Monday, February 25, 2019

[Travel/ Food Guide] Itinerary to Macau (澳门) 2019

Following our trip to Macau in 2017, we have gone back for a revisit in early 2019. Macau remains as busy as ever, with tourists flooding the streets and major tourist attractions. One new update on transportation though... Uber is no longer available in Macau. As of now, there is no e-hailing services available, the only way is to hail a cab or walk to the destination. Public buses are available but if you are unfamiliar with the public transportation, it is best to travel with a cab... though it costs a little more, it is safer and more time-efficient. Not much changes since then but we have managed to uncover more hidden gems this round.

A kind reminder: though Hong Kong Dollar (HKD) is widely traded in Macau, it is best to use Macanese Pataca (MOP). You can buy in HKD and sell your HKD for MOP in Macau, the standard rate stands at HKD 1,000 to MOP 1,028 (you might find better rates if you are in luck).

1) Lok Kei Restaurant 六记粥麵
Address: 新马路沙梨头仁慕港1号D地下
Business Hours: 6:30 pm to 2:30 am. Opens Daily.

Wan Ton Soup (MOP 32)

Dace Fish Ball Noodles (MOP 32)

Water Crab Porridge (MOP 200/ 2 crabs)

Lok Kei is one of my favorite Macau restaurants, this place is also recommended by many locals. Though the prices are on the higher side, they commensurate with superior quality. Start off with the Wan Ton Soup (dumplings), the Wan Ton was skillfully wrapped leaving a fish-tail shape behind. The filling was juicy and plump, with Shrimp and meat paste in it. The broth was not simple either... it was so thick, rich and multi-dimensional with seafood and meat notes. Equally great was Dace Fish Ball Noodles... bouncy noodles with delicious Dace Fish Balls, with a hint of dried Tangerine peel (famous Cantonese spice). 

Save for the noodles, Lok Kei is also famous for its Water Crab Porridge... a renowned delight adored by local Macanese. It does not use the usual mud Crabs but those that have undergone changing of shells; thus, not meaty but the body is filled with water. The usage of such Crabs is not for the meat but the sweet Seafood flavor and the best way to enjoy is to cook with Porridge. Lok Kei's Water Crab Porridge was beyond amazing, it was the first time I agree that the Porridge tasted better than the Crab itself. Do not give this place a miss if you happen to be in Macau.

2) Margaret's Cafe e Nata 玛嘉烈蛋挞
Address: 新馬路馬統領街金利來大廈 17B地舖
Business Hours: 8:30 am to 4:30 pm on every Monday to Friday, 10 am to 6 pm on Saturdays and Sundays. Closed on Wednesdays.

Portuguese Egg Tart (MOP 10) 

There are 2 famous Portuguese Egg Tarts in Macau- Lord Stow and Margaret, both were husband and wife/ couple, if you are keen in their stories, google it up. Margaret's Cafe is strategically located in the heart of Macau city, a short 10 minute walk from Senado Square. The place gets busy as early as 9 am in the morning. It did not take us long to buy the Egg Tarts, though there was a queue, their service was fast enough to move the crowd. Margaret's was flakier and not as sweet as compared to Lord Stow's, but the latter one has stronger charred aroma/ caramelized top and buttery texture. I'd personally prefer Lord Stow's. 

3) Chan Kong Kei Roast Duck 陈光记黑胡椒烧鸭
Address: 澳门高士德大马71号
Business Hours: 9:30 am to 8:30 pm. Opens Daily.

Tri-Meat Rice- Siew Yok/ Char Siew and Roast Duck (MOP 65)

Black Pepper Roasted Goose with Noodles (MOP 75)

Braised Soy Sauce Chicken with Noodles (MOP 38)

One of the best places to experience local Macanese roasted meat would be Chan Kong Kei Roasted Meat... a stone's throw distance away from Margaret's Cafe. The place is known for its Black Pepper Roasted Goose. Many tourists or regular patrons would flock to this place during lunch hours, so be there early to grab your tables if you are keen to try. The Char Siew and Siew Yok were decent; with pockets of grease covering the meat. They were well-seasoned and spooned perfectly well with the rice.

The signature Black Pepper Roasted Goose was toothsome either. It possessed the crispy skin with alluring fats under the skin... juicy meat with Black Pepper aroma. A little sweet but not to the extent that it destroy the whole dish. Skip the Chicken as the braised Soy Sauce Chicken was less-impressive, though the meat was tender, the flavor was disappointingly-average... like any braised Soy Sauce Chicken that we can find here locally. 

