Macau is a paradise for gourmands. It would be hard to find another city like it with its abundance of restaurants with so many different types of cuisine ranging from that of China's Guangdong Province to Portuguese, Thai, Korean, Japanese, Viet Nam, American, African as well as other western countries.
About 400 years ago, Portuguese traders brought capsicum, curry, shrimp paste and pickled lings from Africa, India and Malaysia to Macau when they first set foot there. When, these exotics were blended with native vegetables and seafood the local people created the singular taste of Macanese cuisine the like of which can be found nowhere else in the world. The popular local dishes include Bacalhau (dried codfish, a Portuguese favorite), African Chicken, Galinha Portuguesa, Linguado Macau, Paella and Clam Stir-fried with Garlic. Wine and good food brings out the best of each other and Portuguese wines are an excellent accompaniment to the delicious local food. Serradura is a famous after dinner sweet that is considered to be a favorite with a majority of the local and visitors.
Bacalhau (codfish): This is probably Macau's most famous Portuguese dish. Bacalhau is actually dried codfish slices imported from Portugal. It is an essential part of Portuguese cuisine and there are many of ways of cooking it. Before cooking, the fish slices are soaked in water for 20 hours to get rid of salt. It can then be served baked, grilled, stewed or boiled. The popular dishes made of Bacalhau include Fried Bacalhau Balls, Streamed Bacalhau with Seafood and sometimes it is served with rice. Most restaurants in the city offer this well-known dish.
African Chicken : This special chicken dish is a result of borrowing ideas from both the African and Indian traditions of using spices. The chicken is first seasoned with a piquant sauce made with garlic and capsicum together with Cola a Portuguese spice and then baked in the oven. The finished chicken is seasoned with the sauce again before serving. The recipe for the sauce is the secret of Chef Yang, who invented this dish. The best place to try it is SOLMAR on AVENIDA DA PRAIA GRANDE.
Galinha Portuguesa : This tasty offering is chicken baked in the oven together with potatoes, onions, egg, saffron and curry.
Linguado Macau : These are fresh and tender Macau soles that are fried and usually served with green salad together with cheese, shrimps and other seafood.
Vegetable Soup : This soup is made of potatoes, vegetables, Portuguese sausage and olive oil. It is a popular traditional Portuguese soup and served in most restaurants.
Paella - Portuguese Seafood and Rice : This is the same as the traditional dish that is so popular in Portugal and Spain although the rice content betrays its oriental origins. Rabbit, chicken, shrimps and other sea food, both red and green peppers as well as garlic are cooked with olive oil and rice to which is then added saffron to give the dish its familiar color and flavor. Covered and allowed to simmer, the rice absorbs the liquid and the result is a mouth watering inexpensive dish.
Clam Stir-fried with Garlic : Fresh clams are steamed with minced garlic and Portuguese cilantro, the leafy part of the herb the seed of which is coriander. This finished dish should retain the original fresh taste of clams.
Address: Tra De S. DOMINGOS No.3, r/c 'B', edf. Jardim Lok Va
Recommended: Bacalhau, grilled lamb, duck rice
It is not open on Monday.
Clube Militar de Macau : This Euro-style building was originally a Portuguese military officers' club and is now open to members of the public following repatriation of the troops. It is very popular with western diners.
Address: 975 Avenida Da Prais Grande
Recommended: antipasto (Portuguese sausage, ham, vegetable), African Chicken, Stewed Pork, Bacalhau
Address: 289 Rua Do Almirante Sergio, close to A-Ma Temple
Recommended: Paella, the Portuguese Seafood Rice and Clams Stir-fried with Garlic these each have earned it a great reputation. For the sweets, try Serradura.
SOLMAR: It is the oldest Portuguese restaurant in the city and the best place to taste the authentic African Chicken, cooked by Chef Yang, who has established his recipe for African Chicken as a special local culinary delight.
Address:Rua Da Praia Grande No. 8-10, r/c e s/loja
Recommended: African Chicken (authentic)
O Santos [Taipa Island]: It features popular homely Portuguese dishes.
Address: 20, Rua de Cunha
Recommended: Bacalhau, Pawns Fried with Garlic and a special vegetable salad
COZINHA PINÓCCHIO: A well-known century-old Portuguese restaurant
Address: 4 Rua Do Sol
Recommended: Bacalhau, Pawns Fried with Garlic
CAFÉ MADEIRA: Located in the entertainment center of Macau Tower, it offers both authentic Portuguese cuisine and Cantonese dishes. Both the food and river view are fantastic.
Address: Novos Aterros Da Baia Da Praia Grande Lote 1, zona D, Centro de Diversões da Torre de Macau, r/c, (L1)
Recommended: Bacalhau served with salad and rice, African Chicken
• Bacalhau (salted cod, a Portuguese speciality which can be served in many different ways).
• Caldo verde (a Portuguese soup made from potatoes, onions and greens, with a variety of other ingredients sometimes including ham).
• Sopa a alentejana (a garlic and coriander soup with poached egg, another Portuguese dish).
• Galinha Africana (African chicken – a Macanese dish of chicken grilled and served with spicy peri peri sauce).
• Galinha a portuguesa (despite the name, this is really a Macanese dish of chicken baked with potatoes, onions and eggs in a coconut-based sauce).
• Minchi (this Macanese comfort food consists of minced meat – pork, beef or both – with fried potato and onion).
• Ta pin nou (a Chinese dish in which seafood, meats and vegetables that are boiled in a tureen at the table).
• Dim sum (available from dawn until around noon, with diners choosing from numerous small Chinese dishes – many of them steamed and served in small round bamboo baskets).
• Pasteis de nata (egg tarts, a cross between the European and Chinese kinds; often considered quintessentially Macanese, they were in fact invented only in the 1980s – but they are still an unmissable treat).
A 10% service charge is added to most hotel and restaurant bills. A small tip should also be left.
The lack of import taxes means that imported alcohol – including Portuguese wines – can usually be bought at reasonable prices.
• Vinho verde (young, almost clear white wine from Portugal).
• Jasmine tea (an essential accompaniment for dim sum, to the extent that the meal is often known as yum cha - ‘drink tea’).
• Zhian jing (rice wine served hot).
• Liang hua pei (potent Chinese plum brandy).
• Bai jiu (a very strong white spirit).
There are no alcohol licensing laws in Macau, and this means that there is no legal minimum drinking age.