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July 21, 2010

Where to Eat in Macau


Here is a lengthy food list from our 4-day trip in Macau. My eyes were bigger than my stomach but we still missed out some great food out there. If you’ve any recommendation for the local food scene, feel free to leave them in the comment box.

1) Wong Chi Kei (黃枝記) - one of the popular names in Senado Square (across MacDonald). The noodle house is famous for hand-making noodles with bamboo stick and one of their signature dishes is shrimp roe noodles (蝦子麵). The noodles are cooked al dente and sprinkled with salty shrimp roe, giving the dish some natural umami flavour. Personally, the noodles are a bit too firm for me.

On the menu, you can also find congee, fried rice, pork chop bun as well as other specialties like deep fried fish balls and deep fried wonton – the biggest wonton I’ve ever seen in my life!

2) One of the highly recommended desserts in Macau is steamed milk pudding from Yee Shun Milk Company. There are a few Yee Shun chain outlets in Macau and the main branch is conveniently located at Senado Square near the fountain. If you can read Chinese, the exact name of this dessert is  “shuang pi dun nai” (双皮炖奶) which colloquially means “double skin steamed milk“. The “double skin” refers to bean curd sheets.

The steamed milk pudding is served either hot or cold. If you don’t like the taste of milk (like me!), try the hot one. The texture of the pudding is satiny smooth and even softer than soya beancurd! Needless to say, other desserts served in the chain look tempting too. I like the cold papaya milk drink.

3) Our gastronomy journey through Macau kicked off with some fantastic Portuguese egg tarts at Lord Stow’s bakery (安德魯餅店葡塔) on Coloane island. Yes, Lord Stow’s bakery is the award winning one that started the Portuguese egg tart warfare in the region. Margaret’s Cafe e Nata is also very well known for its Portuguese egg tarts too. In fact, the owner – Margaret – is the Chinese ex-wife of Andrew Stow (dubbed “Lord Stow”).

Margaret’s Cafe e Nata is centrally located near Senado Square. Some say it’s near Grand Lisboa hotel. However, don’t worry if you can’t find the cafe. Just ask the locals around the area and I believe you will get the right direction to this famous cafe. It closes at 8pm.

Location: G/F, 17A Rua Alm Costa Cabral R/C, Avenida de Almeida Ribeiro, Macau

Margaret’s Portuguese egg tart is very rich and flavourful with soft caramelized egg custard filled in crisp puff pastry case. Personally, I find the egg custard sweeter and the puff pastry thicker and oilier in comparison with Lord Stow’s Portuguese egg tarts. So, I prefer the latter. Check out my post about Lord Stow’s Bakery at Coloane island, Macau.

4) Head down to Rua da Felicidade in Macau peninsula for plenty of yummy local food! Also known as Happiness Street (Fu Long Xin Jie), the area was once a red light district many decades ago. Now it’s an epicurean paradise booming with food vendors.

It was the first time I heard about shrimp roe noodles and tried the dish at Wong Chi Kei (黃枝記) in Senado Square. Later, we were recommended to taste this local specialty at Cheong Kei Noodle House. People were queuing up at the entrance and the small restaurant was very crowded. Three of us had to share a little table with two other customers.

Cheong Kei’s shrimp roe noodles have a good savoury taste like Wong Chi Kei’s. But I prefer Cheong Kei’s shrimp roe noodles as the noodles are springy yet softer, in other words, not as firm as Wong Chi Kei’s. What’s more? The noodle house is also famous for poached fish skin which, unfortunately, we forgot to order!

4) We had an insatiable appetite in Macau. Within minutes walk down from Antonio’s (Portuguese restaurant) to Rua da Cunha (Souvenir Street; 氹仔官也街), you will step into one of the famous food streets in Taipa ( 氹仔).

Small and unpretentious at a corner of the street, Gelatina Mok Yi Kei is popular for its desserts like durian ice-cream, puddings and jellies.

Pastelaria Fong Kei (晃记饼家) – This bakery has been around since 1906 or even earlier! You must try their pastries such as “bridal cakes” (老婆饼), “meat puff pastry” (肉切酥; It’s a little hard for me to translate the names!), almond cakes and the list goes on. If you are Chinese illiterate, just pinpoint and pay! I only regretted for not buying more goodies from Fong Kei.

6) You can find Koi Kei Bakery (鉅記手信) at many places in Macau. It seems quite commercialized with tourists flocking to the chain stores and leaving with big bags of goodies! The chain stores are packed with an extensive selection of snacks, cookies, pastries and other confectionery products which you can sample for free.

The serious baker in action. The bakery is well-known for its almond cakes and egg rolls.

7) Another popular bakery chain is Choi Heong Yuen Bakery (咀香園餅家). Like Koi Kee Bakery, the bakery chain stores can be found all over Macau. Almond cakes, egg rolls and bridal cakes are just a few to name on their shelves.

8 ) As you walk towards the direction of Venetian Macao resort hotel from Rua da Cunha, check out San Hou Lei bakery cafe (新好利咖啡饼店) for their bird’s nest egg tarts!

Holy cow! This is the first time I came across bird’s nest egg tarts. As you may know, bird’s nest is tasteless. Frankly, the bird’s nest egg tart is simply egg custard filled with a luxury ingredient – the bird’s nest! It’s less eggy and less sweeter than Portuguese egg tart but still delectable and definitely worth a try.

9) Portuguese egg tart and pork chop bun – these are the two famous snacks in Macau, or rather, the two comestibles that are closely associated with Macau’s distinctive local flavours.

