18 April 2012

Chow down in Macau

Alongside its bright lights and UNESCO World Heritage attractions, this Special Administrative Region of China has a lesser known but equally unique food scene. Fusing its Portuguese past with an eclectic mix of Asian, African and Indian seasoning, the distinctive ‘Macanese’ cuisine created has made Macau a paradise for the culinary adventurer.

Bacalhau

A landmark Portuguese dish and a staple on the Macanese menu, Bacalhau, or salted codfish, has become ubiquitous with Macau, with most restaurants offering this dish in a myriad of delicious styles. Although this salty speciality is available in most Macanese restaurants, don’t expect a stock standard dish, but rather a range of different chefs’ interpretations including fried, steamed, baked, stewed, grilled or boiled varieties.

Pork Chop Bun

Moving away from the main course of salted cod to the much loved and popular native snack, the Macau Pork Chop Bun, reveals a Macanese delicacy that regularly has hungry locals queuing outside bakeries across town. This seemingly humble snack, consisting of a tender juicy-pan fried pork chop seasoned with salt, pepper and garlic, sandwiched between a crispy on the outside soft on the inside baguette, is one street-side bite worth sampling. Although at first glance this simple culinary delight may not get the taste buds tingling, the first bite of this juicy snack is sure to have them watering.

Egg Tart/ Pastel de Nata

There is almost a caramelized aroma in the air as the bakeries in Macau are filled with what seems to bePortugal’s sweetest contribution to this Asian town. The Egg Tart, or Pastel de Nata, is as popular in Macau as it is in Portugal and it’s no wonder why. The delicious butter crust that crumbles upon first bite, with an egg custard that has a silky smooth consistency to it, has the potential to divide the town as locals defend their favourite spot to indulge this treat. Although there’s an array of delicious bakeries, it would be almost sacrilegious not to mention Lord Stows Bakery Shop. With an average of 3000 of these custard delights being baked every day, you can expect nothing but the freshest of tarts. Bon Appetit.

Words by Chloe Sachdev

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