Start the day like a local and have congee for breakfast in a tiny alleyway. The proprietor at Cheong Kei Noodle House (68, Rua de Felicidade) sells out by 2pm. You’ll see snaking queues of locals waiting for a table, or with their metal tiffin carriers for takeaways. Want a great Chinese schnitzel? Head to Pui Kei (25 Rua da Cunha, Taipa) and order the deep-fried pork chop and egg noodles (“Gat Lei Zhu Pai Lou Meen” – Cantonese phoenetics should help with ordering).
Nam Peng Cafe (54 Rua de Cinco de Outubro) has been serving some of its customers for more than 50 years, so you can soak in the atmosphere and pace of life of older-generation locals. The signature dish is the sandwich, generously filled with luncheon meat, BBQ pork (char siu) and an omelette, with a milk tea on the side. Service is brash and curt, and only in Cantonese, so it’s best for brave diners looking for full immersion into the city and culture.Nam Peng Café – Macao
Dim sum options abound in Macao, but locals usually gather at Portas do Sol at Hotel Lisboa Macau (hotelisboa.com) for Sunday yum cha. Located in an old ballroom converted into a makeshift restaurant, the interiors feel like a 1970s movie set, but it’s the food that counts.
For a taste of authentic Macanese food, Riquexo (69 Avenida Sidonio Pais) and Litoral (261 R. do Alm. Sergio) serve up the best. Order dishes like minchi (minced beef or pork) for an initiation into the rich and complex flavours. And for a sweet treat (and a delicious reminder of Macao’s Portuguese influence), be sure to try an iconic Macao treat: an egg custard tart.Egg Custard Tart
The best are at Lord Stow’s Bakery (lordstow.com), Margaret’s Café e Nata (17B Goldlion building, Rua do Comandante Mata e Oliveira) or San Hou Lei (13-14 Rua do Cunha) in Taipa Village.
The latter is a Chinese confectioner that does a variety of tarts including coconut, milk custard and bird’s nest. Consider it a pastry-lover’s pilgrimage.