Changes have been afoot at Macao Trading Company, the Portuguese-Asian eatery to which Our Man Sietsema gave good marks in 2008. About two months ago, the restaurant got a new executive chef, Chewy Cereceres, who previously helmed Kobe Club. Cereceres has been slowly making the restaurant his own, expanding the late night and dessert menus, adding vegetarian options, and nixing brunch.
“I have made quite a few changes to desserts, sides, entrees–little dishes here and there,” says Cereceres. “The partners and owners were generally happy with the items on menu, they just wanted them to be more consistent, to tweak them to make them as good as they possibly could be. When got there–not to throw anyone under the bus–but there wasn’t a major presence overseeing the kitchen, watching the consistency. And that’s been my strongest contribution so far.”
Last month, Cereceres decided to add dim sum cart service to the late night offerings on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. Items include Berkshire pork soup dumplings, which the chef fills with a gelatinous stock made from long-simmered pigs’ heads, and lo mai gai–sticky rice with chicken, shrimp, and Chinese sausage wrapped in a lotus leaf. “To me, that’s the perfect street food snack,” says Cereceres. “It’s a meal in a pocket. It’s not too heavy. And I love anything wrapped in lotus leaf. It has a wonderful aroma.”
There’s also a new chicken-sizzling rice soup, prepared tableside, and Cereceres is planning an array of steamed bao, including versions filled with pork, spicy orange beef short ribs, and Sichuan vegetable-tofu.
New desserts include chocolate torte with five-spice ganache, and chestnut mousse with brandied cherries.