Saturday, 26 March 2011

Spices: MACAU's Duo of Flavor

 Macau basically has two kinds of cuisine. Cantonese and Portuguese food. Since Macau was once a colony of Portugal, a lot of street names and signs are still in Portuguese. It also influenced Macau's food culture. The easiest way to describe how Portuguese food is, it is essentially like Mediterranean cuisine. Portuguese also uses a lot of olive oil, olives and herbs in their dishes.

Almond Cookies

We were walking along the river when I saw all these fish hanging. Portuguese people loves to eat fish cooked in any way, one of the famous fish preparation in Portugal is the Bacalhau. A cod fish which is salted and dried. Im not sure what kind of fish is shown here but it definitely smelled salty and looked all dried up. Just one of the many influences of the Portuguese to Cantonese food.

Dried Salted Fish

There's an alleyway leading up to the Ruins of St. Paul where all you can find are different Chinese Deli selling different kinds of Biscuits and Meat Jerkies. The most popular biscuit is the Almond cookies. The biscuits are usually small and round in shape. You don't even have to buy one to taste one because as you pass by this alleyway, a lot of vendors would shove you free samples. It's crunchy and crumbles ones you bite into one, it best to eat these sweet little treats with tea.

Chinese Deli
Almond Cookies

Different Types of Meat Jerkies

Westin Macau's afternoon tea with a variety of dim sum delights.

Steamed Ha Kaw (Shrimp Dumplings)

Dimsum Delights

Macau has a lot of Buddhist temple and we stopped by one that has a restaurant which obviously serves vegetarian dishes. The Poh Tai Un Temple. I have eaten vegetarian temple food before and frankly I am not a fan. I love my vegetables but the dishes found in temples are usually bland for my taste.
Address:  Taipa Island, Macau

The Restaurant in Pou Tai Un Temple.

Besides the restaurant there was an area filled with wooden sculptures. The wood used were big old tree logs. The sculptures were intricate and beautiful, just look at the minute detail in each sculpture.

Chinese Goddess Sculpture

Peacock Sculpture

When the lady monk came out, she was all smiles and was laughing because she was told that she'll be posing for a picture but as soon as I held up my camera and told her to smile...this is how it turned out. I guess monks can't show any emotions specially when captured....

Lady Monk with Taro Dish

Vegetables in a Fried Noodle Basket

Crispy Wonton Wrapper with Orange Dipping Sauce

Stir Fried Broccoli

Taro Dish

Nga Tim Cafe is like a hole in the wall restaurant where you dine al fresco under the trees. A perfect place to relax and unwind. Delicious food to pair with your favorite wine or beer.
Address:  8 Rua Caetano, Coloane

Nga Tim Cafe

The live bouncing shrimps were soaked and marinated in Portuguese white wine, thus it was called Drunken Shrimps. After a few minutes the live shrimps were transfered into a clay pot and cooked in sauna stones. You can see and hear the steam coming out from the clay pot as the shrimps were being cooked.  What's so cool about this dish was everything is happening right in front of you. The shrimps were absolutely divine, the most tender sweetest freshest tasting shrimps i ever had.

Live Drunk Shrimps

The owner and his masterpiece

Drunken Shrimps cooked in Hot Sauna Stones

Drunken Shrimps

 The Fried Fish Sticks was delicious. Cooked to a perfect crisp with tender pieces of fish inside topped with garlic and chillies. Yum!

Fried Fish Sticks

Shrimps drenched in a rich sweet and salty buttery sauce.

Stir Fried Shrimps

Camoěs restaurant serves authentic Portuguese food. This was my 1st time to have Portuguese food, it was a very pleasant experience. I wish someone would open up an authentic Portuguese restaurant back here so i can further explore and enjoy Portuguese cuisine. I ask our guide to describe Portuguese food in one word, he said "Salty". After tasting all the dishes, it was delightfully salty. Since salt brings out and enhances the flavor in food, all the dishes were flavorful and wonderful.
 Address:Shop 101, Lisbon-Evora, Macau Fisherman's Wharf

Camoěs Restaurant

The different appetizers reminded me of Tapas from Spain. Potato Balls, Fried Shrimps, Pig's Ear, Squid in Olive Oil, Meat with Feta Cheese.

Portuguese Appetizers

The appetizers also came with Brushcetta and Crab Dip.

Crab Dip

Creamy Crab Rice. It has the consistency of a risotto and the flavor of a paella. The taste of paprika is very evident in this dish.

Crab Rice

The Meat and Seafood Skewer came out with nice charred grill marks.

Meat and Seafood Skewer

When I tasted the shellfish, I sense a tinge of sweetness in the dish. I told our guide that the shellfish dish will be loved by the Filipinos because of its spicy, salty and sweet sauce. He went inside the kitchen and moments later the chef came out. I didn't have a clue what they were talking about because they were speaking in Portuguese. It turned out, the chef unintentionally added sugar in the dish thinking he was adding more salt. The chef apologized for it but I told him, the dish was still absolutely delicious. To that he said:  "Through our errors, we create new dishes.." After saying that phrase, I gave him a two-thumbs up.

Shellfish (Halaan)

Restorante Litoral serves fusion cooking between the two basic cusine found in Macau. Macanese, Cantonese meets Portuguese. The flavors were really interesting, the combination of sweet and salty flavors, the use of mediterranean herbs in Chinese dishes. The end of all of which, is a very satisified palete.
Address: Rua do Almirante Sergio, 261A

Restorante Litoral

For appetizers, we were served Squid Salad and Potato Croquettes. The squid salad was a cold appetizer, squid was buttery soft when you cut thru it. It has a tangy citrus flavor, the olives added the saltiness to the dish. The Potato Croquettes was crunchy with a nice moist filling.

Squid Salad

Potato Croquettes

The African Chicken dish is one of Macau's perfect example of the influence of Portuguese in Cantonese cooking. It has chinese 5-spice powder as well as rosemary in its marinade. Now that's what you call east meets west.

African Chicken

 The Baked Duck Rice reminded me of paella.But only this one is served in a clay casserole. It has strips of duck inside the rice plus chinese chorizo and pork belly on top. It tasted ok. My least favorite from all the dishes.

Baked Duck Rice


Seradura is one of Macau's well known dessert. It means Saw Dust Pudding, it is basically cream with crushed cookies and chopped peanuts on top. A simple sweet fluffy light dessert.


Of all the restaurants that I went to, Macau Tower's 360 degrees Cafe was the most disappointing when it comes with food. The only cool things about this place is that the dining area literally revolves around so you'll get a different view every five minutes or so.

The highlight in the meal is that I got to drink Vhino Verde again. A Portuguese Green Wine. It's not considered a red or a white. It is called green wine because it is a wine that's supposed to be drank young. It is not considered a sparkling wine but you'll notice tiny bubbles evaporating from your glass. It has a light sweet citrus taste. i enjoyed this wine so much and I am still on the look out for this kind of wine back here.

The Circular Dome on top spins around to give you a 360 degree view of Macau.

Macau Tower

Cold Appetizers

Buffet Spread

Pasta Station

Dessert Station

Dining Area

The birth place of my favorite egg tarts. Lord's Stow. I met the founder and maker, Andrew Stow. A very quirky chatty English guy. Still nothing beats his egg tarts!
Address: Found in various location in Asia.

Just looking at it makes me salivate and want to have one.

Lord Stow's Egg Tart

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