4) Palette Dessert Gallery
Address: 澳門 東望洋新街 209號
Business Hours: 1:30 pm to 9:30 pm. Closed on Tuesdays.
Contact Number: +853 6223 9919
Palette Dessert Gallery Facebook Page

Early Grey Chiffon (MOP 45)

Mahogany Chocolate Tart (MOP 45)

For those who after European-styled delectable desserts, Palette Dessert Gallery is a place to indulge their sweet tooth. The specialty pastry shop however, is not meant for lingering. It is nevertheless, big on luscious cakes. You can find great choices of artisan cakes on the menu; though most require advance booking, there are some selection of beautifully crafted cakes over the display counter daily. The enticing looks of the cakes make them the perfect Instagram pictures that you can possibly upload. Palette Dessert Gallery is approximately 10 minute walk away from Grand Lisboa Hotel Macau.

5) Tong Kei Bakery 棠记饼家
Address: 圣美基街4号A地下(近望德堂)
Business Hours: 12 pm to 8 pm. Opens Daily.
Tong Kei Bakery Facebook Page

Portuguese Biscuits (MOP 30)

Various classic Macanese Biscuits

The famous biscuit brands like Koi Kei (鉅記) have inflated their prices over the years, it has become almost too expensive to even buy those biscuits. Moreover, they are all mass-produced. If you appreciate hand-made ones or those that come with flavors of the yester-years, make your way to Tong Kei Bakery. Though a little off the beaten path, this place is the go-to-place even for local Macanese to buy their biscuit supplies. The proprietor bakes its own products daily so freshness is guaranteed. The prices are much more affordable than those big brands and some said that Tong Kei Bakery has started this business way before the big brands did. Taste-wise, pretty much the same but the packaging is less-attractive. Ideal for self-consumption though.

6) Samurai Fish Japanese Seafood Don 漁兵衛海鮮丼
Address: 澳門馬濟時大馬路195號東南亞花園地下
Business Hours: 12 pm to 11 pm. Opens Daily.
Subject to 10% Service Charge
Samurai Fish Japanese Seafood Don Facebook Page

Samurai Fish Seafood Don (MOP 88)

Sea Eel Don (MOP 128)

Ikura Chawan Munshi (MOP 22)

Being an international city, Macau is blessed with many good restaurants offering a wide variety of international cuisine. If you are a fan of Japanese Seafood Don, check out this place- Samurai Fish Japanese Seafood Don. The menu comprises of a variety of fresh Seafood served over Japanese Rice; this brand is said to be originated from Japan and offers the same quality. Our Samurai Fish Seafood Don was delicious with Salmon Sashimi, Butterfish Sashimi, Tuna Sashimi, Hotate, Shrimp and a signature Tamagoyaki. The well-cooked Japanese Rice was also loaded with a generous serving of Shrimp Roe... truly a bowl of umami-ness! A pity that the serving of rice was too huge though.

7) Rua do Cunha 官也街- Cheung Chau Mochi 长洲糯米糍 and Pastelaria Fong Kei 晃記餅家
Address: 官也街 Rua do Cunha
Business Hours: Morning till late.

Peanut Mochi (MOP 20)

A new popular tourist street at Taipa, Rua do Cunha is a vendor-filled street... offering various types of souvenirs and eateries. The Street is basically quite short but the idea of gathering all big brands like Koi Kei (鉅記) together is the real highlight... especially in Taipa area. While there are some big brands, they are not as extensive as Senado Square so it may turn out that this place is less-interesting if you have visited Senado Square before. This place is within walking distance from The Parisian and The Venetian Hotel.

If you must visit and happen to be there, check out Pastelaria Fong Kei 晃記餅家, a famous old-school bakery known to churn out classic pastries and biscuits. While we do not deny that their quality is bad, we thought they are of standard-average quality. Their Chicken Biscuits (鸡仔饼) however, are one of a kind and unique. Something unusual than those we can find locally in Malaysia.

Another place worth-mentioning is Cheung Chau Mochi 长洲糯米糍. We could not tell if the Mochis are famous from this place but one thing for sure, they do not disappoint. The skin is paper thin and the filling is generous... does not come cheap though.

8) Nam Kei Claypot Rice 南记煲仔饭
Address: 澳门草堆横街6号地下
Business Hours: 6 pm to 12 am. Opens Daily.

