Food | Beauty in Simplicity

toe2101Residents of Macau are often bombarded with choices when it comes to dining options. More often than not, there are the street foods, and then there are the Michelin-starred
restaurants. Those of us who are looking for something in between these two categories, such as simple, western-
style comfort food, usually have to frequent cafés located inside various hotel properties. To be honest, the menus of these hotel cafés really do get boring after a while.
There is one local café in town that serves high quality meals with an added bonus; you would be surprised that the items on their menu do not cost an arm and a leg. Located on Rua Central, just steps away from the hustle and bustle of Almeida Ribeiro, IES (I ESPRESSO) café can be easily recognized by its rustic, minimalist design. It is, first and foremost, mainly established for classicists, discerning individuals who are, for example, fond of a well-prepared spaghetti Bolognese or mixed greens with Parma ham.
As a food writer, I believe that a “well-
prepared” dish has to have several basic elements, which include, but not limited to, featuring exceptionally fresh ingredients, offering interesting texture, appropriately seasoned, served at the right temperature, and beautifully presented. Affordable as they are, it is a miracle that all the dishes at IES meet the criteria.
If the sight of the café’s perfectly roasted chicken next to a bed of sumptuous vegetables or the smooth, crunching sound of lettuce from a tantalizingly fresh Cesar salad in between the teeth is not enough to make your mouth water, you are a hopeless human being. But then, there are also these desserts at the casual dining venue, which might just blow your mind away.
Recently, my taste buds have been hopelessly seduced by an Earl Grey cake available at the restaurant. Although not colorful or overly fancy, the tea sprinkled, airy soft sponge cake with thin layers of silky cream in between complements a cup of warm latte wondrously for a luscious afternoon experience. Another devilish delight is the green tea panna cotta, an opulent cup of fluffy, milky rich cream that melts elegantly in the mouth, imparting a complex, vegetal taste with an alluring sweetness that lingers on the palate.
It is evident that the chefs at IES have put in a lot of time to create an impressive seasonal menu with classic dishes and healthy choices. Although simple dishes look like they can be easily prepared, it is difficult to get it right with the elements that I have mentioned before. As the French writer George Sand said, “Simplicity is the most difficult thing to secure in this world; it is the last limit of experience and the last effort of genius.” It is truly admirable that someone has indeed made an effort and got it right.

Categories Taste of Edesia