Why try one dish when you can try them all? Macao is a heaven for foodies, and its interesting and rich history, with influences from around the globe, makes it a must-visit for any flavour-obsessed traveller. Whether you’re looking to try flaky sweet pastries, indulge in unusual street food or swap the stalls for Michelin-starred dining, you’ll definitely eat well for every meal.
Delicious dishes – As well as delicious Chinese food of all kinds and some of the best Portuguese food outside Portugal, the local Macanese cuisine – one of the world’s first fusion cuisines – includes flavours from Africa, India, South East Asia and South America. Duck into the local restaurants and you’ll find menus packed with regional dishes, including the subtle spices of minchi. The pork and beef mince dish is seasoned with garlic, bay leaf and soy sauce, and is often topped with egg, and is a fast-track insight into the delicious world of Macanese foodie culture. Elsewhere you can discover porco tamarindo, a rich flavour-packed stew with shrimp paste, sugar, Chinese seasonings and tamarind, or curry crab – a fragant curry with a sweet and thick sauce.
The strong African influence is showcased in another popular local dish, Galinha a Africana: the delicious Macanese specialty features chicken cooked with mixed tropical spices and coconut milk, and is a culinary highlight of Macao. For street-side dining, you’ll get your fill around the 16th-century Ruins of St Paul’s, which sits in the middle of The Historic Centre, a Unesco World Heritage Site. Here the stalls are stacked with luminous meat jerky which is as sticky as it is moreish. Elsewhere on Rua da Cunha, or ‘Food Street’, you can lose yourself in a maze of colourful restaurants and bakeries, while stopping to sample various versions of Macao’s famous deep-fried pork chop bun, which is its own delicious take on the humble burger.
Michelin-starred specialities – If you’re looking for something smarter, Macao boasts 16 Michelin-starred restaurants to choose from, where delicious, inventive cuisine sits alongside incredible service and spectacular settings. The Eight has three stars to its name, and creates exceptional looking, and tasting, dim sum. The signature gold-fish shaped shrimp dumplings, and hedgehog-shaped pork buns are a must-try. Meanwhile, Robuchon au Dome, which also holds three Michelin stars, serves up decadent French cuisine in a sophisticated chandelier-lit room, with some of the best views over Macao available from its tables.
Sweet snacks – Macao’s culinary influence is shaped by its unique heritage, and that’s still reflected today. A perfect example of this is the city’s most famous snack — pastel de nata. These delicious egg tarts are a twist on the traditional Portuguese version, and one of the best places to try’ them is Lord Stows Bakery in Coloane (it was set up by an Englishman, Andrew Stow, who created his recipe in 1989). Other snacks include almond cakes, egg rolls and peanut candies that are loved by locals and visitors, alike.