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!
The story of my experience on the Seksyen 14 Hai Keng restaurant chee cheong fun started out on a Monday morning when I posted a photo of chee cheong fun at Petaling Street on instagram and facebook.
With the motorcycle as my primary transport to work, I often have the luxury of stopping by for breakfast at different places in the morning prior to office hours. A source of daily envy for many other rat racers, but I digress…
Hai Keng kopitiam, located near Digital Mall at PJ Seksyen 14
It was from there that Elie left this comment “You made me want to eat chee cheong fun. Have you tried the Section 14 one?”
A couple replies later I got the location right, and 2 days later I found myself at Hai Keng kopitiam ordering my chee cheong fun at 7:20 am in the morning.
the chee cheong fun with yong tau foo was pretty good actually
Since the stall also offers yong tau foo, I added a piece of okra and red chili to go with the small plate of chee cheong fun (total RM 3). Truth be told, it was quite delicious, the chee cheong fun was smooth, and the yong tau foo pretty decent as well. The combination did make a good breakfast and I liked it.
I posted the photo on the same social networks and immediately found out that I had actually ordered from the wrong stall! Who would have thought that there are two different chee cheong fun stalls in the same kopitiam?
this is the “correct” old school chee cheong fun at Hai Keng
So I went there again the very next day to try out the “correct” chee cheong fun stall.
Hidden at the very back of the restaurant sits this unassuming stall that is manned by an old man and his son (I assume) serving old school Ipoh style chee cheong fun. I ordered a plate that comes with the sweet sauce, chili, and a side of pickled green chili too.
The chee cheong fun wasn’t warm, and the portion cost RM 3, same as the one with yong tau foo.
But it was a totally different experience. The chee cheong fun itself just somehow got it right. There are places where you have it just a bit too blant, or too sticky, or too thick, too sweet, too something. This stall just gets it right. It was delicious, and it was worth it.
If you’re a fan of chee cheong fun, this is a stall not to miss.
That being said, I didn’t regret the one with yong tau foo either. I guess two chee cheong fun stalls can indeed coexist in the same premise.
Hai Keng is located opposite Dae Jang Gum, a pretty good Korean restaurant especially if you’re a fan of Kimchi Jiggae.
Address: Hai Keng Restaurant 24, Jalan 14/20, Seksyen 14 Petaling Jaya Selangor GPS: 3.110338, 101.635315
Penang One restaurant, oh how I am glad I found you. Even though you are located at this god forsaken place that is ruled by the trafic devil, I will still visit you whenever my cravings for Penang food arises.
The back story: last Saturday I had a sudden cravings for a bowl of good old Penang curry mee. I woke up early enough (they usually run out before 9:30 am) and headed to Restaurant Okay at SS2, they were closed for Wesak.
I recalled that masak-masak blogged about this place at Hartamas, so I drove 13 KM to the destination, well, they’ve been closed like 3 years ago.
Not to be deterred, I then drove another 12.5 KM to the curry mee at Restaurant Good Food in PJ Old Town…. to find out that they’ve moved. By then I was too hungry and settled on a bowl of kuih teow soup, which actually turned out to be very good, but that’s another post on another day.
This was when I shared my unfortunate adventure on twitter and facebook, with quite a few of you suggested that I should try Penang One, so here I was, a day later, with another fellow Penangite in Fresh, and the laksa expert in Haze as my partners in crime.
Penang One, delivered daily from Penang for original taste
According to their website, the food here is professionally cooked by the original masters of the selected famous street foods, and then transported to Puchong on a daily basis. By their account, this would be as good as the original.
So I ordered my long overdue curry mee, Haze had laksa, while Fresh asked for a plate of char kuih teow with duck egg.
curry mee, char kueh teow, and Penang laksa
Service wasn’t the fastest considering the relatively low volume of people when we dined, but it wasn’t terrible either. Some 15 minutes after ordering, our food came.
The curry mee (RM 8.50) is purportedly from Pulau Tiku’s Keong curry mee. Prawns, cuttle fish, coagulated blood (YES!), tofupok, long bean, cockles, and mint leaves. That’s about all the ingredients you’ll ever need in a bowl of good curry mee, and the sambal too was top notch, fragrant and spicy.
Char Kueh Teow (RM 9.90 with duck egg) is of Kampung Jawa Pee Chuan’s recipe. Fresh had it and she didn’t speak a word while eating, it was as good as original, and really comes with those huge prawns and all.
The asam laksa (RM 7.90) that Haze had was from Lorong Selamat’s Ji De Chi, and when asked about how it tastes, she replied “just like those in Penang lor”, and then continued slurping away. It passed her test.
Since we were already there and that their portion rather close to Penang serving size, we decided to go for seconds.
Fresh had the chee cheong fun (RM 3.30) from Lorong Macalister and I took bite too, no disappointment, the only other place in PJ to get this version of chee cheong fun would be at O&S restaurant in PJ.
