Savour Chinese treats and Portuguese delights

Savour Chinese treats and Portuguese delights

If your idea of a food trail in Macau is indulging in mouth-watering Chinese food such as dimsum every day, then you are in luck, because there is certainly an abundance of that.

But let's not forget the often neglected Portuguese cuisine from Macau's colonial past.

A colony of Portugal till 1999, the island is filled with restaurants serving Portuguese food, run by none other than Portuguese owners - a testament to their authenticity.

Take a stroll in the fishing village on Coloane Island - one of two islands connected by bridge to the Macau Peninsula - and you will come across one such restaurant, in the quaint and cosy Restaurante Espaco Lisboa.

Stepping foot in it, you will be greeted with the warmth of its wooden interior and beige curtains, which allow some sunlight into the room.

The restaurant was opened in 2003 by Francisco Cruz and Henrique Custodio, who felt the need to conserve the Portuguese heritage in Macau following its handover to China.

Top on your list of must-try main courses should be the eatery's famous African chicken with garlic, onions, chilli, ginger and coconut milk sauce, served with potato and mixed salad.

The generous mix of sauces packs a burst of flavours which, if overwhelming, can be paired with a bowl of mild, traditional Portuguese green cabbage soup with sausage and cornbread.

Other must-tries are goat cheese drizzled in honey, as well as sauteed clams with garlic, coriander, olive oil and white wine.

After a satisfying meal, there's the surrounding Coloane Village to explore, which boasts the St Francis Xavier Church. Also a sight to behold are the rustic provision shops selling dried seafood, which appear to be trapped in time with their 1980s interior decor.

To round off your trip, stop by the famed Lord Stow's Bakery, which sells "Macau version" Portuguese egg tarts - these differ slightly from the Pasteis de Nata Portuguese tarts. The bakery was opened by Englishman Andrew Stow in 1989, and is now operated by his sister, Eileen Stow, and daughter Audrey Stow.

Baking starts at 2am. The baking team has grown from just two people when it opened to around 130 today.

Over the years, the bakery has made a name for itself in the region, having expanded to six outlets in Macau and franchises in Hong Kong, Japan and the Philippines.

Even celebrities have patronised the bakery, including Rolling Stones lead singer Mick Jagger, incognito, said Ms Eileen Stow.

Ms Stow is cautious about further expansion.

"We don't want to pop up everywhere," she said, so that the bakery can retain its uniqueness and not become too commercialised.

samboh@sph.com.sg

RESTAURANTE ESPACO LISBOA

Address: Rua das Gaivotas No. 8, Coloane

Tel: +853-2888-2226

LORD STOW'S BAKERY (Main)

Address: 1 Rua do Tassara, Coloane

Tel: +853-2888-2534


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