April 27, 2019
With kids in tow, I should be content with staying at our hotel, especially when it was absolutely pouring outside. But after a disastrous dinner at the Parisian Brasserie the previous night, I wanted to take a chance beyond the fake Paris and fake Venice for a change. When the sky began to clear up, we hopped on a taxi to Fei Chai Man (?????) near the old town of Taipa, an eatery apparently so popular that when I tried to spell out the address, my cabbie quipped, “Everyone in Macau knows about Fei Chai Man!”
The tiny place was almost full by the time we arrived shortly after seven; we grabbed the last two tables right next to the entrance. We glossed over most of the signature items such as the mud crab congee, egg noodle, deep-fried corn cob, and carp fish ball. What we did have, the deep-fried salt and pepper tofu was impossibly delicate and crumbled into nothingness the instant it made contact with my teeth.
More unhealthy food followed. Briefly blanched in congee, the pork heart was crunchy without any unpleasant odor or an excessive amount of bloodiness.
Deep-fried food is a can’t-lose choice here. Note how there wasn’t any excess moisture on the dish — the sweet and sour sauce adequately covered the batter without dampening the crispy texture. Underneath the slightly thick batter, the meat was sufficiently succulent while retaining a good chew, a sign that it wasn’t overly-marinated in baking soda.
While a good exhibition of wok hei, the squid and hotbed chives was unfortunately a mixture of rubbery tentacles and unyielding fiber.
A fish more famous for its roe than its flesh, the flathead grey mullet spent too much time in the steamer. Dry like overcooked chicken breast.
The kids feasted on several familiar dishes, from shrimp with scrambled egg to steamed minced pork. Invariably they were all oversalted.
If you fancy rice vermicelli soaked in oil and soy sauce, this is the dish for you.
The bill was $1,050, driven up mainly by the fresh grey mullet. Service was friendly and accommodating. The kitchen has a clear affinity for deep-frying and congee; if we had stuck with its specialties I suspect the quality of the dishes would be more consistent. As its opening time indicates, Fei Chai Man fits the profile of a late-night eatery more than a conventional dinner spot.
Address: Shop I, 460 Avenida Dr. Sun Yat Sen, Vila de Taipa
Opening hours: 17:00 – 3:00