Macau is often referred to as the Vegas of the East, and while it is decked out in casinos, there’s also so much more. I already talked about how to spend one day in Macau seeing both the culture and casinos, but I didn’t really touch on the food.
Oh, the food. Street food runs rampant in Asia, and in Macau is no exception. While a lot of the food is the same as in Hong Kong and China, you can also find exotic East-meets-West flavors thanks to Macau’s Portuguese roots. And you want to know the best part about these delicious blends? Most of them come in the form of desserts!
So if you find yourself in Macau, Here are 6 Must-Try Street Eats.
1) Portuguese Egg Tart
The most famous street food in Macau would have to be pastel de nata, or Portuguese egg tarts. Credited to bringing Portuguese-styled egg tarts to Asia in the 1980s, Lord Stow’s Bakery is said to make the best around. Egg tarts can be found all across Asia, but the Portuguese version is definitely king. With its top caramelized like creme brûlée, this was one famous Macau treat we had to try.
2) Double Skin Steamed Milk Pudding
Made using only whole milk, egg and sugar, this sweet dessert can be enjoyed hot or cold. I ordered mine hot and minutes later a bowl of wobbly coagulated milk was placed in front of me. I was a little skeptical, but I took my spoon and skimmed the top layer. I was worried it would have an egg-like taste, similar to that of egg tarts made with only egg whites, but to my pleasant surprise I didn’t taste egg at all. It tasted purely like warm, sugary milk. Yum!
3) Almond Cookies
Tied for my favorite street eat, these cookies are the most popular souvenir from Macau for a reason. They are made by hand with the mixture being pressed firmly into wooden molds, roasted over a charcoal oven and then slapped on a table for the individual cookies to be released. The texture is very fine and will begin to crumble at the mere touch, and the taste is like shortbread with almonds. I think I’m particularly fond of these cookies because they remind me of cookies my mother always used to make for Christmas!
My other favorite Macanese snack is serradura, meaning ‘sawdust’ in Portuguese. But don’t let the name throw you off. As a pudding hater myself and a probable hater of sawdust, although these words are in its name, it’s merely just finely crushed biscuits layered with tons of sweetened whipped cream. The airy texture of the cream mixes perfectly with the ‘sawdusty’ texture of the biscuits. Pure heaven!
5) Pork and Beef Jerky
Known as bakkwa, this Chinese dried meat product is similar to what westerners would call jerky. Most commonly found in beef and pork, you can also find more exotic meats such as boar and ostrich. Although this snack has a naturally savory-sweet flavor, you can find a variety of added spices or marinades. You’ll find these shops all over Macau, with the employees waiting outside, eager to cut you a sample with their giant scissors!
6) Pork Chop Bun
The most simple of Macau street food would have to be the pork chop buns, or “piggy buns”. The name of this snack says it all because it’s simply a pork chop on a plain bun; no lettuce, sauce or other surprises– but trust me, they aren’t needed. The buns are toasted until crispy on the outside but remain soft on the inside, and the freshly fried pork chop is juicy and tender. The best part? These buns are all fresh and made to order!