Here they are imposed recipes derived from China, especially Cantonese, but also of the South Asian cuisine like from India (there are good curry chickens) and, fundamentally, the Portuguese with African influences like Mozambique. On the other hand, very high-level Japanese restaurants are becoming very fashionable and there is even some Spanish (for those who do not want to leave the taste of the earth) like the Celona Bar.
Eating in Macao: essential typical dishes
Pepper prawns (or other spices)
The use of spices can lead to seasoning traditionally grilled dishes such as prawns with turmeric, coconut milk or cinnamon. The most common is to find them at Pepper
It can be served with rice and presented as skewers.
Squids with saffron sauce
Another typical entree is the squid with saffron sauce although they can be served with also with tomato
Possibly one of the best examples of the attempt to imitate European dishes using the product of this part of the planet. Eye, they are usually spicy.
Galinha africana (African hen)
If there is a dish that says everything you need to know about the culinary heritage of Macao that is this that combines European, Indian, African and Southeast Asian influences
Its origins are discussed although it is known that it comes from the Portuguese colonization in Mozambique maintaining many spices and coconut milk and that basically consists of chicken topped with peanut sauce, tomato and chili, sometimes with paprika.
If the previous one was the star, the minchi is the one that triumphs among the young people of Macao, a plate of minced meat (pork and cow) that is stewed along with potatoes, onions and spices (can also carry egg)
Although the appearance may seem very European, it has a touch of Chinese distinction since the minced meat is seasoned with molasses and soy sauce
Bacalhau in different ways
The Portuguese influence of Macao does not go unnoticed when we open any menu and begin to see the amount of different dishes based on dried cod that we can find.
Among them we can find the bacalhau or bras, in various sauces or the most popular, served sliced with parsley and potatoes accompanied by rice (practically available in any restaurant)
Desserts of Portuguese origin
What to say about desserts (very similar to the ones we tried in Porto)? All kinds of cookies, almond pies, pork rolls (the pig can be found in countless dishes, even in sweets) or the mythicalcream pastes
Curious is the callrougan, sometimes used as a dessert and sometimes as an appetizer, consisting of a dried meat sweetened with honey very typical in Asia.
Other typical Macau dishes you can try
Those who have more days can try some other usual recipes such as, if you are "carnivorous" the Portuguese chicken with coconut sauce (originally from Indian cuisine) or Stewed rabbit with wine, cinnamon and star anise they will make you salivate, the elaborated seafood dishes among which therice with seafood or clams, not forgetting their excellent wines.
Restaurants where to eat in Macao (very charming)
Antonio Restaurant, one of the best known in Macau
Food typical portuguese such as a kind of sausage to hell, pickled partridge or octopus salad, on the island of Taipa. This is their website if you want to take a look at the menu.
A dinner for two will be around 100 euros, so it is not the cheapest.
O Santos, Portuguese with less pretensions
Another classic Portuguese cuisine and a little cheaper than the previous one, basically because it is a classic bar like the one you could find in Portugal in any corner. A dinner for two can be around 80 euros and is also located in Taipa on Rua do Cunha 20. Everyone recommends booking.
Alfonso III Restaurant, our great discovery
We arrived almost by chance oriented by the locals and we cannot be more proud to name it here. Remember the typical portuguese tavern where there is no shortage of cooked soups, grilled cod, shrimp skewers and “lamb” leg in addition to a good house wine
It is located on Rua de Tomas Vieira, 72
Miramar restaurant, an option by the sea
The Miramar is in Coloane Island and specializes in sea products: grilled sardines, spicy octopus, clams, scallops with cheese (you read well), baked fish stews ... so if you fancy well cooked fish away from all the noise of Macao this may be a good option. For about 30/40 euros per person you can eat quite well.
Tai Li Loi Kei, the best "tenderloin sandwiches"
His specialty is the "Pork chop bun", a kind of pork chop with a lot of followers who travel to it explicitly to taste them. You can also drink curd milk both cold and hot, yes, this is only for stomachs resistant to any storm. A curious thing is that drinks have a different price if they are cold or hot (more expensive cold). The cutlet costs about five euros and the whole meal will cost you about 10-12 euros. It is in Taipa in Largo Governor, 18.
Seng Cheong and his famous crab rice soup
This restaurant is also quite known. It is on Rua do Cunha street and its most famous dishes are the "Crab congee" and the "Frog leg congee", basically Crab Rice Soup or rice soup with frog legs.
They have San Miguel beer (Did you know that San Miguel was created in Manila, Philippines?)
Wong Chi Kei and his thousand noodles
This site is mostly for eat "noodles" with many combinations, probably the most typical is the shrimp with egg. Most of the dishes are around 100 MOP, about ten and a half euros. It is in Largo do Senado, 17.
Nam Ping and his thousand sandwich
It is a good place to have breakfast or snack. You'll be surprised a lot with the combinations they make in sandwich, especially the pork with egg. It is a special place, very traditional and cheap and they say they have some of the best coffees in Macau. It is in Rua de Cinco de Outubro, 85.
Koi Kei, one of its most important patisseries
Koi Kei which is in one of the most famous streets of Macau, the Cunha. It is a Chinese pastry franchise that offers a mix of modernity with tradition. Examples may be the mixing of meat with sweets. We have begun to do it with caramelized onion or blueberry jam everywhere but we have not reached the levels seen in Koi Kei and others Chinese pastry shops in Macau.
The difference in prices between some cakes and others are usually due to the fact that some need to be cooked by hand (and individually) and others can be done in series. As always, the handmade ones are richer.
Fong Kei and his classic cookies
A great place to try and buy the classic chinese cookies made in the traditional way, as is its decoration. It is in Cunha street and go patiently, because there are usually queues.
Some extra practical information to plan your visit
How to get to Macao and where to find more information to visit it?
KLM and air France operate several routes a week to the Macau International Airport. There are also connections with Hong Kong that is linked by fast ferry with Macao as we did and you can read in our travel diary to Hong Kong and Macao.
You can read a complete route in Macao in the article "What to visit in Macao"of our stories.
With what prices can I find in the restaurants of Macao?
Among the variety of options available to Macao, eat at Street restaurants can cost you about 10 euros per person, being able to reach 30-40 euros in some with more charm. The most luxurious options can go to 100 euros.
I am very meticulous in my selection, any Michelin Star in Macau?
If you have a bigger budget you can opt for a Michelin Star. In Macao there is neither more nor less than 19 according to the 2017 Michelin Guide and that we talk about a city that does not reach 700,000 inhabitants (includes those in the category "best restaurants to eat on the street").Here are the Macao street restaurants that appear in the Michelin Guide and here those who have a star or more.
Do you want one last tip? Take the opportunity offered by a visit to Macao, a unique gastronomic city, and try everything you can. And you, Have you already been to charming restaurants where to eat in Macao or have you tried some other typical dish and dare to recommend it? Do it! We promise to update it for future travelers
Isaac, from Macao