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 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
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
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
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
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
Following the previous post on 5 snacks and cheap eats at Macau, it is only fitting that I cover some of the places that offers proper meals which we tried over the course of our trip to this former Portuguese colony. There are no shortage of restaurants in Macau, with a decent selection of different cuisines, but mostly variation of Chinese food, which suits us just fine.
obligatory Macau photo at St. Paul’s church
Before we talk about food, first, here’s a picture of us at St. Paul’s church, an obligation for anyone traveling to Macau I believe. The facade of the church is located just a stone’s throw away from Senado Square, which is the best place to shop for souvenirs and everything touristy in town.
Wong Chi Kei at Senado Square
And if you found yourself at Senado Square, like most people would, one of the places to dine would be Wong Chi Kei. The place is almost always pretty packed, but service is relatively quick, and like many places in Macau, sharing table with strangers is a norm.
The shop offers a wide variety of single serving noodle and rice dishes, with prices starting from around 32 MOP onwards.
We tried pork ribs rice, shrimp wantan noodle, fried noodle with pork innards and squid, as well as shrimp roe noodle. I like the thin noodles and it’s texture, shrimp wantan was delicious, as with the innards. The shrimp roe has a pretty special taste to it that isn’t very different from ebiko but much, much dryer, the bowl of soup served on the side isn’t really enough to counter the fact.
Overall it’s a pretty decent place to dine that won’t break your wallet.
the shrimp roe noodle & our traveling partner in crime, Tian Chad & Bobo with their SOs
“Xiang Zhi Wei” near our hotel, fantastic Hunan cuisine
For the second night, we ventured around the surrounding of our hotel and ended up at this tiny little shop by the name of “Xiang Zhi Wei“, a Hunan restaurant at Edificio Royal Center.
The selection of dishes are quite extensive here as well, with about three quarter of them being spicy, typical of Hunan cuisine. For the two of us, we ordered the brinjal with long bean and steamed tofu with egg and minced meat.
simple, spicy, and absolutely delicious
Both dishes were excellent, with the only minor downside being that the egg yolks in the tofu dish were slightly more cooked than we would have liked. The hint of spiciness in the brinjal and long bean dish was superb, and something that I would try to order in other Hunan restaurants now.
Total bill came to slightly less than 200 MOP for the dinner, which wasn’t cheap, but considering the taste it was well worth it.
Chan Kong Kei, famous roast goose/duck/pork/chicken etc
On the last day, we went over to another pretty famous restaurant, Chan Kong Kei, for lunch. The place is perpetually packed and again, sharing table is a norm. We also discovered that the locals usually dine about 3x as fast as typical Malaysian (probably not having to snap pictures speed up dining time quite a bit, haha).
The restaurant offers roast goose, roast duck, roast pork, bbq pork, soya chicken, and more.
roast goose with roast pork, and a side of duck blood with vegetable
We tried the roast goose with roast pork and a side of duck blood with vegetable soup on the side. The roast pork and goose drumstick were top notch (80 MOP), the meat very flavorful and even the fat has a soft and smooth texture.
The duck blood (33 MOP) though, was entirely something else, why wouldn’t we have this here in Malaysia? Pork blood is nice, but duck blood is even smoother and in every sense, more delicious (the only places that serves duck blood in Malaysia are probably a few kuih teowsoup places, such as the one at Anson Road in Penang)