To say that Macau is all about Casinos and hotels would be a vast understatement. Long before the blinking lights and polished floors that draws millions of visitors that is generating folds of revenue so much more than Las Vegas each year, Macao was no more than just a trading port rented to the Portugal. Today, we see Macao in being massive with reclaimed land and renown for the glam and shiny high rises, baccarat, and other signs of modern life. The Historic Centre of Macau, which is entirely in the Macau Peninsula, became a World Heritage Site in 2005 and is magnificent heritages unveiling their wonderful stories. Food as cultural heritage is closely tied and recently in the UNESCO Creative City of Gastronomy, what better way to experience the charm of Macao if not through their food?
The Macao Government celebrated the occasion with a promising series of activities lined up in corresponding to the UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN) mission of using creativity as a driver for sustainable urban development. As the third Creative City of Gastronomy in China, after Chengdu and Shunde, 2018 Macao Year of Gastronomy is absolutely the perfect opportunity for anyone from all over the world to experience the charm and creativity of what Macao can offer. In the recent participation of Food Hunt organised by the Macao Government Tourism Office (MGTO), we experience Macao food with fun, laughter, and bonds of new friendship and friendly coalition.
There might have been an interpretation of what is offered in Macao but the heritage of Chinese and Portuguese from the past and present of modern fusion and influences is always ever exiting as this global pantry continuously offering both local and international innovative of possible creativity in culinary. This Food Hunt have us racing in teams to eat at designated food stops in the shortest time and both trendy and classic gourmet had showcased the diversity of food choices in Macao. What a way to experience Macao!
Here are six within walking distance and the list comprises some fancy creativity alongside classy selections of signature Macao food adored by the locals themselves. Some I was told, have been selling for decades. Take Man Kei Eatery (文记咖啡面食) for start. Like most local diners, whetting the appetite of locals and tourists alike, they humbly offer flavours that hit all the right gastronomic notes. With a succulent cut of chicken chop nestled in a gloriously crispy bun, this shop inspires queues snacking outside and a must try that’ll make you fall in love with Macao. I make new friend with this local patron outside this shop.
Speaking of tiny shop with delicious offering, Feng Cheng Zhen Ji (凤城珍记)showed us how fish can be folded into crispy parcels before deep frying and at the same time tastes uniquely intriguing. Sui Gao is lusciously filled generously with lightly minced pork, leaving satisfying bites of crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside.
In recognition of the vital role street food plays on Macao’s gastronomic scene, the renown Michelin guide has added a merited category dedicated to their guide. From Shunde steam milk pudding, coconut pudding to Portuguese egg tarts with clever twist of versatility, the most popular snacks deliver a bite-sized gastronomic world tour on the streets of Macao. Taking a walk on the streets filled with Chinese and Portuguese signs and road name was a challenge but interacting with the locals as the gastronomic adventure took place was one of the loveliest experience. Smooth scoops of tofufa dessert and cooling spoonful of coconut pudding were seriously one of the best kind of dessert one can ask for. The coconut pudding was a first time for me to actually realised that I could have so much emotions on pudding.
For those who want to take a walk on the nifty side when it comes to bites sizes of tarts, head for your share of Bacalhau Tart (马介休挞)- a signature Portugal ingredient made of cod inside a tart or Sardine Tart 沙丁挞 (18 MOP) at Sab 8 café. That or the famous Portuguese tart, with bird nest on it at Yī yàn táng tiánpǐn (壹燕糖甜品) for those seeking fancier selection. Myself was not overly convinced with this one but it sure is a tourist favourite.
Places we covered within walking distance in 2 hours, also pinned on Gastronomy Macao map . Those struggling with Chinese and Portuguese like I do when a trip to Macao, you are welcome- navigating in Macau without these two languages was a pain for me!
Man Kei Eatery (文记咖啡面食) – Chicken Polo Bun (MOP 22)
Monday to Sunday (8am- 6pm) , Closed Saturday
Feng Cheng Zhen Ji(凤城珍记) – Deep Fried Fish wanton & Sui Gao 炸鱼角水饺 (MOP110)
11am – 11.30pm Daily
K.Dessert ,Tang Ge (糖阁)-Whole Coconut Pudding (28MOP)
G/F, Yonglian Building,
Daily 11am – 930pm
Li Kangji @ Firma U Tac Hong (李康记) – steamed milk pudding (15 MOP/big & 9 MOP/small)
Monday to Sunday (8am- 6pm), Closed Wednesday
(壹燕糖甜品) – Bird Nest egg tart (15 MOP)
Café Sab8- Bacalhau Tart 马介休挞 (20 MOP) & Sardine Tart 沙丁挞 (18 MOP)
Daily 12-7pm, Closed Thursday