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Nov 1, 2010 07:15 AM

Macau suggestions?

I will be in Macau in a few days. I would welcome suggestions of where to eat. I fear that I've been in too much of a rut on previous trips, and would like to do better. Background below.

- I have eaten at A Lorcha, perhaps 5 years ago, and enjoyed it more than some on the board seem to. I had a tripe stew with chick peas, and thought it was great. Ditto their Sangria.

- I've also eaten at a place just down the road from A Lorcha, and thought it was maybe better: Litoral.

- I've never eaten at Fernando's.

- I've eaten at a place whose name I do not know, but it is convenient to the Landmark, where I usually stay, and at which I will be staying this time. It's Inner Harbor, not far East of the park that is East of the Landmark, and it's Portuguese, but with Chinese proprietorship, and it's on the south side of a wide alleyway (no cars), with some outdoor tables.

- I had a really memorable meal at Os Santos in Taipa Village, some years ago.

- I am infatuated with the Portuguese version of Chorizo, a sausage whose Mexican version is nearly inedible.

- I am extremely interested in exploring the cheap-Cantonese side of Macau, but don't know where to begin with that. The only experience I've had is multiple visits to a place called Fook Lam Moon (I have no idea whether there's an affiliation with the famous Hong Kong restaurant, but the pricing makes it seem unlikely); they have great and cheap dim sum.

- For some years, I made a fetish of visiting the Chinese restaurant in the (pre-renovation) Mandarin Oriental, because they served a sauce with their roast pigeon that captivated me every time.

- I am suspicious of "African Chicken," which I've never had, though I know it's a famous Macanese dish, because it just sounds like curry to me.

So, how can I get started in getting more out of the Macau food scene? I love walking around Macau, and I've loved the food I've had there. But I can't escape the impression that I'm still not quite doing it right, and I really need some advice about getting the most out of Macau, culinarily speaking, for both the Portuguese and Cantonese sides of the cuisine. Can you help?

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  1. You can't go wrong trawling this board, and one of the definitive discussion threads was started by Sher.eats a while back but still relevant:

    1. I would start with a de recommendation - don't go to Antonio's despite any suggestion by hotel staff or its apparent recommendation by Michelin. If you have eaten in Europe (especially Portugual or Spain) it will be a solid disappointment.

      African chicken is a must if you enjoy slightly basic regional food. It reminds me of rather basic peasant style food from Southern Spain (with the African influence) and I am a convert.

      What I regret doing is not going to Fernando's however which I will rectify next time.

      A few notes from my trip there is here

      1. Macau has some very good restaurants, but not so much the Portuguese ones. In Europe Portuguese food is even considered worse than Dutch or German food. The only reason people like it in Macau better is because of the added Asian style MSGs. Anyhow if you really insist on eating Portuguese food go to Alfonso III:
        According to the Portuguese locals this is the only authentic one.

        2 Replies
        1. re: tkamp

          Hmmm - not really sure why you think people in Europe dislike Portuguese food? It is probably one of the most respected cuisines (after the normal French, Spanish and Italian triumvirate).

          Most "foodies" have Lisboa very high up on their list of places to visit.

          The problem is you can't uproot a cuisine and move it 6,000km and expect it to taste good. Same issue with Chinese food in London.

          1. re: TomEatsHK

            I absolutely agree with Tom EatsHK.

            I was in Lisboa and Porto a few years ago on a pilgrimage of sorts (my Portuguese-Malaccan forefathers claimed ancestry from Porto) and the food, whilst wonderful, was absolutely different and nothing like we have over here in Malacca (Malaysia) or brother-in-law's family's cooking over in Macau (they are Macanese-Eurasians). My younger sister who'd lived in Macau for over 35 years now can cook both Portuguese and Macanese, albeit with localised influences.
            In Malacca and also Singapore, we Eurasians are very much influenced by cooking style of the other former Portuguese colonies, i.e. Goa, whose chicken vindaloo influenced our Curry Debal (or Devil) with its use of vinegar, whilst Mozambique lends itself to Macau's "African Chicken". Malacca also influenced Macau - our Malaccan Laksa metomorphosized into the Lacassa noodle dish in Macau. And Malacca's belachan find its equivalent in Macau's balichao. Ha-ha.

            Anyway, the point I'm making is this, Portuguese food in Macau has been very much altered, assimilating local tastes & preferences. When I ate Chinese in London, my expectations are lower, and the Cantonese tastes there are similar to the peasant dises you get amongst Guangdong's poor Taishanese community. Which is not a surprise, since the Taishanese were the earliest Chinese migrants to London, to escape war, hunger & poverty since the 19th century.

        2. I will reply to your request for "cheap Cantonese side of Macau". I really like these few places (I hope you can read the Chinese words) and I personally find this "cheap Cantonese" scene to be much more representative of the Macau dining scene than its Macau style Portugese food which appeal more to the tourists community:

          -For noodle, try the shrimp roe bamboo noodle at Luk Kee 六記粥麵, also its fried fish balls 米通鯪魚球, and pork intestines and chicken feet 大腸拼鳳爪. (only opened at night beginning 6pm)

          -For beef offals, try 梓記牛什.

          -For dumplings, try 鳳城珠記麵食專家.

          -For desserts, try 義順鮮奶.

          -If you love cheap seafood hotpot, try 石獅美食 but a bit far from the toutists area.

          -For Macau-style pork bun, instead of the famous touristy 大利來記, you can try 青洲劉記美食 but in an inconvenient area for tourists as well.

          You can also read this thread for more information: