We traveled to Macau in late July 2014 for a three day two night of sightseeing and food spotting trip, and I’m happy to report that when it comes to food, this former Portuguese colony surely did not disappoint.
Should you find yourself at Macau, here are some of the places you may want to check out. This is the entry where I cover snacks and cheap eats, there will be another talking about the few restaurants that we tried during the trip.
we arrived at Macau on the evening, beautiful cityscape
As for weather, Macau isn’t different from Malaysia at this time of the year (July), temperature and humidity are pretty much the same, so light clothing and perhaps an umbrella if you’re afraid of the heat is advised.
The city is one that never sleeps, and I got the impression that it was very safe to walk around at any time of day. Public transportation by bus is very good, so keep plenty of coins and small change available as change is not provided on the buses.
HK dollars as well as Macanese Pataca or MOP are accepted pretty much everywhere, including the buses. At the time of travel, 1 MOP = 0.40 MYR.
Pro tip: there are many free hotel shuttle buses going to and from the airport, you can utilize them even if you don’t stay at the same hotel.
road side stall with chee cheong fun and dimsum in the city
The first thing we tried at Macau was this little road side stall situated opposite Centro Commercial Central.
We tried the chee cheong fun with siu mai which was priced at $30 MOP. The sauce was lighter than the one usually served in Malaysia, and the chili sauce has a stronger taste of vinegar to it. We found it pretty delicious and fitting as a pre-dinner snack or post-dinner supper.
the famous Portuguese egg tart at Margaret’s Cafe e Nata
When in Macau, one of the snacks that you must not miss is the famous Portuguese egg tart at Margaret’s Cafe e Nata.
The egg tarts are $8 MOP each and was really as good as everyone claimed. The pastry soft yet crunchy, and the filling smooth and super flavorful with the aroma of milk and egg at their best. We only had 2 each but we really should have brought more. It was very delicious!
There’s always a queue at the shop, but you wouldn’t have to wait for more than a few minutes before being served.
fried fish paste, pork bun, and beef tendon noodle at Sang Lei, next to Margaret’s
Right next door to the egg tart place is Sang Lei, a shop that perhaps thrive thanks to Margaret’s being constantly filled to the brim. We tried fried fish paste ($19 MOP), pork bun ($22 MOP), and beef tendon noodle soup ($22 MOP) there.
The food actually turned out pretty decent. The fish paste is pretty similar to those we get in Malaysia but tasted fresher, the beef tendon noodle was simple but if you’re a fan of tendon, you’d be delighted. The pork bun though, did not impress.
cheap roast goose “fan hap” at Sek Kei, Rua Dois do Bairro lao Hon
While trying to go to Taipa island by bus on the second day, we accidentally took the bus heading to the wrong direction and ended up at this little strip of shops at Rua Dois do Bairro lao Hon, which is located near the border between Macau and China up north.
Since I was hungry, we stopped by Sek Kei for a roast goose rice that was served in a styrofoam box commonly for those who wants it to go. Lucky for us Sek Kei actually has ONE table in their shop that I could eat. It turned out to be rather good and only cost us $27 MOP for the meal!
As for dessert in Macau, Yee Shun steamed milk is the one place that shouldn’t be missed.
The steamed milk custard ($28 MOP) has the consistency of our familiar “tau fu fa” but with that creamy aroma of fresh milk that made it so irresistible. We also tried their warm milk ($22 MOP) and papaya milk ($30 MOP) which did not disappoint either. The same place also serves sandwiches, eggs, and even pork bun.
Even as a person who’s slightly lactose intolerant, I now want to know how to make this at home!
Imbi market is fast becoming one of my favorite breakfast places on weekday mornings. It’s not too far from work, has a parking spot for my bike (paid car parking right next to the market), and excellent breakfast choices.
A few days ago, I tried the widely acclaimed Bunn Choon mini egg tarts for the first time.
Bunn Choon egg tart, since 1893
The banner that hangs over at Bunn Choon egg tart stall says that it’s been in operation since 1893, which means that this place existed before my great grandparents were born. I suspect that modern equipment such as the electric ovens were probably not being used back then to bake these goodies, but it seemed that the younger generation owners managed to keep the recipe intact, keeping the sterling reputation of this little stall over the years.
tried the almond tart, charsiu pie, and egg tart
For breakfast, I tried their almond tart, chasiu pie, and their famous egg tart (all for RM 4.40).
