Gourmet Trips

Macau – Lost City of Good Eats

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Macau is at a crossroad – the city’s main income come from casinos. In fact Macau has overtaken Las Vegas as the Gambling Capital of the world. However, dining wise, I would voice a deep disappoint that the casinos have not brought about a renaissance of the culinary type. In fact, the best eateries are those not in the casinos. Here are some of the best of Macau have to offer.

Some of these places existed even before the casinos start coming in. Why I recommend you to taste these in Macau even though you may be able to get it HK or elsewhere in China – 1) freshness due to proximity to the sources of ingredients and 2) techniques. Some of the cooking techniques are lost in the rapid expansion of restaurant chains in China. Also in the push for higher profits, some of these ingredients have been doctored – e.g. pig blood, pigeons, shark’s fin and dogfish.


水蟹粥 (read: Shui Hai Jhok) is a traditional favourite of the Macaunese and tourists alike. 水蟹 is a freshwater crab that is bred in the estuary and is exposed to saltwater (Brackish water is the correct terminology). So it retains the sweetness of the freshwater variety, while inherits the advantages of the saltwater variety. The best months to savour this dish are the autumn (more roe) and winter months (more meat).

This crab is cleaned and chopped into pieces and then cooked in plain congee (or Jhok in cantonese). The congees absorbs all the goodness of the crab that resulted in a sweet, savoury goo that is flavourful to the very last drop.

Fine examples can be found in 肥仔文 in 氹仔, and 皇冠小館 at 水坑尾街


九肚魚大名龍頭魚,又名狗母魚、豆腐魚、狗吐魚、水龍魚等。把龍頭魚稱為狗母魚或狗吐魚是廣東師傅常見叫法。粵語“狗”的發音很易被誤認為“九”, “母”、“吐”又與“肚”的發音相近,或許狗母魚、狗吐魚名稱也不雅,於是廚房裡的師傅便稱其為九肚魚了,後又演變出九禿魚、九兔魚等叫法。九肚魚肉質鮮嫩,有骨好似無骨,漁獲期以春季為主。九肚魚屬“見光死”,捕撈上岸便死,還因其體內含水分較多,不易貯存,以前多加工成鹽乾製品,即“龍頭烤”,現保鮮技術以冰鮮品為多。無良商家為了降低保鮮成本出現過“甲醛九吐魚”事件。






As a fishing port, shark’s fin was something Macau was famous for. Although HK was the largest trading centre for shark’s fin worldwide, Macau could be the place with the most (dedicated) shark’s fin restaurants per capita anywhere in the world. And you can get a bowl of this tasty treat anything from MOP $50 (USD 8) upwards – the sky’s the limit.







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