My recent trip to Macau was nothing short of memorable, even though we stayed one night here. It had probably been over five years since I was last here. Nothing much has changed except for more casinos newer shopping complexes lined with both luxury brands and your normal day to day brands.
As you know Macau was a former Portuguese colony which was returned back to China in 1999. Macau can be divided into three main areas – Macau Peninsular, Taipa and Coloane, all of which are connected by bridges and is only a short ferry ride from Hong Kong.
Getting around Macau is easier than before, as some of the casino hotels provide free shuttles around Macau including the ferry terminal, which is a good draw card for the thousands who come to to gamble and to experience the wonderful foods that Macau has to offer.
I have divided the must eat places into these three regions.
Tai Lei Loi Kei
Tai Lei Loi Kei is famous for its pork chop bun, the winning combination of a crisp, hearty, freshly baked plain bun or a pineapple bun, together with a tender and juicy pork chop, makes a truly scrumptious snack. No sauce, no vegetables, no cheese, no eggs.
The shop itself is small and simple with a couple of stand up tables inside. I was expecting a long queue of people, but lucky for us there was no queue.
We placed our orders and in a few seconds the pork chop bun was ready. Mind you there is nothing to it. Just putting the pork chop into the bun and stuffing it into a paper bag.
In all fairness, the bun itself is pan fried till crispy on the outside and soft on the inside with a buttery taste and the piece of pork chop was thick, tender and has a rich flavorful taste. There is not much fat in the pork and I heard one of it’s secret ingredient use for marination is Brandy. Overall, it does taste pretty good however, being without sauce also means that the whole bun is really very dry
Lord Stow’s Bakery
The name Lord Stow’s has become synonymous with the best Portuguese egg tarts in Macau. A buttery flaky pastry shell with a rich custard filling, Macau’s version differs from most egg tarts sold elsewhere.
It is recommend eating steaming hot egg tarts straight from the ovens of Lord Stow’s Bakery, as they taste nicer when piping hot.
Next up, also inside The Venetian is another Macau must try. In fact it is my no.1 favourite of all Macau food and it is none other than the Portuguese egg tarts! There are two very renowned cafes for Portuguese egg tarts in Macau; notably the Lord Stow’s Bakery and Margaret’s Cafe E Nata. Our first and also the one one located closest to where were were staying was in the Venetian, being Lord Stow’s Portuguese egg tarts. They have several franchises all over Macau mostly at Coloane but it is really inconvenient to go all the way to Coloane, hence having a branch there at the Venetian is definitely ideal. Situated beside the canal, it can get a little challenging locating Lord Stow as it is located pretty hidden at the back of the shops and to my dismay, most of the staff at the Venetian (or at least those that we came across) do not even know where is it. To be exact it is located at Mask Street and really near to where you go down to the centre of the casino from the mall. The cafe setting is really comfortable being those European style cafe and being beside the canal means you can enjoy the canal view while enjoying the delicious egg tarts.
Tried and tested by millions of people, Stow even has franchises outside of Macau and is recommended by possibly every guidebook on Macau. The hot tarts have a delicious butter crusts that crumble upon first bite and the egg custard has a smooth creamy consistency.
These egg tarts are a must eat food in Macau, so do not forget to try one before you leave or else you will regret it.
Location: Venetian Hotel, 2119a, Level 3, Shoppes Grand Canal, Macau
San Hau Lei
To be precise, they specialise in a bird’s nest Portuguese egg tarts. As you may know, bird’s nest is tasteles, which is usually consumed in soup, but this seem like a novelty that you certainly can not get in most places, so it was on our must try list.
San Hau Lei dishes up a variety of egg tarts which include: the regular egg tarts , coconut milk egg tarts are delish, and the crust is more flaky-buttery pastry than crumbly shortcrust base. The coconut milk version is interesting, but if you’re strict about authentic Po tarts, go with the egg tarts without the fancy dress.
Freshly baked from oven, their fillings of the bird’s nest egg tarts are lighter in colour and you can see traces of bird’s nest texture on the surface. It is less eggy and not as sweet as the Portuguese egg tart. However they are still worth a try.
I was not feeling awfully hungry at the time, so not have the opportunity to taste the other food on their menu. If you are looking for something different or a different flavoured egg tart that you know you wont get back home, then make a stop at San Hou Lei for these wonderful bird’s nest egg tarts.
Address: 13－14 Rua do Cunha, Macau
Seng Cheong’s signature dish is the water crab porridge. Since I love congee and crab, there was no better place to take our breakfast than here.
The interior was simple, with white round tables, and plastic stools and a thin plastic sheeting drapped over the tables.
We ordered a small portion of the crab congee which was enough for 2 persons. The Crab Porridge is sweet and silky smooth, bursting with creamy crab roe where each mouthful was worth savouring. The golden yellow hue, and bits of crab roe and the crab meat was flavoursome.
Address : 28-30 Rua da Cunha, Taipa Island, Macau,
Wong Chi Kee
Macau boasts a wide variety of good food e.g. egg tarts, pastry snacks. Cantonese noodles is another one of Macau’s specialty. Conveniently located at Senado Square (議事亭前地), the Wong Chi Kei Noodle and Congee Restaurant (黄枝記) is one of the must-go place for Cantonese bamboo noodles.
Wong Chi Kei is a three storey noodle and congee house that has been around since 1946. You can read about Wong Chi Kee’s history on the menu.
Pork and Shrimp Wontons in Soup – Each of the dumpling was filled with mince pork and large clumps of prawns held together in a very thin, soft and translucent skin. The dumplings were juicy and well seasoned.
Dry Shrimp Roe Noodle – It was dryer than I was anticipating. It was literally cooked noodles with a generous serving of dry shrimp roe without any sauce. I had to made to with the soy sauce that was sitting on the table. I found the noodles to be cooked to al dente and fairly springy. This simple dish brings mouthful of savoury delights.
Location: 17 Largo do Seal Senado, Macau
Margaret Cafe e Nata ( 玛嘉烈蛋挞 )
Margaret’s also sell other snack food items aswell as their Portuguese egg tarts if you interested in getting a meal at the same time.
I found Margaret’s Portuguese egg tarts to be slightly sweeter with a thicker pastry than that of Lord Stow’s egg tarts. However you do you get a chance to try, I would recommend it.
Location: 17a Rua Alm Costa Cabral, Avenida de Almeida Ribeiro, Macau
Chan Kong Kei
With more than 50 years of experience serving one of Macau best roast duck, marinated in special home made black pepper sauce.
It’s distinct flavour and the juiciness of the meat immediately distance itself among other ordinary roast duck you get in Hong Kong or at your local Chinese restaurant.
We ordered half a duck to take away as were were not very hungry, but as usual if I did not get it now, I would regret it. As soon as we got back to the hotel we decided to give it a try. OMG. The duck was out of the this world. Juicy, very tasty and tender. What more could I have asked for. and to top it off it was relatively lean.
Definitely recommend this place if you are looking for a delicious roast duck that tastes slightly different.
Location: 19 Rua Do Dr. Pedro Jose Lobo, Macau
Koi Kei Bakery
Koi Kei Bakery is a famous Macau bakery in which you can find many outlets throughout Macau. Each stores stock an extensive selection of snacks, cookies, pastries and other confectionery products which you can sample for free. If you do your rounds you could possible get a decent meal out of it. Almost all tourists will visit at least one of these stores and leave with big bags of goodies. We were of no exception.
Location: Everywhere in Macau, you can not miss these outlets, as they are on every street, sometimes several stores on the one street.