O Manuel

It seems to me that the two most similar restaurants in Taipa Village are O Manuel and O Santos.  Neither place is fine dining, nor particularly expensive, and both specialize in no frills down home Portuguese cuisine.  (It turns out that there might be a reason for the similarities.  Both Manel and Santos came to Macau around the same time and worked for the Pousada de Coloane restaurant.  I think there might have been another famous chef working in that kitchen as well, a Mr Fernando who of course has his own place near Hac Sa Beach.)

O Manuel Macau entrance

The main difference between O Santos and O Manuel is the consistency of the food.  When I ate at O Santos, everything was pretty good, maybe 3.5 stars out of 5, while O Manuel’s food was much more hit and miss.

O Manuel Macau interior

The Roasted Chicken was phenomenal – 5 stars out of 5 – and the Stew was another good choice (4 stars), rich and moist.

O Manuel Macau roasted chicken
Roasted Chicken
O Manuel Macau stew

While the prawns looked great, they lacked taste and were only average (2.5 stars) and the final chicken with rice dish was horrible.

O Manuel Macau prawns

It tasted like it was a week old and we couldn’t even finish it (0 stars).

O Manuel Macau rice with chicken
Rice with Chicken

All of this is to say that it’s probably best to ask Manel what his signature dishes are and what’s fresh that day.  If you stick to his suggestions, O Manuel is probably a 4.5 star restaurant, and worth your return patronage because what he does well he really does well.  His Roasted Chicken is quite possibly the best in town, while the favas ($130) is another great choice, which I had the pleasure of trying in late 2019.

O Manuel Macau favas

Before going there, I’d heard that Mr Manuel carries the reputation of being a hothead with a bad temper, who can be rude to his customers.  The day I was there though I saw none of it and he was perfectly fine to us.  He was even nice enough to take a picture with my friend who was in Macau to model over at the recently opened Sands Cotai Central (now Londoner Macao).

O Manuel Macau with pretty girl

To find O Manuel, it’s on the same street as the lovely Sam Seng Temple.

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