Macau’s colourful colonial past and place as a thriving port city has over the last few decades been overtaken by rapid development, which paved the way for the construction of opulent hotels and casinos, and swanky shopping centres offering tourist and locals an array of branded products.
This last European colony of the Far East was returned to China on Dec 20, 1999 and continues to thrive as an autonomous Special Administrative Region for the following 50 years until 2049.
The influence of the first Portuguese settlers and missionaries are still visible from the buildings, architecture, cobblestone streets, fountains, squares and of course in Macanese food.
The food is a heady mix of East and west, and I suppose owing to the fact that it used to be a trading port, everything in between.
It was hard to find Portuguese restaurants around the Heritage zone in the Sao Lourenco parish or district.
However, at the old village adjacent to the Taipa Houses/Museum, one will be spoilt for choice.
An array of restaurants offering a wide range of Portuguese food line the rows of shops along the cobblestone roads in the Taipa old village area. Many of these are owned by descendants of Portuguese settlers in the peninsular.
We picked Toca, as it was on a quiet street off the tourist trail and it looked decent enough. No regrets!
There is a first time for everything and the menu and food was different from the Portuguese food we have back home in Malaysia- probably because of different local influences – but I’ll save that for another food trail expedition.
Despite being located close to the new Urban Zone, the village and the houses retain the charm of what used to be colonial homes and shop houses belonging to affluent Portuguese families in the early 1900s.
The Taipa Houses used to overlook the sea which has since been reclaimed to construct a part of the Cotai Strip which which hosts hotels, malls and casinos – all which give Macau its reputation as the Las Vegas of the east.
What remains now is a lake and swamp.
In the Taipa village some eateries are tucked away in nice quiet nooks where you can spend a mindless afternoon tucking into the delicious food, while sipping on wine, spirits or beers.
Below are a collection of Macanese food in the hotel, streets and cafes that we tried along the way.
More on Macau: http://wp.me/p7CVI8-15p