Macao Trading Co. Review: Brunch at Macao Trading Company

Macao Trading Co. Review: Brunch at Macao Trading Company

It’s really great when someone takes a spin on a tradition, and makes it into something new that’s also great. The main problem with food that want to just use ingredients in Asian cooking is that they emphasize it too much while using French or Western cooking techniques. Yea, you want to use some soy sauce or ginger. Great. Just don’t make a big deal out of it, because if you do, people really try to focus on what you’re trying to make and you’re caught between “respecting” the old style and making something new and delicious. When I saw scallion pancakes with smoked salmon on the brunch menu at Macao Trading Company, I actually got really excited. I mean, you take two delicious things on their own, and put ’em together… and voila!

Of course there’s plenty of ways to really fuck it up. To get a good scallion pancake, you have to at least get three things down… 1. use scallions. This sounds simple but you go to some dirty hole-in-the-wall in Chinatown and all you’re getting is fried dough. 2. add salt. Again, simple enough, but far too many places under-season scallion pancakes. 3. Make it crispy. You’re supposed to be frying a thin dough and how can you not get it crispy? You’re a damn restaurant, get this right yo. I’m happy to report that Macao Trading Co. hits all three notes perfectly.

They add plenty of scallions to their scallion pancakes, and it’s nice and crispy all over. They achieve the proper savory taste because they smear some creme fraiche on the pancake, and then put the smoked salmon on top. The saltiness from the smoked salmon really works. The crispiness of the pancake also pairs well with the soft salmon. It’s pretty perfect as far as ‘fusion’ dishes go.

Steph was with me and she ordered a ‘Portuguese’ omelet with goat cheese, and noted that there’s really nothing Portuguese about an omelet with goat cheese. Delicious as it may be, that failed to live up to being special. After tasting a bite, I must agree with her that one could easily slap some country name in front. Hell, it could be an ‘American’, ‘Canadian’, or ‘Singaporean’ omelet. I also convinced Steph that we could eat more than we could handle, so we got two side orders of sausages. Morcela, a blood sausage and Linguica.

Realistically, you could share an order with two people, but for the sake of trying different things, we got two orders, and proceeded to only eat half of each set. I really liked the morcela. It was some delicious blood sausage.

The really surprising thing about brunch at Macao Trading Company was that when Steph and I first got there, it was almost completely empty. There was one table, and the bartender told us we had our choices of the best seats in the house. They did a tremendous job with the interiors of that restaurant. The restaurant features high ceilings, and there’s this area that looks like a fake upstairs, and they put some nice decoration up there. I’m not a historian but the decoration makes me think about what a turn-of-the-century speakeasy might look like in some grimey yet happening part of town.

I’m not sure that you get a Portuguese experience when you visit Macao Trading Co. for brunch. I wouldn’t call it a destination brunch spot, although if you live near by, I certainly don’t see why it can’t be added to be part of your rotation

Macao Trading Co.311 Church St.New York, NY 10013212-431-8750

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