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Malaysian Food Blog, Travel, Diving & More

Monthly Archives / January 2019

My traveling buddy while at Macao is someone whose diet consists of a heavy dosage of avocado, so after a great many days of subjecting herself to the local diet which has none of this “butter fruit” (as locals call it), we embarked in a mission to find one.

Which is how I ended up at Cafe TOFF.

TOFF, Macao
TOFF, Macao

TOFF is situated just a stone’s throw away from Lou Lim Ioc Garden, a public garden with a beautiful lotus lake that’s worthy of visit. If you’re there and have visited enough churches, why not?

The restaurant, like many other in Macau, is pretty diminutive in size, capable of serving perhaps two dozen customers snugly at any one time. Lucky for us, it was quite empty at 1pm or so on a Monday.

cozy interior inside TOFF
cozy interior inside TOFF

The menu though, is rather comprehensive (see below). They have a decent selection of espresso based coffee from latte, long black, to mocha, and even Marnier mocha, which comes with alcohol. Each cup costs between 28 to 50 MOP.

There’s also a selection of tea if that’s what you fancy.

breakfasts with coffee
breakfasts with coffee

As for food, there’s a dozen different types of salad and sandwiches, some with interesting ingredients like parma ham, squid and shrimp, Okinawa pork slices, or even shrimps and avocado. They’re priced between 50 to 68 MOP.

For our brunch, we went with the Big Breakfast (118 MOP) and Toff Veggie Breakfast (108 MOP), each comes with a black coffee or latte, and a selection of different ingredients to choose from.

TOFF Veggie Breakfast & TOFF All Day Breakfast
TOFF Veggie Breakfast & TOFF All Day Breakfast

Overall the food were pretty competent, and coffee did tastes like any good coffee would. It is a Western breakfast that would make it pretty much anywhere, except when it’s in Macau, you do pay Macau prices. Cute place though, certainly would not mind visiting again

map to TOFF Cafe, Macao

Address:
TOFF
G/F, 72 R. da Esperanca,
Ferreira de Almeida, Macao
GPS: 22.199902, 113.547208
Tel: +853 28930014

  

  

 

I think Macao people has got life all figured out, instead of having shops and restaurants all day long, if you go out on the streets at 11 am, you’d see that most shops are still tightly shut. It isn’t until around noon that they get started, and of course, by 8 pm it’s going home time again. Which probably contributes to them having one of the longest life expectancy in the world.

Don’t work overly hard, have a balanced work-life, I guess?

合誠小食店
合誠小食店

Anyway, walking from Ole Tai Sum hotel in the morning looking for breakfast at around 10 in the morning, we spotted one of the very few eateries that conduct business in the first half of the day – this super small restaurant by the name o f Hap Seng by the corner of R. da Felicidade.

In fact, this is the smallest ever restaurant I’ve ever been. Take a look at the video above and tell me if you’ve been anywhere smaller. There’s one round table you may squeeze 3 pax uncomfortably, and another rectangular bench the size of ironing board fit for 2.

That’s all.

porridge with fish or innards?
porridge with fish or innards?

Hap Seng is manned by a lady who loved to chat and showed off the fresh ingredients (fish, in this case). We ordered a fish porridge, and a pork innards porridge. Both were cooked on the spot, with the thick creamy congee tasted rather proper. Definitely fitting as stomach warmer in the morning.

They also offer a type of fried noodle (seen on video), but my advise is to skip that, stick to the porridge.

hap seng porridge, macao

Address:
合誠小食店
2 R. da Felicidade, Macau
GPS22.193545, 113.537961
Tel+853 2855 9106
Hours: mornings till noon

Following my only dive trip at Pulau Kapas back in 2017, I actually managed another underwater excursion in October 2018 while on a work trip to Kota Kinabalu that involved staying over the weekends.

Since this is still a blog documenting my travel & food adventures, here’s the short entry to serve as sort of an online dive-log of mine. Do check out the short video I made using the Olympus TG-Trekker, which since died after that trip for reasons unknown (I gotta call the service center, been weeks!)

Anyway, back to the trip.

Kota Kinabalu is a great city to live in if you love to go underwater. The jetty heading out to the islands is conveniently located just a few minute’s drive from the city center. In fact, you can realistically walk there.

a lousy day out diving is better than any day at the office!
a lousy day out diving is better than any day at the office!

The dive trip itself was arranged by Yann May with the local guide (Johny), and during this trip we were the only two divers, which made for a relaxing trip that doesn’t involved being hurried or having to wait for others.

You can get a 3-dive package for RM 250-300 or so around here, usually with a meal thrown in.

star fish, shrimp manicure, angry puffer, clown fish

While visibility wasn’t the best during our dives, they were relaxing, and we did see a few eagle rays (first minute of first dive!), some clown fish, cleaning shrimps, starfish, pencil fish, lion fish, puffer fish, and more, mostly documented in the video.

