It’s about as Chinese as it gets in the tiny, local restaurants in the more remote corners of Macau, where you can enjoy dim sum (also known locally as “yum cha”), along with some of the more exotic Cantonese dishes. But the Portuguese influence cannot be missed—and it’s easy to find restaurants serving sumptuous European fare as well as the distinctive Macanese brand of food that combines the best of both worlds.
Fantastic Fish Fillet and African Chicken
While the traditional Chinese way to serve fish is usually whole, with the head still on, in Macau you will find bacalhau, a distinctly Portuguese fish dish made from salted cod fillets. There are thousands of different ways to prepare bacalhau, so don’t hesitate to order it again and again in several different restaurants to enjoy the variety. You’ll also find African chicken (Galinha a Africana) everywhere, another Portuguese favorite. African chicken is another delight that is not to be missed. The savory, but not overly spicy flavor is enhanced by a rich sauce that complements the chicken perfectly. It goes perfectly with a nice carafe of sangria, perfectly mixed and served with fresh fruit at just about every Macanese restaurant in the region.
Egg Tart in Portuguese
You’ll notice a unique afternoon snack called the “Portuguese egg tart” everywhere you go. You’ll find some blocks near the ruins of St. Paul’s where there are two or three egg tart shops within a few doors of each other, and they’re all equally delicious. A Portuguese egg tart is just a small piece of flaky goodness, with a delicate crust filled with egg custard, browned just enough on top to make it perfect. Some of the cafes that specialize in making Portuguese egg tarts are so popular, there will be a line of customers waiting for them to come out of the oven.
Chinese and European Flavor
Once you pull yourself away from the gaming tables, you may well find that eating is more enjoyable, especially if you’re down a few too many patacas. Macau offers the unique experience of having three distinctive cuisines—Cantonese, Portuguese, and Macanese, the latter of which is a unique fusion of the first two. And of course, as a prime tourist destination for people from all over the world, you’ll also find plenty of restaurants serving French, Italian, and even American cuisine, and even the standard fast-food restaurants that are becoming popular throughout both Mainland China and the special administrative regions.