The Early Word -- Macao Trading Company
Located on a dark stretch of Church Street west of Chinatown, Macao Trading Company is unheralded by any sign, except for a door screened over by an usual metal grate, and a red lamp that appears to be hanging upside down over the entrance. The menu seeks to evoke the twin cuisines of Portugal and its former Chinese colony of Macao.
Thus there are a pair of parallel menus: Manila clams cooked Portuguese and Chinese style, meatballs Portunese and Chinese style, and cow stomach tripe cooked the same pair of ways. The dishes are grouped as either small or large, and one does best to hopscotch around the longish menu.
Our favorite dish on a first visit came down to two: a bowl of picture perfect, thin-skin chicken dumplings knee-deep in an oily and fiery Sichuan sauce; and (picture above), Manila clams cooked Portuguese style with chorizo in a delightful brick-red sauce, from which the taste of garlic leapt out like an open-palm hand coming across the room to slap you in the face.
We liked most of the food, and are looking forward to coming back. 311 Church Street, 212-431-3642