Macau also known as Macao to many, has become more than just a post Portuguese colony since its handover to China in 1999. It is now known as the Asia's Las Vegas with gambling revenue surpassing the whole Vegas according to many sources. New mega casinos are being built if not already for the next few years and revenue + profits are only expected to increase. I have been to Macau quite a few times over the past year or so but mostly for day trip and solely for food or shows and never really for gambling. Small bets are fun but in Macau, there is no such thing as small bets apparently. Over the years, I have been seeing the minimum bets on a simple Black Jack table increase faster than your heart can handle. Then again I am not into gambling so not really a concern to me but it is an interesting observation nonetheless. What I am trying to say is not how much the casino industry is booming, everyone knows, but what we have been ignoring is how the huge flood of tourists and development focus have made us forget about the great food scenes in Macau, at least what's left of it. Not to mention how the popularity of some famous eateries have benefited commercially but deteriorated in quality over the years. I was here in Macau over the weekend sometime in March 2011 for my friend's wedding and instead of the popular or upscale eateries (which are over-abundance by the way), I went for some rather down to earth neighborhood joints for my daily food intake.
Alright, Lord Stow's Bakery was not exactly "unknown" and pretty famous to be exact but in my defense, we did not plan to come all the way to the Coloane district on a Sat morning for this, we planned to visited the eatery next door named Fai Kee Eatery which apparently closes on Sat!!!! (of course we came back for it the next day!!) In any case, it was a good thing that we stopped by Lord's Stow's Bakery because it once again proved my theory on how quality deteriorates with increasing popularity and expansion for many of the restaurants in Macau. (Check out their "flashy" website http://www.lordstow.com/ and franchises in Asia details ... sigh .. enough said.)
The famous Portuguese Egg Tart was served warm but lacked the sweetness in my opinion. Bad luck? Perhaps but at least they were served warm verus the rather cold tarts they served at their Venetian Macao Resort Hotel outlet. My friend ordered the Beef and Sausage Pie which decent enough with the top puffy and flaky enough. The only thing I dislike was the richness in sodium from the filling.
Pardon my lack of food knowledge which I am trying to improve from every meal I take, can someone help me with explaining to me if Capella (so called Portuguese style Pork Loaf) is a common dish originated from Portuguese or a Macanese interpretation of a similar dish? I am quite confused even after some empty handed research. In any case, I will just write about what I think without anything to compared with from my previous meals since I never had it before. It was DRY and tough, flavorful nonetheless. Was it suppose to be like this? Please help ...
Let me skip ahead and show you what we had on our return visit to Fai Kee Eatery. To start, I had the Pineapple Bun with Fried Egg and Ham. Just how can one resist this piece of art right???? I just don't have any complaints for this, hearty, greasy and perfectly naughty food!
Want more? Sure! My friend ordered the Roast Pork Bun. This was no ordinary Roast Pork bun, it was crispy bun with ONE HUGE PIECE of Roast Pork with layered FAT!
Enough with hearty food? Alright, time for some sweets? We headed for some extra smooth tofu fa desert at Lee Hong Kee or formally known as 頤德行(李康記) Firma U Tac Hong?
Smooth it was but somehow I feel it was sort of artificial in a sense. It was overly smooth for some reasons. You got to try to experience for yourself. It is worth a visit if you are a fan of tofu fa.
If you are a fan of condensed milk, then you must come! :)
Next stop, Oja Sopa De Fita Cheung Kei 祥記麵家 for some shrimp roe egg noodles. In comparison with Lau Shum Kee in Hong Kong, the shrimp roe flavors were much richer here while noodles were not my favorite because not firm to the bite enough for my liking. I still prefer Lau Shum Kee myself.
The fish skin was not for everyone but I liked it very much for its simplicity and crunchiness. Just being blanched and served with soy sauce and some green onions. Simple yet yum!
This marks the end of my Macau / Macao weekend gateway, I will be back in search for more hard to find eateries around town, at least those that are still around in the next couple of months. Finger crossed.
- Fai Kee Eatery (33-37 R. da Cordoaria, Coloane Downtown)
- Lord's Stow Bakery (105 R. da Cordoaria, Coloane Downtown)
- 頤德行(李康記) Firma U Tac Hong (新馬路新埗頭街19號D地下)
- 祥記麵家 Oja Sopa De Fita Cheung Kei (G/F, 68 R. da Felicidade, Avenida de Almeida Ribeiro)