Haze’s second order was the duck meat kuih teow soup originally from Lebih Cecil. There’s duck meat, shredded pork, fish cake, and even coagulated duck blood. Now if you like pork blood, you’re going to love duck blood, they are quite a lot smoother and has an even more exquisite taste to it. I love it. The fish balls though, were just very average in my opinion.
I had ais kacang (RM 6.50) Swatow Lane New World Park, and it tasted just as I remembered, except for the serving size being larger here. All the ingredients you’d expect is in, give me a bowl of ais kacang anytime over any Snow Flake shaved ice.
KY, Fresh, and Haze, we were well satisfied
Prices are a little on the high side, but not any more than other Penang themed restaurants such as Penang Village or Little Penang Cafe. The difference is, this place isn’t halal and really do serve you the original ingredients in all their dishes.
By the end of the afternoon, we were very well fed and very well satisfied with the food from Penang One. The 6 different dishes we tried did not disappoint, and I can’t wait to go back there again, we still need to try the Hokkien mee (Jalan Burma), Yam Cake, and Bak Chang (Cintra Lane).
One of the definite Penang hawker dishes is Hokkien Char (福建炒), or Fried Hokkien Mee. However,this dish is quite different from what is served in Klang Valley even though they are identified as the same name.
I’ve been searching for this exact dish in KL/PJ area for a long time with no avail, so I just had to have it over this CNY season in Penang. This one is from Sin Yin Nam kopitiam at New Lane.
Penang Hokkien Char at New Lane
Hokkien Char usually consists of yellow noodle and mee hun in dark sauce, with slice pork, prawns, and vegetable, with sambal belacan on the side.
The main difference between this and the KL version is the lighter sauce base, the sambal belacan, and the usage of yellow noodle instead of those fat noodle in Hokkien Mee. As a consequence, the taste too is lighter and more subtle, but that being said, it is not at all a less superior version. In fact, I prefer this over the KL version anytime (most likely due to my upbringing laaa)
now where can I find something like this in KL?
I was utterly satisfied with this plate of Hokkien Char, one of the best RM 5 ever spent. The same place also offered one of the best pork intestine porridge (猪什粥), do not miss it if you are there. If I didn’t have the cravings for Hokkien Char, the pork intestine porridge would always be my favorite.
Penang style chee cheong fun: with three sauces
Of course, one does not simply only eat one dish in Penang for dinner. I had a plate of chee cheong fun (RM 2.40) to go with too. Two pieces, unopened, and with chili, just the way I like it.
Chee cheong fun Penang style is always bare, and served with shrimp paste, sweet sauce, chili paste, and sesame seeds, and sometimes with a bit of fried shallots. I like it quite a bit more than the HK version with prawns or char siu. If you need to find one of these in PJ, look no further than O&S in Paramount Garden.
Haze ordered the Asam Laksa at the corner of the road, it wasn’t any good and they over charged us to the tune of RM 4.50 (Chinese New Year price?). Never gonna buy from them ever.
Restaurant O&S must be the most popular kopitiam at Taman Paramount/Seapark area (not to be confused with Taman Sea), and for one very simple reason – the place is filled with awesome hawker foods!
I’ve been here for so many occasions I mistakenly thought it was already covered on the blog, but it’s never too late I guess.
Restaurant O&S at Taman Paramount
The restaurant is opened for breakfast, lunch, and actually dinner too (with limited stalls operating, a siu chau for example). Breakfast/lunch on weekends is an affair not for the faint hearted, the place is absolutely packed, and you often have to share the same table with strangers ala HK style. It also goes without saying that securing a parking space isn’t a trivial matter around this area.
Then again, if there’s good food, that’s a small price to pay isn’t it?
Prawn Mee at restaurant O&S
The prawn mee at O&S is arguably the most famous dishes in this kopitiam. The stall here is operated by real Penangites (I always test their Hokkien) and offers both normal prawn mee soup, and loh mee (Penang style) soup. You can also opt for extra ingredients such as bigger prawns, pork ribs, and intestines.
A normal bowl goes for RM 4.50 and the soup really does pack a punch with that sweet prawn taste, on par with Yon Lee, TTDI, one of my favorite prawn mee places, with extra ingredients the price can go up to RM 7.50 or more but ohh soo tasty!
Penang Chee Cheong Fun & Laksa
Another thing that I always order at O&S is the Penang style chee cheong fun. The difference between this and HK chee cheong fun is that the Penang version comes with just the chee cheong fun, with har kou (prawn paste), dark sauce, chily, sesame seeds, and fried shallots. Less than RM 2 for a small plate, very addictive. There isn’t very many places you can find this.
Then there’s the asam laksa that is sworn by so many. Haze loved it and claimed that it tastes the same as her favorite Cheras pasar malam version. I tasted it a bit and it was actually quite good! Again, plenty of har kou too, and all the proper ingredients you’ll find in a bowl of Penang laksa like banana flower, cucumber, onion, and a big chunk of fish.
Haze and KY at restaurant O&S, Taman Paramount
There’re other good stuff at O&S that I shall be covering sometimes later, the Yeong Tau Foo, the steamed chicken rice, and more! Stay tuned 😀