Food: Macau

Chef and TV presenter Jonathan Phang reveals his insider tips on the best places to eat in China's former Portuguese colony

By Jonathan Phang
Published 18 Feb 2016, 08:00 GMT, Updated 7 Jul 2021, 11:27 BST
Street stalls in the Red Market.

Street stalls in the Red Market.

Photograph by Alamy

Best for bun lovers
Pork chop buns are popular, inexpensive snacks found all over Macau but my favourite is from Tai Lei Loi Kei. A marinated fried pork loin chop is sandwiched between a baguette that's crunchy on the outside and as soft as a pillow on the inside, soaked in the flavours of the tender meat juices. Simple, tasty and satisfying.

Best for Portuguese food
Chef António Coelho is a warm-hearted, larger-than-life character dedicated to serving a wide variety of authentic and historic Portuguese dishes at his restaurant, António, set in the historic heart of Taipa Village. Since opening its doors in 2008, António's has won almost every accolade going and is recognised for its contribution to preserving and promoting Portuguese culture in Macau.

Staples such as pastéis de bacalhau (salt cod fish cakes), quente ou frio (dressed crab in the shell) and smoked sausage are all great but his peasant-style dishes such as açorda de marisco diversos (mashed bread paste and mixed seafood, garnished with a raw egg) are a revelation.

Best food market
The Red Market derives its name from the bricks used in the construction of this impressive three-storey art deco building, which covers an entire block. It offers the freshest of ingredients and is a hive of local activity. Don't visit the third-floor meat market if you're squeamish. Avenida do Almirante Lacerda. Open daily from 7.30am to 7.30pm.

Best Macanese food
The much-loved Aida de Jesus has been serving the Macanese community since 1985 from her canteen-style takeaway, Riquexo Macao ('Macau Rickshaw'). She recently celebrated her 100th birthday and still cooks every evening, producing Macanese home-style dishes such as African chicken, feijoada (stewed black beans), minchi (stir-fried beef mince), and stewed pork with tamarind and shrimp paste.

The chef

Born in London to a Guyanese mother and Chinese father, former Britain's Next Top Model judge, Jonathan Phang, has travelled and eaten his way around the globe, presenting a 10-part series on Caribbean cooking and two series of Gourmet Trains. His cookbook and food memoir, The Pepperpot Club,is published by Hardie Grant. RRP: £22.95.

Published in the March 2016 issue of National Geographic Traveller (UK)


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