This is a suggested itinerary for trying a few local delicacies. I’ve organised the walk partly according to geographical location and also in the order you might want to eat the foods in. I’ve put everywhere mentioned on this Google map.
Birmanes Nga Heong (Elementary B+), 27F Rua De Fernao Mendes Pinto
In the 60s and 70s, after anti-Chinese riots in Rangoon, some Burmese of Chinese descent came to settle in Macau. This shop was opened in 1978 and specialises in Burmese cuisine.
They serve a mean Burmese samosa (B+).
I’d come to try their most famous dish, Massinha de Peixe (fish with noodles), which consists of a rich fish stock with the addition of lemon, black peppercorn, coriander, turmeric, chilli and banana tree stem, eaten with vermicelli rice noodles and garnished with lime and split chickpea fritters.
I’m an afficionado of noodle soups but this little combo was completely new to me and I really liked it (B+).
For dessert you could go down the road to this place…
Lai Kei Sorvetes (Intermediate A), 12 Avenida do Conselheiro Ferreira de Almeida, laikei-icecream.com
This ice cream parlour is one of my top picks for two reasons.
First off, I love the look of the shop front and the classic 1960s interior. Especially the snug little booths but also the other furnishings…
…and secondly I love the nostalgic feeling of eating their old-school handmade ice cream.
Their ice cream sandwich still comes in its original wrapping…
Single Origin (Intermediate A), 19 Rua de Abreu Nunes
Just a couple of blocks away from Lai Kei ice cream parlour is this great little hipster coffee shop which serves a tidy cuppa (A).
Back in the old town, one thing you’ll see a lot of along Rua de São Paulo, is the famous Macanese jerky. It’s a variety of Bakkwa, a centuries old preparation of dried meat from China. For many Chinese tourists from the mainland it’s a popular souvenir to take home.
Pork and beef varieties are popular here and come in multiple flavours including black pepper, chilli, five spice, abalone and honey-roasted.
Don’t worry if you don’t know which one to get, the street vendors will cut off strips for you to try.
I particularly liked the honey-roasted flavours but I do have a big sweet tooth.
Despite a name that invokes images of a difficult-to-chew dried meat, I found it to be quite moist and very edible.
Yee Shun Dairy Company aka Leitaria I Son (Intermediate B), 381 Avenida de Almeida Ribeiro
In the Macau episode of his No Reservations series, Anthony Bourdain was brought to this steamed milk custard vendor. It’s one of the local delicacies, served for over 150 years in this shop, although he didn’t really come across as a fan (from 36.16 in the video).
There a few kinds to choose from, the most common being the white milk custard and the yellow egg custard varieties, served either hot or cold. However many people prefer the ginger or red bean versions as they have more flavour.
I had the classic cold white milk pudding which was fine but completely bland (B).
There are of course heaps of other places to eat including plenty of street vendors.
This very popular stall selling Cantonese style street food was on Travessa do Mastro, just around the corner from the Fat Siu Lau restaurant.
Here’s a link to some other examples of Macanese cuisine.
Colonial era architecture next!