Here’s another place to go if you long for some good old fashion proper cafe or as we would call it … “Western” food while at Taipa, the artificial, mostly casino filled island of Macao – the restaurant by the name of Common Table.
Common Table, Macao
Common Table is one of the more spacious cafes you can find in Macao, partly because it is located in the newer part of the country on Taipa. The interior decor is a mix of industrial cement walls with tasteful wooden furniture.
The menu here is pretty extensive (find the full menu below)
Starting off with breakfast that’s served from 8 am to 5 pm, you’ll find French toast, egg benedict, various type of walnut toasts, scramble eggs, muesli, or waffles. Prices are from 48 to 78 MOP.
Taipa Salad, Forest Mushroom Risotto, Latte
For those who likes it green, they have four different salads on the menu at 78 or 88 MOP. We tried the Taipa Salad with Avocado and Balsamic Vinaigrette (88 MOP), it came with generous amount of greens and half an avocado with really thick vinaigrette which I thought was quite nice.
If you are hungry for a proper meal instead, they do serve some proper Italian dishes, with several choices of pasta, risotto, and even ox tongue. I tried the Forest Mushroom Risotto (88 MOP) from the recommendation of the waitress and thought it was quite a competent dish. The rice was cooked al dante and properly coated with butter/cheese. Rich and satisfying.
Forest Mushroom Risotto
As for drinks, Common Table serves the usual espresso based caffeinated drinks, as well as a good selection of organic blend full-leaf tea. If those aren’t your cup of.. tea, there’s always lemon soda, juices, or even fresh milk.
My traveling buddy while at Macao is someone whose diet consists of a heavy dosage of avocado, so after a great many days of subjecting herself to the local diet which has none of this “butter fruit” (as locals call it), we embarked in a mission to find one.
Which is how I ended up at Cafe TOFF.
TOFF is situated just a stone’s throw away from Lou Lim Ioc Garden, a public garden with a beautiful lotus lake that’s worthy of visit. If you’re there and have visited enough churches, why not?
The restaurant, like many other in Macau, is pretty diminutive in size, capable of serving perhaps two dozen customers snugly at any one time. Lucky for us, it was quite empty at 1pm or so on a Monday.
cozy interior inside TOFF
The menu though, is rather comprehensive (see below). They have a decent selection of espresso based coffee from latte, long black, to mocha, and even Marnier mocha, which comes with alcohol. Each cup costs between 28 to 50 MOP.
There’s also a selection of tea if that’s what you fancy.
breakfasts with coffee
As for food, there’s a dozen different types of salad and sandwiches, some with interesting ingredients like parma ham, squid and shrimp, Okinawa pork slices, or even shrimps and avocado. They’re priced between 50 to 68 MOP.
For our brunch, we went with the Big Breakfast (118 MOP) and Toff Veggie Breakfast (108 MOP), each comes with a black coffee or latte, and a selection of different ingredients to choose from.
TOFF Veggie Breakfast & TOFF All Day Breakfast
Overall the food were pretty competent, and coffee did tastes like any good coffee would. It is a Western breakfast that would make it pretty much anywhere, except when it’s in Macau, you do pay Macau prices. Cute place though, certainly would not mind visiting again
Several weeks ago I braved the rush hour traffic and got myself to Changkat Bukit Bintang, a place I wouldn’t normally go during rush hours thanks to the horrible traffic situation and exuberant parking fees. That night, however, I had an invitation from Racks Bar & Baby Backs for a food review session.
More importantly, there was promise of good pork, and a lot of them.
Racks at Changkat Bukit Bintang
The setup at Racks is much like many other bars and eateries at Changkat Bukit Bintang – hip interior, a bar stocked full of all sorts of alcohol, alfresco as well as airconditioned dining area, and decorated by expatriate diners.
If the decoration of this place brings a sense of deja vu to you, it was probably because Racks is run by Paul James, the guy who is also behindThe Magnificent Fish and Chips just a few doors down.
pigs in blanket, oyster with ham, peaches and parma ham
Anyway, lets look at the food.
We started out of course, with some pork laden appetizers. Pigs in blanket (meat in prosciutto, RM 24), oyster with ham (seafood in prosciutto, RM 32), and peaches with parma ham (peaches n parma RM 22).
All three involves parma ham, and all delicious in its own way. My favorite was naturally, the raw oyster which carries a punch with those pepper. The combination with the saltiness of parma, hotness of paper, and freshness of oyster worked well. Beats oyster with lemon anytime.
cold cuts platter
This cold cuts platter promises plenty of meat with jam, in house mustards, pickles, and freshly baked bread for the price of RM 54. The dish reminds me of the cold cuts I had at El Meson in Bangsar, but instead of the more common winter melon, the pairing of jam, mustard, pickles, and bread makes for very good light meal with beer.
molotov shooters, a happy Huai Bin, and “illusions”
Then the alcohol came out.
There were more Molotov shooters (a dozen for RM 200) than there were people on the same table, bad idea. This stuff was very potent and of course I only had one, Huai Bin, Horng, Michael, and Gareth were there to make sure nothing is going to waste.
We also had a rack of Illusion, a mixture of Midori melon, pineapple juice, and vodka. I actually find this quite tasty, a taste of festivity, almost.
Rack’s Big Bad Sandwich, Asparagus under prosciutto
The last of appetizer was aspagarus under prosciutto (RM 22), a pretty common combination. I often make bacon & asparagus, but parma ham makes an even better combination, and perhaps slightly healthier.
The main courses came next, we first tried Rack’s Big BAD Sandwich (RM 26) – BAD stands for back bacon, avocado, and dried tomato. I’ve never had sandwich with avocado, but the mixture actually works, the buttery taste of avocado goes well with savory bacon and the acidity from dried tomato.
pork burger, pulled pork burger, and hot & spicy pork ribs
Then there’s the standard pork burger (RM 28) with smoked back bacon, pork patty, dried tomato, smoked bacon, and even ahem, vegetable. This was as delicious as it was difficult to eat. Prepare to make a splendid mess.
Pulled pork burger (RM 28) might be a Boston’s favorite, but it doesn’t work with me. I’m not a big fan of the drier texture on the meat, but your mileage might vary.
marmalade sweet and spicy pork ribs
Then there were of course, the ribs, after all ,this place is called Racks Bar & Baby Back for a reason.
There’s the more typical hot & spicy ribs, and then there’s the marmalade sweet & spicy pork ribs (RM 52 full rack, RM 32 half rack).
I wasn’t too crazy over the coleslaw, but the ribs were fantastic! Absolutely full of flavor and the meat falls off the bones easier than skimpy cloths from Las Vegas strippers. You gotta try this for yourself, if you think the photo of the ribs look good, it tastes at least twice as well!
the hungry diners, and the 3 friendly servers at Racks
And just like The Magnificent Fish and Chips, this outlet is another one worth visiting at Changkat. The food is good, prices are in line with other restaurants at the area, and services are commendable too.
It was a good night with great company, and bless those pigs too, they were delicious.
Address: Racks Bar & Baby Backs, 18-1, Changkat Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur GPS: 3.147581, 101.707934 Tel: 03-2110 1550