2, 500 HK $ – thats how much i won this New Year gambling in Macau. Not bad ‘eh …. wait till u hear how much my hubby made … 7000 HK $ !!! Oh yes, we started the year with a bang. We gamble once a year … usually on new years just to test the water and see what the new year has in store for us. We’ve been to Vegas and now to Macau and trust me when i say … Macau is the new Las Vegas of the east. It is a former Portuguese colony, which was handed over to the Chinese govt in 1999 . Its an hour away from Hong Kong by ferry. A gambling mecca from the Portuguese times, it has attracted gamblers from all over the east for decades. Now a planned city, with big casinos like Venetian, MGM, Wynn, Sands …. i mean all the works …. this city is booming with tourism. Macau’s annual gambling revenue has already surpassed that of Vegas.
The pictures below are that of Macau’s Fishermans Wharf, it is the first of its kind theme park in Macau, a place you should never miss if you planning to come visit. It offers live music shows, nightly explosions of the complexes 40-meter-high volcano, war games, daily jet-ski stunt shows, beautiful monuments and artificial vintage towns, shopping and eating. There are actually three major themes: Dynasty Wharf, East Meets West and Legend Wharf. Each one better than the next.
Macau is a paradise for gourmands. It would be hard to find another city with such an abundance of restaurants with so many different types of cuisine ranging from that of China’s Guangdong Province to Portuguese, Thai, Korean, Japanese, Vietnam, Indian, American, African as well as other western countries. Among all these wonderful restaurants, there is one that stands out most.
” Restaurante Solmar ” !
Established more than 40 years ago this Portuguese restaurant, is historical and famous for its elegant Portuguese cuisine. In the early 60’s, Solmar served only customers from upper class in private membership basis. Its food was so famous that the members used to smuggle the food out for their non member friends to taste. And then after public outcry to the government the restaurant was opened to public. And how i thank God for that. We went there the first time as it was highly recommended by our friends, and tried their famous African chicken. This dish remains popular in the Portuguese colony of Macau. It shows the influences of Portugal on Asian cooking, most notably by their introducing ingredients like peppers and peanuts as they travelled from Africa to Asia. Macau was for centuries a place where East met West, and that is reflected in the cooking there to this day. This particular Solmar’s African Chicken recipe is a very well guarded secret by the chef and u may find many versions of this on the net, but nothing comes close to it. I have tried to re create the dish, according to what i think comes closest to the real thing. Hope you like it.
- 1 whole chicken jointed and cut into 8 pieces
- 1 cup chopped onions
- 1 cup chopped garlic ( don’t be scared … its not strong… the intense flavours of garlic sweeten as it cooks )
- 1 1/2 cup chopped tomatoes
- 3 scotch bonnet red chillis chopped ( or more if u like it very hot )
- 1 tablespoon peanut butter
- 1 tablespoon Koon Yick Wak Kee curry powder ( a fragrant ainseedy pd found in Chinese stores) or alternately use 1 tsp 5 spice powder
- 2 potatoes peeled and cut into 4 pieces each
- salt to taste
- 1 tbsp olive oil
In a big saucepan, heat the olive oil and sweat the garlic, onion and chilli till soft – about 5 -6 mins. Add the tomatoes and salt and stir till they have broken down and disintegrated forming a sauce. Add the peanut butter and curry powder and give it a good stir. Now remove some of this sauce and set aside for later to serve with the chicken. In the remaining sauce in the saucepan add the chicken and potatoes and mix everything well together, add in a splash of water if it looks to dry and cover it and let it simmer on low heat for an hour. Now just serve with lightly toasted warm french loaf and some lime, and don’t forget that extra sauce u removed. The potatoes in this dish are always way tastier than the chicken itself , and usually we all fight over them. Yet u should never add to many to the dish or they ‘ll soak all the flavour up.
… So now i have two posts with chicken and potatoes in a row 😀