When I told my boyfriend I was going to Macau he asked me, "what could you possibly do there?" Well I could try my luck playing at the casinos but since I don't gamble, the answer was simple: "EAT."
This post is an account of my food adventure with a friend of mine in the tiny peninsula west of Hong Kong.
Chan Kong Kei Casa de Pasto
Dr. P. José Lobo 19, Macau
Margaret's Café e Nata
Edificio Kam Loi,
Rua Almirante Costa Cabral
Right in front of Chan Kong Kei is a small alley that leads to a long line of customers who can't wait to sink their teeth into the best Portuguese egg tart in Macau: Margaret's. No matter what time of day, don't expect the queue to shorten. In fact, it just gets longer and longer so delay you mustn't when you get there.
By a mile.
Milk Top and Danish Bar
In the Senado Square vicinity, we came across Milk Top. It's a dairy bar, serving ice cream and all sorts of milk products. The puddings are packaged in tiny milk bottles that are too adorable to pass upon. Alas, it didn't taste as good as it was packaged. There was something lacking - sweetness, perhaps?
Just in front of Milk Top is the hip Danish Bar, serving Danish pastries. We bought almost all varieties and I found the Black Sesame with Sweet Potato best. I also liked the Chestnut cream balls. Make sure to have the pastries heated, they taste so much better when warm.
Street food in Senado Square
Food and pastry shops abound the streets around Senado Square right up to the ruins of St. Paul's church, and the area gets lively especially at night. A popular snack in Macau is the pork chop bun but unfortunately, the one I had wasn't good at all. The pork chop was so thin I felt like I was just eating a huge chunk of bread. I should've scouted the area first before buying. Lesson learned.
Their lava eggs, however, were so good. The eggs are boiled just the way I like it, then served chilled (almost freezing) and marinated in some sort of soy sauce-sesame oil dressing. I haven't tasted anything like it before - definitely a new gastronomic experience for me. I really enjoyed eating it.
289 Rua do Almirante Sérgio
If there's one restaurant in Macau I would recommend without any hesitation, this would be it. Although it's not centrally located - it's on the southwestern tip of the peninsula, close to the A-Ma Temple - this restaurant will definitely not disappoint anyone. Forget Fernando's.
From Senado Square, it's about a 2.3-km. walk (which was what we did). It wasn't so bad since it was a cool day and we got to see a different side of Macau. We even saw baskets of cod, salted and left to dry along the sidewalk.
The clam soup finally arrived and as a spoonful of broth touched my lips, I nearly fainted. It was absolutely delicious.
The rice burst with different flavors and the sausage in it was good. I nearly chipped a tooth, though, when I had a mouthful of rice - the olives weren't pitted! Okay, forgivable, since I was in some sort of foodie euphoria from all that amazing food. The chicken was moist and very tasty although it didn't do much for me. It was, like, I've tasted it before but still it was very good.
Leitaria I Son
381 Almeida de Ribeiro
Whenever we would pass this dairy shop along Ribeiro, it was always packed. On our last day luck was on our side so we managed to get a table upstairs. Their menu is in Chinese and the wait staff barely speak English so asking about the items on the menu would be useless. Good thing there were photos of their milk pudding so we pointed at the one that had red beans on top, and one that had some sort of thin layer of curdled milk. Our server then asked if we would like our pudding to be hot or cold. Hmmm, I couldn't imagine how a hot milk pudding would taste like and since the temperature that day rose to about 20, cold pudding would be fine. And boy, were we so happy we had the cold ones. They were sublime.
A Side Trip To Hong Kong: Ryo Tei Ramen Shop
15 Hillier St.
We couldn't help ourselves from taking a ferry to Hong Kong during our trip to Macau. Since the boats dock at Sheung Wan, it was the perfect place to eat. I was thinking of bringing my friend to this great dim sum restaurant I wrote about 2 years ago but the place was overflowing with people. We didn't want to waste time queuing up so we took a turn at the first corner and saw this restaurant with a bright orange facade.
It's a ramen house.
I'm not a fan of ramen, you see, but I don't dislike it either. Peering through the window to see what it was like inside - nice, clean interior and best of all, almost no one inside - we decided to eat there.
Ryo Tei serves Fukuoka-style ramen, which has a strong flavor. We had the Tonkotsu ramen, which has a salty soup stock made from pork bone. It was delicious - strong flavors indeed. The noodles were firm, chewy, and tasty as well. I really loved the three generous roast pork slices on my ramen - thick but tender, and very flavorful.
Eating in Sheung Wan is always a delight for me because I get to discover unique food spots such as this ramen shop. From Chinese restaurants that cook live snakes right before your eyes, to some quaint French deli on the next block, or some Australian hot dog joint on the other side of the road, it's really a melting pot of eateries from around the world.