I should plan for a few more dive trips for 2019!

Another post on late night street food options at Macau following the entry on Keong Kei Lamb Stew is this busy little corner by the intersection between Tv. do Mastro & Av. de Almeida Ribeiro by the name of Ming Kee Beef Offal, or 明記牛雜美食 in Mandarin.

If you find the road names challenging, so do I.. GPS location is at the bottom of the page, however.

Ming Kei Beef Offal, Macao
Ming Kei Beef Offal, Macao

This place was “discovered” the same way I do with many food places – by bumping into it on the way from some attractions to the hotel.

Every night, without fail, this place will be packed full of people forming up a queue patiently waiting for their turn to “tapao” what this old couples were offering. So by the third night, it was decided we have to try this.

As it turns out, other than beef offal (including triple, intestine, heart, lung, tendon etc), Ming Kee also offers a variety of different ingredients such as cuttle fish, tofu pok, chicken feet, meatballs, lap cheong, mushroom, imitation abalone, white radish, vegetable, and more.

not just beef offal, but vege, mushroom, and more
not just beef offal, but vege, mushroom, and more

We lined up and some half an hour later, made an order of “everything but also radish + vege + chicken feet + tofu skin” that sorta somehow turned out to be offal + tendon + tofu skin + chicken feet that came in two Styrofoam boxes (these stuff should be banned already… )

tendon, beef tripe, ear, and tofu skin
tendon, beef tripe, ear, and tofu skin

We brought it to the hotel lobby and also ordered two cups of bamboo salt bee tea thingy (which is supposed to have cooling property) to go with the beefy goodness.

This time around, the offal were quite delicious, it was generally rather soft and packed with quite a strong flavor. I’d have wanted the tendon a bit softer, and it’d help if the chicken claws weren’t still have nails in them and being way too tough.

bee salt herbal tea, supposed to cool you down
bamboo bee salt herbal tea

The beef supper was around 190 MOP if I’m not mistaken, and another 35 MOP for each cup of the weird drinks. Worth a try tho.

ming-kee-beef-offal-macau-map

Address:
明記牛雜美食
Ming Kee Beef Offal
Tv. do Mastro, Macao
GPS: 22.194939, 113.538013
Hours: 5 pm – 1 am

Last November I made my second trip to the gambling capital of the world – Macao. My previous trip was all the way back in 2014 so I guess it’s about time to revisit one of the most walk-able cities in the world.

While Macau is famous for their casinos and many churches, what interests in, as usual, is the local food. Today we’re going to talk about one of the more popular night hawker spots on the peninsular – Keong Kei Lamb Stew.

Keong Kei Lamb Stew, Macau
Keong Kei Lamb Stew, Macau

Keong Kei (強記秘製羊腩煲) is located just a few minutes’ walk from the famous Ruins of St. Paul, the tourist attraction that almost everyone will certainly visit while at Macau. Operating from 6:30pm to midnight, the stall has tables set up by the “Y” intersection of the road, just like how a proper “tai pai tong” should be.

On a chilly night in autumn, the place does get quite packed and you often may need to wait for a bit for an empty table. Once seated, you can then make your order of lamb stew (usually comes with tripe, ribs, and so forth) that comes in a clay pot sitting atop a portable clay stove fueled by charcoal, which also serves as your hand warmer.

would you love to have some lamb tripe?
would you love to have some lamb tripe?

Additionally, you can also order fresh romaine lettuce and tofu skin. The operator pretty much assumed everyone will know what they have and not have, if you’re new, do ask, they may not be the friendliest business owners in typical Macau fashion, but they don’t bite.

clay pot on charcoal fire on every table
clay pot on charcoal fire on every table

I personally do enjoy the lamb stew soup and the vegetable, and thought that the meat was a little too tough for my liking, despite having it stewed on top of charcoal fire for quite a while. Perhaps this is how the locals like it. The condiment of chili paste with fermented tofu, however, was quite lovely.

usually a good idea to add some greens to the mix too
usually a good idea to add some greens to the mix too

If you find yourself in Macau, this is definitely one of the more authentic spots to have your supper. A small pot is priced at 130 MOP and bigger ones’ at 230 MOP (exchange rate was at around 1 MYR = 2 MOP), while seems expensive in Malaysian standard, this isn’t any more expensive than other similar hawker fair in Macau.

Happy hunting and happy 2019!

Keong Kei lamb stew map, Macao

Address:
Edificio Ngai In Kuok,
Tv. das Janelas Verdes, Macau
GPS22.196024, 113.539918
Hours: 6:30 pm to midnight