With business always brisk, you always get the pasty fresh and often still very warm. The egg tart creamy, soft, and flavorful, goes very well with a glass of hot coffee (doesn’t pair so well with Hainanese tea I think). The almond tart was not overly sweet and carries a subtle almond taste. Chasiu tart crispy on the outside and moist inside, with delicious bits of pork threatening to ooze out if you don’t chew it down quick enough.
If you are looking for some good old fashion Chinese pastry to go or for a quick breakfast, this would be a place to check out.
Address: Bunn Choon Egg Tart Imbi Market (Pasar Baru Bukit Bintang) Jalan Melati, Kuala Lumpur GPS: 3.14340, 101.71664 Tel: 03-9075 5625/ 012-254 7625 Hours: breakfast and brunch
I went to Hong Kong for the first time over the last weekends, spent a very happy 4 days 3 nights. Hong Kong is probably the capital of street food that you eat on the go. This probably stemmed from the fact that most restaurants are too packed, and when you have a place to sit, lunch time might have been over by then.
So, here are some of the stuff we managed to try, none of these food requires nor provides table & chair.
fish ball stall that sells more than fish balls
If you watched Hong Kong movies from the 80s and 90s, there’re always scenes of hawkers selling fish ball on portable stalls. These small business owners will push their stalls running away from cops on first sighting.
Well, there aren’t portable stalls anymore but you can find all these stalls on virtually every other street corners. Typical item on the menu will be various types of fish/beef/meat balls, pancakes, beef tripes, and my favorite – octopus tentacles, very yummy! They’re usually priced from around 10 HKD onwards.
yummy grilled meat, innards, and sausage
We stayed at South Pacific Hotel at Wan Chai on Hong Kong island for the first two nights, and there’s this little grill meat place that operates from evening till late that we visited a couple times. There’s a variety of sausages, pig innards, chicken wings, grill duck/chicken/pork, and even abalone.
My favorite was the grilled 3 layer pork, so succulent and tasty! That was around 10 HKD too. The lady will grill the meat (which was usually already half grilled) on the spot when you order.
yummy egg tart with fluffy pastry
Bakeries are abundant in Hong Kong too. We tried this egg tart from a random bakery by the name of Golden Peach Bakery at Wan Chai and it turned out to be better than any I had in Malaysia, better than John King egg tart at Pavilion KL, which I thought was pretty good. The pastry is very fluffy and the content delicious.
coagulated pork blood and intestine
Opposite Nathan’s road at Mong Kok, I spotted this other fish ball etc shop that offers coagulated pork blood with intestine. Of course I couldn’t give this a miss, for 15 HKD I had one of the best combinations of pork product in a little styrofoam bowl. Keep a look out for this if you’re in Hong Kong, not every stall offers this dish.
I went to Pavilion with the hot chick yesterday for a little bit of walk and shop. It is rather crazy that we had three new malls (or extension of the current) opened during the past quarter, I guess shopping is really the national past time here in the valley of mud.
We saw a crowd of over a dozen people surrounded the John King Egg Tart stall just as we came up to the food court from the escalator. Curiosity got the better of us and we joined the group to investigate the commotion. Apparently samples of the egg tarts and other traditional Chinese pastries were being handed out at the counter. We took a small sample and decided we need to buy some of these stuff.
yummm.. egg tarts
John King Egg Tart is said to be originally from Hong Kong, and this is their first branch in Malaysia. They offer 3 types of egg tarts, the original, egg white only egg tart (healthier I suppose), and a rather interesting durian flavored egg tart. There are also lou phor peng (老婆饼), chicken pie，and siu pao (烧包).
The crust of the tarts was really fluffy and goes very well with the very soft texture of the fillings that are not overly sweet nor oily. It felt very light and yet very delicious, the durian egg tart really does taste of strong durian smell and flavor, not to be missed by durian lovers. I tried samples of the chicken pie and siu pao, and they were pretty good too despite having chicken instead of the pork in their siu pao.
this stuff is really awesome
The egg tart goes for RM 1.60 to RM 2.00 a piece, siu pao is RM 1.50, and the chicken pie are RM 2.60. These stuff makes for good snacks, try it! There are also many other interesting dining choices in this nicely decorated food court (including J.Co Donut), check out masak-masak’s post on this place.
Pavilion KL is right at the heart of Bukit Bintang
Address: Food Republic
Lower Ground, Pavilion KL
168 Jln Bukit Bintang
55100 Kuala Lumpur GPS:3.148872, 101.713368