January 16, 2010

The Macau I never knew

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I was in Macau today to show the sights to a visitor from overseas.  It's been a while since I had walked around and gotten some local eats, so I decided to lead a mini "foodie tour" for us.  What's more, I decided to hit a few famous Macanese spots which I never got around to visit.

I passed by Loja Sopa da Fita Cheong Kei (祥記麵家) on my last visit without going in.  This is one of the famous noodle shops in town, and I wanted to stop in and buy some shrimp roe (蝦籽).  Since we had come all the way here, we decided to sit down and have something to eat.  Of course I was going to get a plate of tossed egg noodles with shrimp roe (蝦籽撈麵).  This turned out to be the disappointment of the day.  While I really liked the consistency of the noodles, for some reason soy sauce was added to the plate.  This easily overpowered the flavors of toasted shrimp roe.

We took a long ride to my next stop - Lord Stow's Bakery in Coloane Village.  I had heard about the shop opened by Englishman Andrew Stow which is famous for their Portuguese egg tarts, as well as Margaret's Café e Nata opened by Andrew's ex-wife.  I had never been to either locations, and I thought it was high time I tried them out.  Well, they were definitely pretty good.  The puff pastry was nice and yummy, and the custard was pretty decent.  But this IS the local/Asian recipe, and ultimately it was no match for the original pasteis de nata from Pasteis de Belem.  Those tarts I had back in 2006 were incredibly creamy that I could have eaten half a dozen in a sitting...

After taking my visitor through a quick tour of various casinos, it was time to grab some Macanese food for dinner.  A Lorcha (船屋餐廳) was small and packed, and we had no reservation... Fortunately Restaurante Litoral (海灣餐廳) was just a few steps away, with plenty of space to accommodate us.  I ordered up a few of my favorite dishes:

Camarões com alho - these de-shelled shrimps were cooked with loads of olive oil and yummy garlic salsa.  Needless to say, I greedily lapped up the yummy garlic olive oil at the bottom of the plate with the typical bread that comes in these restaurants.

Amêijoas à casa - ooooh yeah... a big pot of these clams was exactly what we needed.  Lots of onions and a little bit of chili and garlic to pick up the taste.

Caril de caranguejo - I ordered the curry crab and totally forgot that someone at the table is too lazy to eat crabs, so the big dish was left to the other two of us.  The curry sauce was typically salty, but I wish it had been a little lighter so that the sweetness of the crab meat would show through better.

Bacalhao à braz - do I ever step foot into a Portuguese restaurant without ordering this dish? NEVER!  The version here is not as dry and crispy as I normally prefer, but was yummy in its own way.

Arroz de pato - they did it pretty well here.  Big slices of chorizo and duck breast on top of a layer of rice crackling, with duck leg confit meat buried underneath.  The crackling was really nice, and I wish I could have eaten more of this.

Repolho branco assado na panela com alho - the cabbage stir-fried with garlic was just what we needed to balance things a little, but I was pretty full by this point and struggled to stuff more into my tummy.

I had serradura for dessert, and I thought this was pretty decent - very light and airy mousse.

The restaurant only serves Portuguese wine and I know next to nothing about these...so I asked for recommendations on a fruity wine.  The 2006 João Pires Branco Terras do Sado was kinda fruity and pretty easily to drink.

We were pretty stuffed by the end, and it was a good conclusion to our day trip.  I managed to visit 3 new places in Macau, and I'll continue mapping out more destinations on my next trip.

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