If you want to really know Macao, let your stomach lead the way. Just a stone’s throw from Hong Kong, Macao has a rich and varied history that reflects in its tasty food. Yes, you’ll get dim sum and stir-fried Chinese vegetables but you’ll also get a whole lot of Portuguese cuisine, thanks to a period of settlement by the Europeans from the mid-sixteenth century.
Head to Lord Stow’s Bakery, set up by Englishman Andrew Stow in 1989, to tuck into a few of the egg tarts for which the bakery is famous. Up the cobblestone streets of historic Taipa village you’ll find Antonio’s, headed by Antonio Coelho. Antonio serves up sautéed clams with garlic and white wine sauce, alongside stuffed crab and homemade Portuguese sausage. With its colourful tiles and paintings inside, you’ll have to remind yourself you’re in Asia.
There are loads of other places to eat in Taipa Village, originally a fishing hamlet that’s hung on to its heritage architecture. O Manel is in high demand, along with Litoral, much sought after for its Macanese dishes such as African chicken, cod cakes and minchi (steamed rice and fried mince meat with egg on top).
Step back into the 1960s at Old Macao’s Lung Wah Tea House, with its retro furniture and huge windows overlooking Red Market. If you want to eat like a local, small street-side eateries serve up claypot and hot-pot meals alongside barbecued skewers.
For something truly special, investigate one of the 19 Michelin-star restaurants in Macao. Dim sum (yum cha) at The 8 Restaurant (within the Grand Lisboa), Wing Lei Palace (Wynn Palace Cotai) and Wing lei (Wynn Macau) will leave you wanting more.
With Macao having been designated a UNESCO Creative City for gastronomy, this is the place to let your taste buds go wild.
Fly Cathay Pacific, Virgin Australia or Qantas to Hong Kong with connecting TurboJetSea Express swift ferry service from either HKIA or from Hong Island or Kowloon to Macao (takes 1hr). Alternatively, shuttle bus across the new over-the-sea bridge linking Hong Kong with Macao (around 35 minutes). Also, fly via other Asian hubs into Macao International Airport (eg Xiamen Airlines via Xiamen from Sydney or Melbourne). Integrated Macao resorts and hotels offer free shuttle services from Macao or Taipa ferry terminals as well as Macao International Airport.
Street food costs just a few dollars, but if you want to spoil yourself head to a Michelin-star restaurant. Although you’ll pay a little more, Macau still represents a ‘bargain’ for this kind of fine dining. P