|Michelin-starred Antonio on Taipa island|
If a gastronomic experience is what you look for during your travels,
Macau is likely to pamper the palate. Vegetarians too
will be able to have quite a fill, though a little scrutiny is required before
placing an order, especially when opting for local cuisine, as a bit of the
no-no ingredient may mange to sneak into a dish. Most restaurants serve
pictorial menu cards making it a tad easier in knowing what to expect. Here are some tried and
tested options to choose from during a visit.
1 Macanese: When the Portuguese arrived here they brought with them a host of ingredients and recipes from their settlements in
Africa, South America and of course back home.
These were fused with the local Chinese style of cooking to create what is now
called Macanese cuisine, a sparkling convergence of international flavours.
Typically Macanese dishes are seasoned with an assortment of spices, including
coconut milk, peppercorn, turmeric, cinnamon, lemon, bay leaves and for sure balichao or shrimp paste that gives this
cuisine its distinctive edge. Some signature dishes include: Galinha à Africana (African chicken grilled in peri peri peppers),
Pato de cabidela (duck), Galinha à Portuguesa (Portuguese-style
baked chicken) besides Arroz de Pato
(Baked duck rice), and an assortment
of marine fare. The atmospheric Restaurante
Litoral in Taipa is a popular halt, whereas near Downtown the snug Restaurante O Porto Interior is an
2 Portuguese: Tucked in between the Macanese restaurants are those serving near-original Portuguese fare, though the true-blue Lisboans contest that making noises about it all being localised cuisine and not as robust as expected. Despite mixed reviews there is chance for you to taste some classics as: Bacalhau (salted cod fish, that’s given the tag of Portugal’s national dish and can be prepared in a zillion ways…okay, at least 365 ways is the standard saying), Caldo verde, the delicious kale-potato soup with slivers of chorizo sausage, Ameijoas a Bulhao Pato (sautéed clam), Salada de Polvo (Octopus Salad), Leitão Assado (roast suckling pig) and Pata negra (black ham). It’s said Portuguese fare doesn’t get more authentic this side of the world than at the Michelin-starred Antonio, the inviting little restaurant of celebrated chef António Coelho in Taipa.
|From top: Breakfast time at a tea room; almond|
cookies being prepared at a confectionery; street
fare: fish, s
4 Cantonese: The variety of Chinese food is as varied as Indian. We are usually exposed to a mere handful of dishes basically from
provinces. Though China Macau serves a huge variety,
Cantonese is what most visitors opt for, the reason for its easy visibility.
Make your experience a little different by visiting Rua das Lorchas or Rua da
Alminrante Sergio near the where fresh catch
is served at restaurants. Try Ta Pin Nou,
a soup served in a tureen on the table. Most menus include favourites as shark fin soup, Peking duck and tofu. Noodles are called fitas here and come in endless forms. Inner
5 South East Asian and Japanese: Located on the
is Macau Fisherman's Wharf. A themed plaza that has a lot of
high-end shops, convention halls etc, it’s the place to savour a variety of flavours.
Vietnamese, Indonesian, Thai, Japanese cuisine compete for eyeballs and
taste-buds and there’s always a rush here, especially at the waterfront
restaurants. For more variety in Thai, make your way to Rua de Abreu Nunes, locally called ‘ Thailand Street’ for the ample choice of
restaurants here. Book a table at Edo if soba noodles, sashimi, sushi and teppanyaki is
what you’re in a mood for.
7 Indian: Following a few days of sampling multi flavours, the taste-buds long for a bite of home. There are more than a couple of restaurants serving Indian cuisine but the smartest of them all, and significantly serving an authentic spread, is the relatively-new Indian Spice (Vista Magnifica Court). From your favourite butter-chicken to panner tikka, saag-meat to fluffy basmati rice and crisp rotis it’s delectable fare and presented with style. It’s centrally located and deliciously-close to the waterfront.
8 Portuguese sweet treats: With the best being reserved for the last, this has to be devoted to the delectable range of desserts and pastries found on the island. Topping the charts is fresh-from-the-oven Pastel de Nata or the classic Portuguese egg tart with creamy custard filling in buttery pastry shells served with a sprinkling of cinnamon and powdered sugar. Blissful! Do believe me when I say, you cannot eat just one. While the more famous outlets are Lord Stow’s Bakery (in Coloane) and Margaret’s Cafe e Nata (Kam Loi building, near Hotel Sintra), it’s available at the many outlets of Koi Kei Bakery (at
and around town). Amongst the must-try
Portuguese deserts are the awfully-simple but delectable Serradura, flavoursome Stewed
Apple, or any of the traditional egg yolk-based puddings: Doce de Ovos, Papos de anjo, Barrigas de
freira or Toucinho do ceu. These were also known as convent sweets having originally been created in by
nuns, who would starch their habits with the white of the egg and have huge
amounts of yolks leftover! Portugal
Published in JetWings International, Oct 2012
Published in JetWings International, Oct 2012