Vana Belle, A Luxury Collection Resort, Koh Samui
In the world, there are only 26 cities recognised by UNESCO Creative Cities - Gastronomy, and Macao has made the list. To celebrate, 2018 is the official Year of Gastronomy for this former Portuguese enclave. Visitors are encouraged to seek out these four types of cuisine to celebrate in a most delicious fashion.
The Portuguese took over Macao in 1557, inviting regular trade between Asia and Portugal, Spain, and Italy, as well as the trade of Indian spices, African goods, Chinese teas, and more. Hundreds of years later, the legacy of the trade has ensured the mainstay of African, Southeast Asian, and Indian spice - such as curry, coconut milk, and cloves - in a cuisine created using Chinese techniques. Dishes like Minchi (meat and potato mince) and Macanese Codfish embody these flavours.
Perhaps the most famous Macanese dish is the Macanese egg tart. A flaky pastry crust, egg custard centre, and creme brulee top make this baked delight unlike the egg tart variations of Portuguese and Cantonese cuisines. Get a taste for yourself at Lord Stow’s Bakery in Coloane.
One delicious result of the Portuguese takeover hundreds of years ago is the expansive Portuguese food scene in Macao. A Lorcha creates perfectly grilled and barbecued dishes, Castico hides in Taipa’s old town and only has five tables where home-style Portuguese dishes are served, and Gosto sits within the contemporary The Galaxy but creates a colonial ambiance. This tantalising mix of fine-dining and casual Portuguese dining are offered with authenticity and zest.
As of 2018, there are 18 Michelin starred restaurants, including two with three stars, and 9 Bib Gourmand restaurants in Macao. The entire list is a reflection of the varied international cuisine - and of the many pricepoints - that Macao boasts, including French, Chinese, Italian, Indian and Portuguese.
Asian Street Food
Walk your way through the Macao Peninsula for the best of Macao’s Asian-influenced street food. Must-try snacks range from savoury, such as a pork chop bun, to the sweet, such as almond cake known as Fong Kei. And there are always the Asian fruits ready for the picking. Many of the best street food vendors are tucked in laneways or side streets, making an exploration of Macao Peninsula a tasty treasure hunt.
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