Xp Bonaire IslandLife Feature Story
Maçaroca, a stylish Portuguese restaurant, has made its mark on the culinary scene. And it's no surprise, considering the familiar owners, Juan da Sousa and his wife, Janeth, who have earned acclaim with their other establishment, Cést la Vie, located in the South pier shopping mall. It seems like Juan can work wonders as he transformed the Hilltop restaurant (Caribbean Club) into this gem in just three months. Situated at the end of Sabadeco, just before the Oil Slick Leap dive site, Maçaroca is a hidden gem worth discovering.
Upon arrival, you can use the entrance next to the pizzeria. However, it's worth noting that there's a cattle grid there which may pose a challenge for those donning beautiful festive shoes. If you're arriving by car from the city center, take the path to the right towards El Pueblo, where you can park on the left side and enter the restaurant through the artist Fred Ros' exhibition. Fred Ros showcases his Trippin' Tuna project in the hall, adding a unique touch to the overall experience.
Stepping inside the restaurant, you'll immediately notice the ample staff present, including the proud and hardworking owners, Juan and Janeth. With 60 seats, a large bar, and a separate lounge area for smokers, Maçaroca offers a spacious and inviting setting.
The menus are a true reflection of Portuguese style, creatively adorned with old photos of Juan's family, whose roots lie in corn cultivation. The name "Maçaroca" itself means "corn cob" or corn head, as it was his family's nickname. Though the history is fascinating, the real star of the show is the food. Notably, the wine list goes beyond the average, and we opted for a delightful bottle of Odelouca, a Portuguese full-bodied red blended wine.
For a true culinary adventure, we entrusted Juan with our dining experience, and he certainly delivered. Starting with Tábua Ibérica de Presuntos e Queijos, a tantalizing platter of cold meats and cheeses, accompanied by homemade hummus and grilled tiger shrimps with lime-parsley butter, our taste buds were already dancing with excitement.
As for the main courses, we savored a mouthwatering 300g USA striploin beef skewer, expertly prepared on charcoal and marinated Madeira style and served at a hanging skewer construction at your table. The tender and flavorful deep-fried octopus tentacles with tomato rice further impressed our palates.
After our sumptuous meal, we took a moment to explore the restaurant, including the beautiful new kitchen, which showcased the attention to detail evident throughout the establishment. Juan and Janeth's pride in their creation was truly justified.
To round off our dining experience, we indulged in the delightful desserts - Portuguese "flan" and homemade bread pudding with fruit and vanilla ice cream. Every crumb was savored. The bartender added a final touch with a perfectly executed Irish coffee, made with unsweetened cold cream and Jameson Whisky.
In conclusion, Maçaroca proved to be a hidden gem, tucked away from the bustling restaurants, but standing out with its exceptional food and charming ambiance. We wholeheartedly recommend it for a memorable dining experience that offers great value for money. Juan and Janeth have truly created something special with Maçaroca, making it a must-visit destination for food enthusiasts and anyone seeking a delightful culinary adventure.
Santa Barbara #50
Phone: 717 1888
Open Tuesday – Sunday
5:30 PM - 9:00 PM