Macau is said to be a food heaven where even the pickiest eater can be satisfied. The food choices available in Macau is simply overwhelming, and the best part is that every item on the menu is almost guaranteed to be delectable. There’s no denying that Macau is a foodies’ paradise.
Features of Macanese Cuisine
Macanese cuisine is suspected to have evolved as different styles of cooking became infused into traditional Portuguese cooking. Wives of Portuguese sailors based in Macau attempted to replicate European dishes using local ingredients and spices from Africa, India and the coast of Malacca that became available as ships passed through the port. And then, of course, Chinese cooking techniques because integrated into these dishes as well.
You’ll find ingredients like coconut milk, cloves, turmeric and cinnamon and a lot of baking, grilling and roasting. Baking isn’t a common feature you’ll find in Chinese cuisine outside of Macau. Scrap the diet for a few days as the food is incredibly hearty and flavorful. Here’s what you’ll want to eat in Macau.
Portuguese Egg Tarts
Whatever you do in Macau, for the love of all things holy, eat some egg tarts. You can find them almost everywhere (they were even options for breakfast at the Four Season Hotel Macau Cotai Strip buffet) but Lord Stow’s is probably the most famous for its warm, buttery crust and satin egg filling. They have outlets in Coloane and even inside the Venetian. I’ve heard that Margaret’s Cafe on the peninsula near Senado Square rivals Lord Stow’s.
Pork Chop Buns
Though it’s widely regarded as a snack, I argue you could make a pork chop bun a meal. A fried boneless pork chop rests inside a tasty white bun. Not like a hamburger bun, but a soft roll that soaks up grease quite nicely. There’s no lettuce or anything frilly inside. Try one at Tai Lei Lok Kei. You’ll probably wait in line, but it will be worth it.
While resembles jerky, bakkwa is a salty-sweet dried meat that is considered a delicacy in some parts of China. It’s a little softer than jerky due to having a higher moisture content but you can find it all over the snack streets of Macau. It’s pretty tasty and you may sample before you buy.
People the know take almond cookies (some people call them almond cakes, but I think they’re more like cookies) from the likes of Koi Kei bakery home as souvenirs. In fact, people carry them on to the plane and ferry by the bagful. Koi Kei has branches all over Macau but they also have delicious peanut candy, pineapple cake and hundreds of other snacks to choose from. The Rua do Cunha location, at least, has someone outside the shop preparing the cakes which is fun to watch.
While we’re talking about cookies, it’s worth mentioning that Chinese desserts (with the exception of the serradura pudding) aren’t nearly as sweet as American desserts.
Seaweed Pork Floss Rolls
Wrapped with an outer layer of seaweed and filled generously with pork floss, this unassuming perfect combination of egg roll puts your favourite Chinese New Year goodies to shame.
Steamed Milk Pudding
Another to-die-for Macau dessert is this steamed milk pudding, which has a subtle milky taste amidst its extra smooth and velvety texture. And if you’re left craving for another bowl, add a scoop of red bean or try out their ginger flavoured pudding for an extra kick!
Shrimp Roe Noodles
This is hands down the most popular noodle dish in Macau! Generously served with shrimp roes and dumplings atop the perfectly cooked noodles, this heavenly delicacy overflows with savoury and bold flavours that will leave you very, very satisfied.
Minchi or Minchee is a Macanese dish with ground beef or pork seasoned with soy sauce and molasses. It’s often served with rice a fried egg on top and considered Macau’s national dish.