Street Food in Macau | Macanese Cuisine

Macanese egg tart in Audrey's hand in Macau, China

Today’s feature travel video is of us eating street food in Macau, China with a specific emphasis on Macanese cuisine which has distinct Chinese and Portuguese influences.

Macanese Cuisine

 

Macanese strips of meat

After an impossibly long day packing up, moving out and flying to Macau from Chiang Mai, we were ready to hit the streets – after a long sleep – to check out all of the culinary delights Macau has to offer.

Unique to Macau, Macanese cuisine is an eclectic blend of Portuguese, southern Chinese, SE Asian and African influences.

It’s a fusion style of cuisine that combines ingredients found in Europe, other parts of Asia and locally.

Old world blends of spices including coconut milk, cinnamon, turmeric and bacalhau are typical seasonings when making Macanese dishes.

Baking, seldom used in Chinese cuisine, features prominently in Macanese dishes.

As we wandered through the historic area of the Macau we quickly realized we’d be able to mark off all of the items we had our checklist of street foods to try eating.

On our way from Senado Square (Senate Square – *Portuguese: Largo do Senado; Chinese: 議事亭前地*) to The Ruins of St. Paul’s Cathedral (Portuguese: Ruínas de São Paulo, Chinese: 大三巴牌坊) we walked along a bustling pedestrian section featuring many kinds of Macanese dishes.

There were so many people competing for space it looked as though an ant hill suddenly split open with all the ants (people) scurrying about frantically.

Macanese egg tart

 

Macanese Egg Tarts

 

First on our list was the famed Egg Tarts (Portuguese: pastel de nata) which we quickly spotted as we randomly wandered around.

Pastéis de nata were first introduced in China under the Portuguese government that controlled Macau.

In Chinese they are known locally as 蛋撻 and/or 蛋挞 (pronounced as dàntǎ) literally translating as egg tart.

On the outside they were crispy with a soft fluffy creamy center similar to a souffle. Distinctly sweet, they immediately were a hit with both of us.

As we continued along the pedestrian strip we encountered a shop giving out free samples of dried and sweetened strips of meat. Audrey took a bite and proclaimed it tasted similar to bacon.

 

Macanese Almond Biscuits

 

Our quest to satisfy our ever demanding sweet tooth brought us over to a shop selling almond biscuits (杏仁饼 or 杏仁餅). Also known as almond cakes and almond cookies, these Chinese pastries are quite similar to shortbread Christmas cookies. They’d make a great little snack for afternoon tea.

Macanese Pork Chop Bun

 

Macanese Pork Chop Bun

 

Feeling a little overwhelmed by the gridlock of people in tandem with stifling heat and humidity, we decided to head down a less crowded side street where we just happened to stumble across a shop selling Macanese pork chop buns.

These buns, which are crispy on the outside and soft inside, are some of the most popular snacks in all of Macau. Luckily, the little eatery we selected was full of locals, so we knew it would be good.

Also known as a piggy bun, a fried slab of seasoned pork chop (豬扒包) is placed inside of a bun that appeared to be coated with butter.

Although this dish wouldn’t score highly in terms of ‘being healthy’ it certainly was delicious as the pork was very flavorful and melted in your mouth with each bite of the bun.

The one dish we didn’t get to try was Galinha à Africana (African chicken); however, I have tried it once before and I even made my own version of African chicken which I shared as a recipe on my site.

Overall, we enjoyed tickling our taste-buds with Macanese cuisine and we highly recommend you try as much as you can when visiting Macau.

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{ 33 comments… read them below or add one }

Bradley September 2, 2013 at 10:00 am

I had honestly never even heard of Macanese cuisine before this post. awesome. I want some Macanese Almond Biscuits right now!!! and a pork chop bun on the side, why not.

How long are you guys in Macau for?

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Samuel Jeffery September 2, 2013 at 11:06 pm

Bradley,

I don’t think many know about it to be honest. It’s all really good! We’re actually leaving today in just a few hours. We’ll be taking a Hydrofoil to Hong Kong.

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Dan @ A Cruising Couple September 2, 2013 at 10:09 am

We loved the food in Macau! Such an interesting blend of flavors. We did our fair share of street food, but also splurged on some of the more popular restaurants. Our meal at the Portuguese establishment A Lorcha was hands down our favorite, and I do think we ordered the African Chicken there. Look forward to giving your recipe a try.

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Samuel Jeffery September 2, 2013 at 11:42 pm

Thanks Dan!

We didn’t get a chance to try African chicken this time around unfortunately. It was one of my favorite dishes when I visited back in 2008.

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James Shannon September 2, 2013 at 10:23 am

It’s a pork chop! In a bun!

Best. Food idea. EVER.

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Samuel Jeffery September 2, 2013 at 11:43 pm

LOL, indeed!

More things ought to be put inside a bun ;)

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Ashley of Ashley Abroad September 2, 2013 at 11:09 am

I was in Macau yesterday (where I saw Audrey, of course!) and I loved the egg tart but never got around to trying the pork bun… it looks like I definitely missed out!

