Macau, as a former Portuguese colony in the past, had many families with intercultural marriages. It was known that in those families, a Chinese wife always tried to cook Portuguese dishes for her Portuguese husband. However, due to the fact that many authentic Portuguese ingredients could not be found in Macau at that time, the Chinese wife would replace some Portuguese elements with Chinese ingredients. As a result, a fusion cuisine was created, and it was not only about mixing Chinese and Portuguese characteristics together. Africans, Malaccan, and Indian culture also influenced Macanese cuisine.
As a Macanese myself with a Shanghaiese father and a Portuguese mother, I experienced the Macanese culture first-hand and know exactly how the traditional Macanese dishes should taste. There are not many
chefs in Macau who are familiar with cooking Macanese cuisine, but in my opinion, Temptations at Starworld Hotel is one of the very few restaurants that provides high quality Macanese dishes with an elegant interior.
Renowned for its superb Continental cuisines, Temptations has employed a European garden theme for its interior design. The gentle yet striking vine lighting installation in the center of the room gives an elegant touch to the restaurant. The birdcage-shaped surrounds for the dining tables not only features a host of mouth-watering delicacies, but also provides a more intimate and relaxed atmosphere to the guests. To ensure a perfect dining experience, Temptations pays attention to every single detail. From the exquisite flower-patterned tableware to the birdcage-shaped decorations on the dessert plates, all the details are reminiscent of the European gardens. In addition to having an incredible interior, the chef at Temptations is extremely passionate about Macanese cuisine.
“I am very close with my aunties who are Macanese and they taught me a lot about the Macanese culture and Macanese cuisine. First of all, you have got to stick with tradition, not changing the recipe. Natural ingredients are also very important,” says Chef Joe Chan Executive Chef of Starworld Hotel.
With more than 30 years of culinary experience in Continental cuisines, Chef Joe he has prepared banquets for many celebrities and politicians such as Luís Figo, former captain of the Portuguese national football team, and several Governors of Macau. Under his supervision, Temptations’ menu includes very authentic Macanese dishes such as African chicken with a rich and creamy source, and the irresistible traditional Portuguese seafood rice with tempting aroma, look and taste, not too dry and not too watery. The texture of the rice is indeed just right.
According to Chef Joe, one must not use Italian olive oil for any Macanese dishes or Portuguese dishes. “If you put Italian olive oil on a caldo verde, you will ruin the soup, because it will not have the green taste that it is supposed to have. That is why you don’t see Italian or French chefs cooking Macanese dishes. They just don’t understand the culture. Macanese cuisine is not about luxury and refinement. It’s authentic home cooking,” Chef Joe explains.
For one of his Macanese creations, the roasted suckling pig, Chef Joe even designed a specific plate with patterns that look like tiles on an old Macanese building to go with the food. “Now you can tell. I really go above and beyond in preserving the Macanese culture,” he declares proudly.

Categories Taste of Edesia