Archive for April, 2011|Monthly archive page

snacking in senado square

In places on April 25, 2011 at 12:42 pm

senado square is like a catch basin in macau. full of tourists catching the sites, locals doing a little shopping… but one thing not to be missed in this most popular of places is to eat.

we had lunch at the square- or, more accurately, one of the alleys from the square. we had a curry noodle soup that bore a very strong resemblance to laksa

this was very filling and quite spicy. perfect on a cold day – which it was.

but the best part of senado snacking are the alley stalls that display a whole bunch of things on skewers or chunks of things that, due to a major language barrier, we couldn’t identify.

so we just pointed to things that looked vaguely familiar and the lady threw them in a pot of boiling water. when they were cooked, she cut them up into bite sizes, put them in a bowl and poured in a very flavorful curry sauce

this was fantastic. very hearty and tasty, and quite reasonable at around MOP25 or Php 130. no wonder the benches are full of people wolfing down a bowl. this, perhaps, is the one must-try in senado square. all it takes is a little willingness to point at even the unknown.

taking a food chance in macau

In places on April 19, 2011 at 3:11 pm

our hotel booking in macau didn’t come with breakfast so we took that as a very welcome opportunity to discover something good. we pretty much walked into the first hole-in-the-wall place that had somebody smiling at the doorway and we were well-rewarded.

first of all, they had an english translation of their menu. rare enough. determined to do it the chinese way, i had congee. shredded duck the first time and century egg the next

camille opted for the specialty of the house which is noodles with wonton and fish roe

this dish was a good experience, something quite new for us. the fish roe gave a good sea saltiness that was a definite perk-upper to start the day.

the name of the place was wong kun, but our lesson for these breakfasts was not so much whether to try wong kun or not but to encourage travelers to macau to take a chance on the non-tourist eating places. it would be hard to imagine getting a bad meal, and the chances for nice surprises are quite good.

fernando’s – one of macau’s dining institutions

In places on April 11, 2011 at 6:13 pm

one restaurant we had been constantly hearing about was fernando’s on coloane island and for this trip we were determined to find it. turns out, fernando’s is right by the last bus stop in coloane (the hac sa stop), by the sea and lovely. as we were entering, somebody told us we’d be eating in an hour – we thought it was an exaggeration, but it wasn’t. the line was loooong and we were on the second page of the wait list

the menu was in portugese and chinese so it was a challenge. we had these huge hunks of bread to keep us from starving and think about what to order

we decided on a pork dish – originally we wanted the suckling pig. but lost in translation, we ended up with the asado instead

the flavors of this were remarkably subtle. the pork was tender and moist and very tasty. we expected a heavy hitting dish but were very pleasantly surprised by the layers of contrasts.

we also had the bacalao – cooked with lots of olive oil and garlic

bacalao is a very salty fish and as such this dish packed quite a wallop. we could really only consume half of it – meant for large groups taking nice dainty bites. but it did have excellent flavor and was quite an experience.

we had a very good portugese wine, a duoro, to go with all these making the meal memorable.

fernando’s isn’t one of those hole-in-the-wall cheap eateries – but it’s inexpensive for the sort of quality you get. all in all we paid something like 130 macau dollars or under P1,000 including the wine. very very good value.

easy to understand why fernando’s is a must-try in macau, and well worth the hour-long wait for a table.

the royal hotel macau – a good find

In places on April 4, 2011 at 12:57 pm

thanks to a P10 international seat sale, camille and i decided to book a trip to macau – a place she loves and has been meaning to share with me.

the first task – find a hotel. being a major tourist place, there are a TON of hotels in macau ranging from the big swanky casino ones to smaller inn-type places. after scouring numerous review sites, we settled on the royal on estrada vittoria. we’re glad we did.

the royal isn’t smack in the center of town. it’s about a 15-minute walk to senado square and right beside a couple of bus stops (estorial is one, and some buses pass right by it “hotel royal” stop). but the surrounding area contained more residential buildings and it was very interesting to see that side of macau.

what made the hotel location more charming was the park located right in front

the hotel itself was quite comfortable. very well-appointed and quiet. the staff was very helpful and the price – at something like $80/night was just right. the only issue we had was that there was no free wifi which, and i’ll never get tired of saying this, we believe every hotel nowadays should have.

but we will recommend this hotel to people visiting macau. many reviews complained of hotels that were loud or smelled too much of smoke, etc. the royal had none of this and all in all made for a very pleasant stay.