Food is not something Macao takes lightly. In fact, Macao’s cuisine offering is so good it’s become known as one of China’s food hotspots. The Asian centre has even been designated a UNESCO Creative City of Gastronomy, the title reflecting as much on the cuisine’s history as to its taste.
The former Portuguese trading post attracts some of the world’s greatest chefs. Just this year two award-winning Australian chefs were invited to Macao to learn more about the traditional cuisine, considered to be one of the world’s earliest forms of fusion food. They found themselves cooking up a storm of traditional Macanese dishes, including Minchi (minced meat topped with fried egg) and popular dessert Serradura (sawdust pudding), under the watchful eye of local chefs.
From tiny hole-in-the-wall award-winning street food to three-star Michelin quality restaurants, Macao is proud of its cuisine. Macanese dishes combine Portuguese and Chinese flavours, blended with spices from all over the world. The flavours are rich and tasty, a nod to their rich gastro-heritage.
Where to eat…
If you’re planning to stick around for a few days you might want to start slow. Lunchtime could be spent in the tranquil, somewhat sleepy, fishing village of Coloane (one of Macao’s two islands) dining on Portuguese dishes at the Espaco Lisboa Restaurant.
At night, Macao comes to life. A visit to The Parisian Hotel’s Lotus Palace is a must. There you will enjoy a traditional Chinese hot pot within a few strides from a scaled down version of the Eiffel Tower. Head across to another corner of Cotai, and you can be entertained with a bit of theatre while you dine on a juicy steak at the upmarket SW Steakhouse within the Wynn Palace.
For another special dining experience in Macao, book a table at chef Mitsuharu Tsumura’s Aji restaurant within the new MGM Cotai. There you will find traditional Peruvian cuisine with Japanese technique, combined by the celebrity chef. The results of this fusion are beyond tantalising.
If you’re after the degustation of a lifetime, visit the upmarket Jade Dragon Chinese restaurant in The City of Dreams. The crispy suckling pig with caviar or the pan-fried pork dumpling with abalone sauce are two dishes you must try.
Or for a seafood extravaganza, visit Fisherman’s Wharf, located on Macao’s peninsula waterfront. There you will find the newly-opened Rio Grill and Seafood Market for wine and oysters, its neighbouring Rodiso restaurant, popular for its Brazilian-style barbecued meals.
Macao’s Tiny Taipa Village continues to do the cuisine proud, with many different dining options. Choose from long-established restaurants such as O Manel and Antonio’s, famous for their traditional Portuguese cuisine, and the newly-opened Goa Nights, the only Indian restaurant in the village.
To think all the above and more can exist in one place is a little crazy. But lucky for you, it’s true.
Visit Macao for a full belly and happy heart.
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