Niu Ji 2

(Last updated: May 29, 2024)

One of the more curious omissions from the English interwebs is sufficient mention and praise of Niu Ji. Among Macau locals, it‘s almost an institution, with the Caravel Hotel even using a picture of its kitchen as a key decorative feature in their rooms. Definitely one of my favourite Chinese joints in town, carrying a shiny 4.5 star rating, it’s easily accessible to tourists on the Fifth of October street, about a 5 minute walk away from the Sofitel.  And what I didn’t know for so many years, is that Niu Ji actually has two locations, and the second one is better than the first! While the older Niu Ji is definitely more well-known, it’s also small, crowded and difficult to get into during peak times.

Niu Ji Macau entrance

So rather than deal with all of that, all you have to do is walk down the Fifth of October Street in the direction of San Ma Lo for 15 seconds, and boom!! Just like that, as if by the process of magic, you’re at the larger, comfortable and better Niu Ji 2, that has an expanded menu, no lines, less stressed staff, and way more space and comfort.

Niu Ji Macau tables and chairs

Bold claim here, but it’s one of those joints where nothing served is going to be terrible. In fact, that seems to be the hallmark of most great Chinese restaurants everywhere – pick anything off the menu and it should still be pretty good. While their best dishes may never rise to the level of perfectly prepared steaks or pastas in Western cuisine that are so scrumptious they melt faces and take lives, there are far less pitfalls to avoid with their more dubious fare.

Niu Ji Macau kitchen

Niu Ji’s two best offerings, Crab Paste and Wonton in Noodle Soy Sauce ($64) and Spicy Ox-Brisket with Noodles ($36) were already covered in the original review, so I didn’t order them again. Rather, I pivoted to a few of their roasted meats instead, all of which were delivered.

Niu Ji Roasted Pork
Roasted Pork

The Roasted Pork ($35) was phenomenal, the Roasted Goose ($70) sublime and their half half Barbecue Pork and Soya Sauce Chicken ($48) simply superb.

Niu Ji Roasted Goose
Roasted Goose

A staple Southern Chinese cuisine, if you’re not having roasted meat at least once in Macau, then you probably shouldn’t be having it anywhere else in the world.

Niu Ji Barbecue Pork and Soya Sauce Chicken
Barbecue Pork and Soya Sauce Chicken

The Coconut Curry Chicken with Rice ($48) and Lemon Grass Pork Chop Cutlet with Butter ($64) can also be ordered with confidence, two solid 4 star dishes that taste as good as they look.

Niu Ji Coconut Curry Chicken with Rice
Coconut Curry Chicken with Rice
Niu Ji Lemon Grass Pork Chop Cutlet with Butter
Lemon Grass Pork Chop Cutlet with Butter

I’m less enthusiastic about the Pork Cutlet Rice ($47), since the meat didn’t really match the rice that well. Give this pedestrian plate a pass, as even 5 star restaurants can have their hiccups.

Niu Ji Pork Cutlet Rice
Pork Cutlet Rice

Niu Ji is a great Cantonese joint to try if you’re into local, less lavish places that cater to the people. Well priced and authentic as all heck, it was a “Michelin Recommended Restaurant” from 2011 to 2018, and those accolades should be continuing to the present day.  I can barely find fault in it, from the food to the service, the venue to the staff, it’s just delightful all around.

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