Tonight I went to the just opened Macao Trading Co. in Tribeca. This brand new restaurant comes to us from the team behind Employees Only, and celebrated chef David Waltuck, of Tribeca's Chanterelle. It is a two story space, with dining on the first floor. The second floor looks like an open storage space, but I was told by the hostess, it is decoration. The place actually resembles Employees Only a lot, except it's bigger and has a more Asian feel.
I took a seat at the crowded bar and perused one of the most unique menus I have ever seen. Most of the dishes were offered in either a Chinese or Portugese style, which are the flavors of Macao, an area and cuisine I am not familiar with at all. I was very excited for this new culinary adventure.
The guy sitting next to me had a bowl of ribs that looked great, so I ordered that. The dish was Berkshire Pork Ribs, Portuguese style, braised with olives and prunes ($17). The dish was interesting. The sauce had a sweet and olive flavor to it, (there were in fact olives in the sauce,) and was unlike anything I had ever tasted before. I personally would have preferred some sort of spicy kick to it, but that is just my preference. The meat was tender, and fell off the bones nicely. The dish did not blow my mind, but it was fine.
I also ordered the Chinese style meatballs, which they call Pearl Balls ($8). These were three huge rice balls filled with pork. Again, this was a unique dish for me, and I thought the balls were great! They were actually the perfect complement to my Tsingtao beer.
Luckily for me the gals next to me were full and let me try two of their dishes too! I tried a little bit of their Portugese style meatball, which was a lamb ball filled with cheese ($8), and also one Chinese style shrimp in a crispy wrapper ($9). The meatball was fine, came in a tomato sauce, and the addition of cheese was a nice touch. The shrimp had a great salty flavor to it, which also went well with my beer.
In fact, I think the Macao Trading Co. is the perfect place to come for great drinks, and unique and tasty food. I do not know any other restaurant in NYC serving this type of fare. This is not only a wonderful addition to the Tribeca neighborhood, but to all of New York City.
Macao Trading Co.
311 Church St.
New York, NY 10013