Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Macau 2012 | 10 Must Eat Food & Where to Find Them!

Macau is a food paradise too and the best thing about traveling with fellow foodies is that I got to taste a lot of the local delicacies :) Ahhh such fond memories! There's too many to write about so to make things easier, I've compiled a short list of the 10 must-eat food in Macau! It's in no particular order, but comes highly recommended by me!

1. Dry shrimp roe noodles {蝦子麵}

This might be my favourite dish of the whole trip. The chewy wonton noodles are handmade from wheat flour and topped with a salty shrimp roe. Such little balls of joy! We tried the ones at the famous Cheong Kei {祥记} and Wong Chi Kei {黄枝記} restaurants but I prefer the dry shrimp roe noodles {shown above} at the latter store. The serving is bigger and the paste is not as "dry".

2. Portuguese egg tarts {Pastéis de nata}

This is one dish where if you haven't eaten it, it's like you've not been to Macau! The Portuguese egg tarts are pastry tarts filled with creamy egg custards and baked. The egg custard fillings taste a lot like crème brûlée. There are a lot of shops selling Portuguese egg tarts in Macau but the best will be found at Lord Stow's Bakery {安德魯葡塔} at Coloane Island, and Margaret's Cafe {马嘉烈葡挞店} at the Macau Island, just 10 minutes walk from Senado Square.

It's hard to compare and say which one is better, because both are just as good!! Probably because the owners of both bakeries used to be married! ;p If you want to eat Portuguese egg tarts in Singapore but can't travel to Macau, get them at our local KFC! They actually got the recipe from Margaret's Cafe.

If you want to try something less sweet and eggy, but more luxurious, bite into the delectable bird's nest egg tarts! It's extremely creamy and I think they use just the egg white to give it the pristine white look. One of the rare places you can eat these tarts is at Sam Hou Lei {新好利咖啡饼店} in Taipa Island.

3. Almond cookies {杏仁餅}

These slightly salty snacks are one of Macau's most popular specialty products and come in a lot of variations like with whole almonds, seaweed, sesame seeds etc. The good ones are soft and melt in your mouth. Almond cookies are found in almost all bakeries and are good souvenirs to bring back home for families and friends! Koh Kei {鉅記} is a great place to get all your food souvenirs in one place and it's found all over Macau with 14 branches.

4. Fresh Crab Congee

Ruilong ate this at Wong Chi Kei {黄枝記} and I had spoonfuls of it. Gosh, if I wasn't that full from my plate of dry shrimp roe noodles I would have definitely ordered a bowl of this! The congee is smooth and has a full flavour of seafood. You even get a whole small crab in that bowl!

5. Deep-Fried Bean Curd with Chilli & Salt / Prime-Cut Iberico BBQ Pork / Deep-Fried Fine de Claire Oyster

The deep-fried items were fried so that the outside was crispy, while the insides remained soft. The precious black pork is imported from Portugal and was extremely tender. We had these delightful trio at the newly opened Jade Dragon {誉珑轩} restaurant in the City of Dreams. It is a exquisite fine dining Chinese restaurant and you must go there to try out their other delicious oriental dishes like Hot & Sour Soup with Hairy Crabmeat, Steamed Green Garoupa with Egg White in "Hua Diao" Wine Sauce and Lychee Wood Roasted Goose. The head chef at this restaurant is the renowned Michelin Chef Tam Kwok Fung. 

6. Walnut Paste {合桃糊}

This is a creamy paste made from walnuts and filled with gingko nuts. I ate this at the famous Loja de Doces Hang Heong Un {杏香園} and you can order it as a hot or cold dessert. I prefer cold Chinese desserts and it was very refreshing in the hot Macau heat!

Another dessert I would recommend is the steamed milk puddings from Yee Shun Milk Company {義順牛奶公司}. I tried it during our recent Hong Kong trip but the well-established dessert store actually originated in Macau. You can eat the smooth milk puddings plain, with red beans, with gingko nuts or even with ginger! Be warned that the one with ginger juice is slightly strong though.

7. Pork buns {豬扒包}

Best eaten hot, these are big succulent grilled pork chops sandwiched between crispy buns. They are so yummy and taste so good even without any added sauces or condiments! The best place to eat this would be at Tai Lei Loi Kei, Taipa Island. It is a small shop but there is always a long queue for these juicy babies. It used to have a cafe but now only sells the pork buns that are freshly-made daily as take-away items. Tai Lei Loi Kei opens at 2 or 3pm until the buns are sold out.

8. Portuguese Duck Rice {葡式鸭饭}

It's a delicious plate of oven-baked rice cooked with tender duck meat in duck broth. I love the rich flavour of this dish and it reminds me a lot of eating rice soaked in mum's home-cooked soup. A very comforting and homely meal. You can try this in O'Manuel Portuguese Restaurant in Taipa, a well-known restaurant selling scrumptious Portuguese cooking in a warm family setting. 

9. Fried Bacalhau Balls {Bolinhos de bacalhau}

These are golden deep-fried balls of dried codfish imported from Portugal and potato. It is one of Macau's most famous Portuguese dish and a signature of O'Manuel Portuguese Restaurant. I think it tastes a lot like Japanese corokke {コロッケ} snacks, which are deep-fried potatoe with various fillings like cheese, beef, curry, fish etc.

10. Serradura {Macau Sawdust Pudding}

I'll end my 10 things you must eat in Macau on a sweet note with the Serradura, which is a beautiful dessert layered with either ice cream or cream {white part} and finely crushed biscuit crumbs {brown part}. It has a slightly sweet, nutty taste and kind of reminds me of tiramisu. It is available at most dessert shops in Macau. I miss this dessert a lot and am definitely going to try and make this at home!

Read more on my Macau travels here.

* Disclosure: The Surprising Moments in Macau trip was sponsored by Macau Government Tourist Office, thanks to omy.sg. No monetary compensation was received, and all opinions are my own. All photos taken with Panasonic GF5.



workingwomenaus said...

Oh this has made my mouth water! I'm such a foodie and love trying new things.

Yvette Bowyer said...


Ohhhh I am in macau heaven... I want to go.. I told hubby we should go...

*sigh* will be going when kids are a lil older...

Lucky thing you!

#teamIBOT was here to say hello!

Geraldine said...

Ai, you are making me hungry early in the morning! No wonder KFC Portuguese egg tarts are good, didn't know they got their recipe from there.

Grace said...

Oh, you're so naughty posting this! My mouth is watering like mad now!
I'll have a plate of the dry shrimp noodles and then the Portuguese Duck Rice, followed by a couple of those yummy Egg tarts. Thanks :) x

mag said...

i am now missing HKG a lot more thanks to u!! hahaa I'll make it a must drop by at Macau after reading your blog. =]

mag at www.modgam.com

Ai Sakura said...

Workingwomenaus: It's been a week and I'm still thinking of the food!

Yvette: yeah will be a nice trip for you and the kids :) Go when it's a cooler weather though!

Geraldine: I just found out this trip too haha

Grace: I was thinking of you as I wrote this ;p

mag: you should since it's so near HK heh

EssentiallyJess said...

Yeah... that trip would have been totally wasted on me!
Glad you enjoyed it though! ;)

♥.Trish.♥ Drumboys said...

Such interesting foods Ai - I'd love to try some of them.

Miss Tam Chiak said...

i wanna try the shrimp roe noodles! the last time i went macau, i only had the pork bun and egg tarts! :(

Oliveoylz said...

Missing the pork buns....oh so yummy! Would love to try the fresh crab congee, just reading your description of it makes me want to taste it!!!

Cafe said...

Love it.. Really my mouth is watering :)