From Singapore to Macau, we have tried pork chop buns from various eateries. I would say the one we chowed down at Cafe Tai Lei Loi Kei (大利来记咖啡室) was undoubtedly the best pork chop bun we’ve ever had. The freshly made succulent pork chops sandwiched in between the crisp yet chewy bread are so tender and juicy!

This cafe is very popular among locals and tourist alike. It’s located at Rua Direita Carlos Eugenio, Taipa (氹仔巴波沙前地18號), near Venetian Macao resort hotel.  The pork chop buns are only available from 3pm onwards until all are sold out.

Also, try the hot curry fish balls too.  They are bouncy and spicy!

10) Don’t leave Macau yet without dim sum! We had a delightful dim sum lunch at Noble House in the downtown area. The Cantonese restaurant is nice and comfortable, and most importantly, the dim sum is freshly prepared and simply dim-sum-licious!

To sum it up, we had “siew mai” (steamed minced pork dumpling), cheese noodles, veggies…

steamed buns, crystal buns…

chicken rice with black fungus and a few more heavenly dishes that I didn’t mind to wallop them all to put on a few kilos.

Check out my previous gourmet posts on:

Antonio’s – a restaurant that serves Portuguese cuisine in Taipa village.
Macau Wine Museum – Get your quality Port wines at the wine shop in the museum.
Bambu – a cafe in Venetian Macao that serves Asian buffet.
Horizons – a steakhouse and seafood restaurant at Crown Towers, City of Dreams.
360° Café – the highest revolving restaurant in Macau that serves international and local buffet cuisine.

Read all posts filed under Macau.

e Nata

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18 Comments Leave your comment

  • SINGAPORE SHORT STORIES said on July 21, 2010 11:53 pm

    Wow, your post about Macau is so nice! Especially the food! The curry fish ball reminded me of the time when my wife and I were at Hong Kong streetside eating the boiling hot, super nice curry fish balls!

  • eunice said on July 22, 2010 3:12 pm

    @SSS: Hey thanks! I was surprised that their curry fish balls are really spicy. I don’t mind to go back again just for the food *drooling*

  • ED said on July 23, 2010 9:41 am

    Liked the photos in this post!

    Makes me hungry already :)

  • spoolartist said on July 24, 2010 12:23 am

    oh my gosh, i’m salivating right here in my seat just by looking at the food… especially the noodles!!! get me to macau now!

  • sewa mobil said on July 24, 2010 10:42 am

    Macau is very atractive place. I was there last month. The food is very delicous.

  • lechua said on July 29, 2010 12:01 am

    i missed out on all these delicacies (except for the portugese tart)… wish i read a post like urs before visiting macau some time ago…. the bird’s nest tart – now that’s new to me!

  • J2Kfm (Malaysian Food Blog) said on August 6, 2010 4:19 pm

    What a great, lengthy and informative post !!!

    You covered ALL of the Macanese delights. I have not tried Lord Stow’s tarts though, hence Margaret’s have to do for me.

    But the Cheong Kei’s noodles were certainly better than WCK’s.

  • Mitch said on November 5, 2010 4:22 pm

    I will Visit Macau on Jan….thanks for your very informative post.

  • AT said on November 17, 2011 11:48 pm

    Hi Eunice, indeed very informative post. Can you suggest the best hotel to stay that I can just step out of the hotel and walk to all these eateries. Should I stay at the Peninsula or at the CoD side?

  • eunice said on November 18, 2011 12:17 am

    @AT: thanks.. u can consider the peninsula

  • tin said on February 15, 2012 12:07 am

    your page has been really helpful. at least now i have an idea where to eat when my husband and i goes there on may 2012. may i ask how much would the mentioned food above cost?

  • KP said on February 28, 2012 12:40 pm

    Great post Eunice.

    I am here now but struggled to find Cafe Tai Lei Loi Kei. If I hit Rua Direita Carlos Eugenio coming from Rua da Cunha would I take a left or a right.

    I know I can get them anywhere but I want the one in the photo!

  • Penny said on October 8, 2012 10:32 pm

    Hi Eunice,
    Thanks for your detailed post.

    Wil be heading up to Macau next week and trying all your recommendations.

  • RY said on April 30, 2013 10:51 am

    Any recommandation on local foods near Pousada
    Marina Infante Hotel, Taipa/Cotai Macau?

    Thank you

  • Vien said on November 7, 2013 5:42 pm

    Hi there Eunice, I’m planning to go to macau next year in Feb, I’ve just browse through your recommendation about food. Yummy !!! By the way, have you got any idea where can I get cheap and nice sharks fin soup? the streets name that you mentioned are all in English, if I were to take cab, will cabby understand the streets name in English? Those that you recommend, do you have it in Mandarin?

  • eunice said on November 20, 2013 1:17 am

    @Vien: hmm think those are Portuguese names. not sure if they can understand the names in English, perhaps you show them the map/landmarks/address etc, just like any other non-English speaking countries. Anyway, it’s convenient to travel around Macau by taxi as the place is very small. Most places can be reached within 10 minutes by taxi. Hope this helps.

  • Cindy Leow said on March 20, 2014 5:38 pm

    hi there
    visiting macau end may and would love to try the various yummmy food. problem is not sure where they are located – are most of them near the Square or Ruins area? Will be at the St. Paul Ruins – is there any good eatery there?

  • jenny said on June 27, 2014 1:21 pm

    Hi Eunice,
    I am motivated by your blog. Planning for a trip to Macao for the food. Which currency should i change? Also tot of dropping by Zhu Hai for 1 day as well. Should I have MOP, HK$ or RMB. To avoid minimal currency exchg loss
    Please advise.

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