One of the greatest ways to learn more about a city and its culture is through its unique dishes, and that’s not an exception when choosing Macau as your next destination.
Macau is a melting pot of various influences, blending the Chinese and the Portuguese into the peculiarity called ‘Macanese cuisine.’
Here are 10 dishes that you have to try when in Macau:
Portuguese egg tarts are not like the renowned egg tarts of Hong Kong. This sweet pastry is made with a crispy flaky crust, which holds a creamy custard center that’s blistered on top from a high heated oven.
Lord Stow’s Bakery is considered one of Macau’s most popular bakeries. This bake shop sells Portuguese egg tarts which are freshly baked every day and considered the real deal by locals.
Situated near Senado Square, Margaret’s Café e Nata is another popular place to get egg tarts.
Rumor has it that its founder, Margaret, was Lord Stow’s ex-wife. After they parted ways, she decided to establish this coffee shop.
One of Macau’s most popular snacks and considered by many as the ‘Macanese hamburger,’ pork chop buns are buns filled with seasoned pork chop.
They’re crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside. Similar to Portuguese ‘bifanas,’ pork chop buns exemplify the strong Portuguese influence on Macau’s cuisine.
Tai Lei Loi Kei is a local coffee shop that has been operating for more than 50 years. Nonetheless, the café still hosts long lines for their signature pork chop buns.
What makes their pork chop buns special: the filling is marinated with a secret seasoning and fried to be made extra crispy.
Operating now for more than four decades, Sei Kee Café is known for their pork buns and sandwiches.
Make sure to head over during the morning or early afternoon to avoid long queues and disappointments because of sold out pork chop buns.
Minchi demonstrates how much Macanese cuisine owes to its Chinese roots. The name originally comes from the English word ‘mince,’ since minced meat (pork or beef) is the dish’s main ingredient.
It’s a comfort food that combines the flavors of soy sauce and sugar-seasoned minced meat, mixed with fried potatoes and topped with egg.
Café Esplanada provides a variety of Asian culinary offerings, including Korean, Indonesian, Chinese, and Thai dishes. Its take on traditional Macanese dishes, including its fancified Minchi, is fresh, setting it apart from other local dining spots.
One of Macau’s oldest restaurants and tucked along an alley, Riquexo Café offers lunch sets that include soup, a main dish, a dessert, and a beverage; minchi is one of their must-try options.
If you’re looking for filling meals that won’t hurt your wallets, this restaurant will be proven heaven-sent.
Image Credit: @cottoncotea via Facebook
Milk tea is a popular beverage in Asia. It’s primarily tea mixed with milk. Different variations of the drinks are, nonetheless, concocted depending on the ingredients added and the way they’re prepared.
Sinkers, such as tapioca pearls and coco jelly, are also added to elevate the drink.
Although it originated from Taiwan, Good Day Good Time is a must-visit for those who crave milk tea in Macau.
Among their crowd favorites are their Black Sesame Pearl Milk Tea and Fresh Dragon Fruit Pearl Milk Tea.
Cotton Cotea is another well-known milk tea outlet in Macau. Wintermelon Milk Tea and Earl Gray Milk Tea are their most beloved milk tea options.
If you’re in need of a caffeine boost, however, try their Coffee Latte–another bestseller.
Steamed milk pudding is a soft pudding made with milk, cream, and egg whites. Nuts or fruits can also be added to customize the dessert.
Located behind the old town square, Boyajian Milk Company is a go-to place to try this Macanese delicacy. Their two best-sellers are their Warm Ginger Pudding and their Original Cold Milk Pudding.
Yee Shun Dairy Company is a dessert lover’s paradise. The restaurant has several branches throughout the city, but the Broadway branch located in Taipa Village is the most prominent.
Original Milk Custard and Red Bean Milk Custard are their signature puddings.
African chicken or galinha à africana plays a large part in Macau’s culinary tradition. The dish consists of chicken covered in peanuts, tomatoes, and chili sauce, which is sometimes garnished with paprika.
It’s usually combined with bread, potatoes, or riz à la tomate.
Restaurante Litoral gives diners a chance to experience a bit of colonial Macau. The old pictures of Macau on the walls, the red tiles, and the rustic atmosphere make the restaurant an endearing place to dine.
Their show-stopper, however, is their African Chicken, which is swathed in a thick layer of peanut and tomato sauce.
Henri’s Galley is located on Avenida da Republica. Serving the same African chicken recipe for the past 40 years, their version is tender.
Their sauce, made with peanuts, chili, butter, tomatoes, and coconut, is definitely a crowd favorite.
If you’re looking to satisfy your sweet tooth during your travels, Macau’s signature almond cookies should be on your food list.
Despite having a crunchy texture, they melt in your mouth and have just the perfect kind of sweetness.
Choi Heong Yuen is a well-known bakery where you can buy local delicacies like braised meats, egg rolls, peanut and walnut candies, and egg tarts.
Their specialty is the almond cookies. This light snack is paired well with coffee.
Packaging-wise, the cookies are neatly arranged in boxes or tin cans, making them the perfect gift to bring back home.
Pastelaria Chui Heong is known for their almond cookies and other Macanese specialty snacks.
Their mouth-watering cookies are garnished with blanched almonds that give them a sweet and nutty flavor. Plus, they come in ornate packaging.
Also popular in Hong Kong and in the Guangdong region, shrimp roe noodles are noodles made from wheat flour and shrimp roe.
They’re boiled and seasoned with soy sauce, incorporating a mild sweet flavor to the dish.
Operating since the 1940s, Wong Chi Kei produces their own shrimp roe noodles from scratch, and these noodles are cooked to the optimum, so they don’t get too soggy nor too hard. On top of these, the ingredients and seasonings added are evidently fresh.
For five decades now, Loja Sopa De Fita Cheong Kei has been a popular spot to eat shrimp roe noodles. Their noodles are handmade and kneaded in the traditional way with a bamboo tool.
Other dishes that you may want to pair with your noodles are their fried fish balls and fish cakes.
A typical Macanese hot pot is made with an assortment of meats, seafood, and vegetables found in the region that’s mixed in a simmering pot of soup broth.
Shiki Hot Pot Restaurant offers a variety of meats, seafood, vegetables, and soup bases. Diners can also customize their dishes by making their own dips from a selection of flavorful sauces and spices.
Besides their hot pot, diners should also try their dim sum and stir-fries.
Congee is a popular dish in Asia. It’s prepared with rice and often topped with meat or fish and served with a side dish.
Seng Cheong’s best-seller is their crab congee. The flavored crab meat mixed into the congee is what makes this specialty of Seng Cheong a must-try.
Seng Kei Congee offers a wide range of Chinese delicacy offerings–from their famous congee to tofu pudding to rice dumplings.
Besides their congee, their pork dumplings with peanut butter are also highly recommended. Topping all these off: SengKei can be conveniently accessed, as it’s located near a bus stop.
Date nights don’t have to be expensive!
Hakaw, dim sum, noodles, and more.