As a steady lunch crowd filled the restaurant downstairs, Alves brought me to her third-floor private dining room and gave me a crash course on the home-cooked dishes of her youth. Alves’s take on minchi had pork marinated with three soy sauces, pan-fried in olive oil—a Portuguese touch—cooked to caramelized crispness, then served on shoestring and cubed potatoes, and topped with a sunny-side-up egg. There was tacho—a generous winter stew of chicken, cabbage, salted duck leg, Chinese lap cheung sausage, jiggly hunks of pork knuckle, skin, and beef brisket. The broth tasted of its color, gold. Roasted chicken, deeply marinated in a garlic-and-pimento rub, had been perched upon a bed of Moorish-style rice with sultanas, hard-boiled eggs, and crispy shallots. But her pièce de résistance was the capela (“chapel” in Portuguese), a meatloaf meant to resemble—if you squint your eyes—the top of a church dome. It was a combination of pork, chouriço sausage, olives, bread, and character,” said Alves as we dug into serradura, a local cream dessert topped with crumbled cookies meant to resemble sawdust. “When the people lose their identity and culture, they are empty, like a body with no soul.” Money means convenience, and in Macau, virtually any food is one phone call away—sushi, pad thai, burgers, pastas, anything.