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Samuel Jeffery September 2, 2013 at 11:44 pm

Glad you met up with Audrey yesterday! She said she had a great time.

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Andi of My Beautiful Adventures September 2, 2013 at 4:37 pm

Awww now I miss Macau!!! I could so go for an egg tart right now!

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Samuel Jeffery September 2, 2013 at 11:48 pm

Wish I could send you one from here Andi! ;)

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Lillie - @WorldLillie September 2, 2013 at 6:36 pm

Yuuuuuuummmm! Looks SO GOOD!

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Samuel Jeffery September 2, 2013 at 11:50 pm

Thanks Lillie!

Oh, was it ever goooood :)

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Beth September 4, 2013 at 1:04 pm

I made a post a few weeks ago about street food in Macau, and my list looked almost identical to this ;) Glad you got to try some delicious Macanese snacks!

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Samuel Jeffery September 5, 2013 at 12:49 pm

Great minds think alike Beth ;)

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Mary @ Green Global Travel September 4, 2013 at 1:45 pm

It’s wonderful to see some street views of Macau while also taking in your descriptions of local delicacies! The tarts looked absolutely delicious, as did the almond cakes! What seems most unusual from a North American perspective were the large sheets of dried, sweetened and pressed meat! Interesting!

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Samuel Jeffery September 6, 2013 at 1:23 am

Thanks Mary!

The dried meat was really exotic. The tarts truly were delicious and we’re finding they’re just as popular in Hong Kong – although they’re quite different in style.

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Gaye @ Pinay Travel Junkie September 4, 2013 at 3:23 pm

Oh my! Those egg tartsss! I miss ‘em so much! Nobody told us about the porkchop bun :( Looks heavenly!

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Samuel Jeffery September 6, 2013 at 1:24 am

Those egg tarts are aaaaaaamazing ;) I hope you’ll have a chance to go back soon to try the porkchop bun and to eat more egg tarts!

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Ron | Active Palate Travels September 9, 2013 at 3:51 pm

That Macanese Almond Biscuit looks delicious….especially with a cup of tea! I just finally made it to China and am in Kunming now. Can’t wait to eat more of the food (although what I have had so far has been delicious)!

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Samuel Jeffery September 10, 2013 at 2:22 am

Thanks Ron!

They really go well together. That’s a cool part of China to explore. I was there in 2010.

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mommy_kayz September 14, 2013 at 6:03 am

That Macanese Pork Chop Bun specially caught my attention! looks delish! sigh*

TravelVera

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Samuel Jeffery September 14, 2013 at 7:42 am

Thanks! That was one of our favs!

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Emily McIntyre September 15, 2013 at 4:08 pm

Wow. The photo of the egg tart had my mouth watering, and the Macanese Pork Chop Bun sounded delicious! Loved this account of your food adventures in Macau! Thanks for sharing.

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Emily McIntyre September 15, 2013 at 4:09 pm

Wow. The photo of the egg tart had my mouth watering, and the Macanese Pork Chop Bun sounded delicious! Loved this account of your food adventures in Macau! Thanks for sharing.

EWM

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Samuel Jeffery September 16, 2013 at 11:09 pm

Thanks! The egg tart was my favorite. Egg tarts in Hong Kong are also really good!

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Andy Seabrook September 16, 2013 at 9:28 pm

Looks like your having a damn good time over there – jealous as hell! shared your video onto one of our facebook groups “Culinary Tourism – Adventurebods” https://www.facebook.com/groups/culinary666/ – hope you don’t mind!

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Samuel Jeffery September 16, 2013 at 11:04 pm

Thank you! That’s very kind of you to share it :)

We had a really pleasant visit in Macau. Hopefully we’ll do a video of street food in Hong Kong soon.

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Heather September 17, 2013 at 12:22 am

How did I miss that pork chop bun?? Probably because I was too busy stuffing egg tarts in my mouth :-)

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Samuel Jeffery September 18, 2013 at 1:31 am

LOL, that’s not such a bad excuse to have ;) Those egg tarts are YUMMY!

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john September 18, 2013 at 11:54 am

I’m sure the Macanese Egg tart is as good as the Pastel De Nata (from Belem) ! Looks very yummy !
Regarding the macanese strip of meat, I found similar in Malaysia, very good as well !

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Samuel Jeffery September 19, 2013 at 6:24 am

I noticed those in Malaysia as well! It was really good :)

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Apol | WanderfulTogether.com September 26, 2013 at 6:03 am

I miss the egg tarts! I really enjoyed the almond cookies there and especially because they have free taste.. even inside the Venetian hehe.
We have yet to taste the piggy bun though. At least one item to look forward to when we go back to Macau! :D

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Chad Klyne October 1, 2013 at 1:10 am

Oh god that food looks fantastic! Definitely the pork bun for me!

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