5 Bites of Macau
Wanting to find the best food that Macau has to offer, for any time of day? Check out our picks for meals, snacks, and going out:
Breakfast: Leitaria I Son
7 Largo Senado
Why not start off with a little fresh milk for breakfast? Look for the large neon cow sign about a block from the fountain of Senado Square for a taste of some siong pei nai (double steamed milk custard), freshly made from the café’s own dairy cows. Prepared with Macanese flair, this Cantonese-style dessert is a velvety custard with two layers. As the custard and boiled milk cool, each forms its own skin. It may not quite be oatmeal or congee for breakfast, but this is Macau, and Macau is know for desserts, so why not? There is also a full range of dairy products, puddings, noodles, buns, eggs, and ice cream (yes, ice cream for breakfast) available to enjoy before seeing the sights or enjoying Macau’s many parks.
Lunch: O Porto Interior
259B Rua do Almirante Sergio
This spot is located on the Inner Harbor near the A-Ma Temple, the Maritime Museum, and a strip of restaurants where you can partake in the famed local fusion cuisine of Macau. Macanese dishes unite the local regional foods with Portugal, but there is also the influence from other Portuguese ports-of-call like Angola, Goa, and Malacca. As a result, O Porto Interior has a plethora seafood dishes loaded with an adventurous Iberian spirit. There are earthenware bowls of stewed and baked bacalahau (cod) dishes, stir-fried curry crab heavily dosed with turmeric, and Macanese sweet garlic king prawns. Red and white sangrias keep things interesting. Desserts, as ever, are a Macanese birthright, and two local favorites vie for the top spot: egg tarts and serradura ("sawdust") pudding. At O Porto Interior, they make their own serradura that features a dense silky pudding encrusted with a dry dusting of not-too-sweet cookie crumble on top, along with other more traditional Portuguese desserts like flan.
Afternoon Tea: Jade Garden Cantonese Restaurant
35-39, Rua do Dr Pedro J Lobo
Macau, although with special status, is still Chinese, and is located the heart of Guangdong (Canton), or one of the eight regions of Chinese cuisine. For a taste of authentic hearty Cantonese yum cha (literally "drink tea") cuisine, or for what we might call dim sum, there is the Jade Garden. A traditional Cantonese restaurant, located in the heart of Macau peninsula, near the heart of historic district and the Grand Lisboa, it has a corner entrance featuring several tanks of squirming and writhing seafood that surround a staircase that leads up to private dining rooms on the top floor and three cavernous dining levels. Afternoons are not as crowded and there are still many dim-sum cart options, including cha siu bao to munch on while sipping tea for an afternoon snack, brunch, or even something more Cantonese-style.
Dinner: Espaco Lisboa
8 Rua dos Gaivotas, Coloane Island
For a trip in time and space, there is Restaurant Espaco Lisboa, located in a lovingly renovated old Chinese house in Coloane Village that evokes the quaint image of Lisbon and a Portuguese kitchen, from the stucco walls, pink curtains, and romantic semi-private veranda to the finely hewed cuisine, earthy wines, and hand-crafted desserts. Coloane Village is geographically and culturally the direct opposite of the glittering garish gambling casinos of Macau, a haven of serene tranquility made for strolling and viewing the tiled roofs, temples, nearby nature reserves, sea views, and quiet streets. At Espaco Lisboa, the dining experience pairs well with the environment. The home-styled Portuguese cuisine is unaffected, with vinho verde, literality "green wine," but more accurately a young or fresh white, red, or rosé wine meant to be consumed within a year of harvest. Similarly, the menu is rife with fresh rustic Portuguese specialties like airy pasteis de bacalhau (codfish cakes), clams Bulhão Pato style with a poetic taste of cloves, and a sweet and spicy seafood stew of mussels, clams, and monkfish, served in a humongous cast-iron pot. The house-made desserts, with the exception of the egg tarts from nearby Lord Stow’s, tilt toward the sweeter side of the Portuguese part of the Macanese continuum. Both the owner and chef are originally from Portugal, and keep this as a little authentic piece of Lisbon in Macau.
Late Snack: Fei Chai Man
460 Avenida Dr. Sun Yat Sen, Taipa Island
Looking for some local late-night grub after a night at the gambling tables? Saving your last patacas for the ferry back to Hong Kong? Open until 2:30 in the morning, Fei Chai Man, or "Fat Boy," is a small but clean, good value local hangout for when you want to rub elbows with the locals and you want something to eat other than hotel food. The menu features noodles, crab and abalone congees, ginger fried kale, and inkfish and curry fish balls, all with a little bit of a Macanese twist.