Bar Eats: Macao Trading Co.
While many bar kitchens start closing down after midnight, Macao keeps theirs going with a dedicated late night menu that runs until 3:30 a.m., ensuring Tribeca revelers the chance to fill their bellies with Eurasian fare before wandering home at sunrise.
The late night menu culls some dishes from the main dinner menu, including Kale & Bacalhau Salad ($13), a bright salad with kale, tomatoes and cucumbers dressed in a light peppercorn-Parmesan dressing. Although bacalhau typically refers to salted codfish (similar to Italian bacalao), in this salad the fresh fish was uncooked and unsalted—a tasty and unexpected surprise.
Other dishes on the late night menu reference classic Macanese dishes, including the popular Pork Chop Bun ($12), a typical street snack involving nothing more than a fried pork chop (often bone-in) and a fluffy bun. Macao's version features a slab of pork (also bone-in) that is juicy but slightly too thick for the sandwich. The concoction is unwieldy, but the chewy pretzel bun and accompanying salted egg yolk dip is a great update to this classic.
Crispy African Chicken Bites ($9), on the other hand, are a misnomer. The dish references the famous Macanese Galinha à Africana, chicken that is baked in a spicy chunky sauce with piri-piri chilies, five-spice powder, coconut milk, and peanut butter—all influences from Portuguese trading posts. Macao's version is essentially fried chicken nuggets with spicy mustard and vegetable and herb garnishes; it's not a bad dish, but not as good or exciting as the original.
Lastly, remember to save room for the Malasadas ($7), two Portuguese-style doughnuts filled with vanilla custard and dusted in sugar. The texture is not fluffy as a typical doughnut, but more crispy, a perfect foil to the sweet eggy custard inside.
Macao Trading Co.
311 Church St., New York, NY 10013 (map)
About the author: Nancy Huang, who comes to New York by way of Los Angeles, writes The Wanderist, a food and travel blog of adventures here and abroad. She loves noodles, subway maps, and word games.