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?
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.
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.
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
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
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
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.
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.
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 (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?
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
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
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!
Address: Edificio Ngai In Kuok, Tv. das Janelas Verdes, Macau GPS: 22.196024, 113.539918 Hours: 6:30 pm to midnight
One of the reasons I’ve been to Vietnam 9 times prior to this trip was due to work. Back then, we were developing a pretty complicated web based program with a team of programmers based in Ho Chi Minh City, and the team lead for that project was none of ther than Trinh, a friendly local chap whom I’ve developed a friendship over the years.
Quán Lẩu Cá Kèo Bà Huyện is the name of the restaurant
So on this trip, I took the opportunity to catch up with Trinh again after not seeing each other on flesh for the past 9 years or so.
Haze and I was on a rented scooter, following Trinh on his bike heading to District 3 towards Quán Lẩu Cá Kèo Bà Huyện 2 restaurant for dinner involving fish. A place I have visited in my previous trip, courtesy of another Vietnamese colleague’s introduction. I actually consulted the same person for address, too bad she was not able to join us over the holiday season.
fish is as fresh as they come, they’re alive!
What we came here for was Keo fish, a type of freshwater goby/mudskipper measuring some half a feet or so (scientific name – pseudapocryptes elongatus). According to Trinh, this delicacy is only available in South Vietnam.
The fish is usually served in two different ways – grilled, or in soup.
The grilled version is served on a stick not entirely different from shishamo in Japanese cuisine, but of course with plenty of vege on the side, and some fish sauce based condiment on the side.
grilled keo fish vs steamboat version, Trinh & me
The soupy version though, came in a hotpot with even more vegetable and a side of vermicelli noodle as well. The texture is smooth and it also has a naturally sweet seafood flavor.
We didn’t know how fresh the fish were until Trinh ordered additional fishes when we ran out. They came to the table ALIVE! The waiter then carefully dump the live fish into the hotpot and close the lid real quick to spare us the death scene. A few minutes later, we were enjoying some of the sweetest and freshest seafood, the taste is not overly different from marble goby, in fact.
If you’re into some special type of seafood, this place would offer quite an experience.
P/S: I believe it was something below 300,000 VND for the three of us for this meal.
Next on Vietnamese Street food introduction is Chao Vit, or Vietnamese duck porridge. A classic dish that I had for the very first time during this trip to Ho Chi Minh City.
Vietnamese Duck Porridge stall by Chu Manh Trinh road
We actually stumbled upon this little road side stalls by Chu Manh Trinh road in District 1, Ho Chi Minh City while walking from the touristy areas towards our Airbnb room slightly further North East. The stall was well stocked with plenty of duck, and with a crowd seated around it enjoying porridge & slices of duck meat.
We just couldn’t miss the opportunity.
the porridge also comes with coagulated blood
We ordered a portion of duck for two person to go with porridge, as well as a portion of innards. This was done with a combination of Google translate via the phone, and a bit of finger pointing to the other tables. Technology sure helps in making all these authentic food so much more accessible to those who can’t speak the language, we were the only non-natives at the stall.
simple eat by the road side – chao vit
Chao Vit is excellent, the boiled duck meat is served with green onions, cilantro, pepper, fish sauce and more. The condiment that goes with it compliment the meat perfectly, and can be made spicy if that’s your preference. As for the porridge, they’re made from broken rice and even comes with chunks of coagulated blood, one of my favorite ingredients!
It was really one of the best dishes we had in Saigon, if you’re ever at District 1 and don’t mind dining with the locals, this is a place that you need to check out.
safe to say we both loved this dish a lot
The meal cost us just over 100,000 VND if I’m not mistaken, totally worth it.
Address: Chao Vit road side stall Chu Mạnh Trinh District 1, Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam GPS: 10.782813, 106.703568