quickly losing it. Perhaps that’s enough for some of you to visit it, perhaps not. I think it’s still probably worth a try, just know what you’re getting into beforehand. The Military Club’s hype and history is a better drawing card than its food these days.