Chicken Claypot Rice (MOP 47)

Eel Claypot Rice (MOP 52)

Steamed Fish Head with Black Bean Sauce (MOP 70)

Nam Kei Claypot Rice was one of the most difficult food places to locate throughout my entire trip to Macau. Not only did most Taxi drivers not aware of the location, some navigation app could not even pin point the exact place. But the search was worth while. It's a tourist-free dining spot, with only locals or those who are in the know. The stall is well-hidden in a small alley... and so easy to miss. Anyways, the place gets very busy after 7 pm. A point to note though... the ordering system is very messy so if you speak good Cantonese, you have the edge over it. Any type of Claypot Rice works here at Nam Kei, the essence is the smokiness of the rice. Raw rice is cooked over the stove then transferred to a charcoal stove for continue cooking; from there, it imparts a distinctive yet alluring charred aroma to the rice. Though the wait was long, I must concur that this was one of the best Claypot Rice I've ever had (not even the one in Hong Kong).

9) Ha-Wan Hawker Center 下環街街市
Address: 李加祿街下環街街市大樓2樓
Business Hours: 7 am to 8 pm. Opens Daily but many stalls are not opened on Sundays.

Steamed Cheong Fun with Dried Shrimps and Chives (MOP 22)

Wan Ton Noodles with Fish Cake (MOP 30)

Steamed Radish Cake (MOP 10)

Tofu Fah (MOP 6)

Herbal Tea with Egg (MOP 12)

Shy away from the congested tourist areas and walk into the daily lives of Macanese, take a cab to Ha-Wan, a residential area with very few tourists. Over there, you can start your journey by visiting the wet market if you believe that the best way to experience local culture is to visit its market. Next, take a trip to upper floor and you will find yourself in a hawker center. Foods are typically 20-30% cheaper than outside... even more if compared to tourist sites. The is no lack of choices- from noodles, rice, toasts, cakes, desserts; everything is available... though offered by different stalls. While the quality may not be top-notch, these are the type of down-to-earth food instead of those fancy, overly promoted tourist traps. 

After a heavy meal, take a leisure stroll along the street. There is a morning market nearby (our visit was on Sunday) with many stalls, vendors selling different household items, clothing, fruits and vegetables. Who knows if you might unearth some hidden gems?

10) Seng Kei Congee 盛記白粥
Address: 澳門天通街1號11
Business Hours: 7 am to 7 pm. Opens Daily.

Steamed Cheong Fun with Deep Fried Chinese Crullers (MOP 15.50)

Fish Siew Mai (MOP 14.50)

Sweet Chinese Crullers (MOP 9)

Deep Fried Chinese Crullers (MOP 6)

Salted Egg and Century Egg Pork Congee (MOP 14)

Stir Fried Yellow Noodles with Soy Sauce (MOP 14)

Plain Congee (MOP 8)

Green Tea Tofu Fah (MOP 7.50)

Cross the street from Senado Square and you will find yourself at Seng Kei Congee, a local famous breakfast shop known for serving simple, no-frills classic breakfast items (though they open until evenings) at unbeatable prices. Variety includes old-school Cantonese Congee, Stir Fried Noodles with Soy Sauce, Deep Fried Chinese Crullers, Cheong Fun and Siew Mai. The taste did not really shine but it's a good place with strategic location to experience the local breakfast without putting a dent on the wallet (in fact, it's quite economical).

11) Taiwan Old Store 台湾老铺
Address: 罗理基博士大马路店
Business Hours: Opens Daily and 24 hours a day

Drunken Chicken Rice Set (MOP 55)

Steamed Dumplings (MOP 51)

Glutinous Rice Balls in Soya Milk (MOP 35)

A short walk from Hotel Lisboa is a famous dining place for the hotel (or casino) guests as it opens 24 hours a day... whether early breakfast or late supper. The place offers Taiwanese delights, a change from the Macanese food or Cantonese dishes. The Rice Sets provide good return with big serving portion of side dishes, rice, soup and a main dish. In our case, we picked Drunken Chicken. The meat packed a heavy alcohol punch, so intense that we thought we might be drunk after eating the Chicken. Huge portion that can be shared amongst 2 small eaters. Steamed Dumplings and Glutinous Rice Balls in Soya Milk were meh... nothing out of the ordinary. If you happen to stay around there, this place can be a decent option (without travelling far).


Senado Square Macau

Have Fun Exploring Macau!

No comments:

Post a Comment