One man is single-handedly buying up all the decrypted colonial homes in Taipa village, and converting them into fine restaurants and bars. And it's exactly what this newly glam city of steel, black glass and marble needs: a bit of old world charm. Antonio Neves Coelho, a man of many merits and charms (married three times and counting), enjoys his life (restaurateur four times and counting). In the kitchen he does a mean gambas ao alhinho (that's shrimp with a head of crushed garlic, $85), ovos Mexidos com espargos verdes e chourico (salty scrambled eggs, pork sausages and asparagus) that works really well alone or on warm bread rolls ($75). And a must have: Queijo de carbra gratinado, temperado com azeite e mel, servido em pao torrado com alface e vinagre balsamico (goat's cheese gratin with honey over carob toast, $105), as well as being a mouthful, it is incredibly addictive. The acidic goat cheese was smoothed with a lacquer of honey. This combination on toast was the perfect starter. Our main, Arroz de Marisco 'Antonio' servido em tacho de barro (Antonio's seafood rice for two, $310) came out like wet paella, a broth brimming with prawns, clams, scallops, mussels and ample monkfish. Point of note: the spice levels are adjusted by your nationality. When waiters take your order, a box is ticked to indicate your ethnicity. Salty if the customer is Portuguese, no salt if Japanese, spicy if Chinese, and 'for expats, I always serve them fish and chips,' says Antonio. Ours came out salty and spicy. It was served in a pretty copper pan from the chef's hometown, as is every other item on the menu. Alan Wong Meal for two: around $600.
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