PEr FYI

May 27, 2017

Lord Stow’s Bakery, Macau…the best I’ve ever had, period

Portuguese egg tarts – small flaky tarts filled with creamy, lightly sweet egg custard – are one of my favorite desserts. But they’re not all created equal. Some are just plain bad, most are somewhere in the middle, and only a handful are memorably good.

The egg tart at Lord Stow’s has a wonderfully smooth, wiggly, creamy rich (but not too rich) filling with a slightly burned top  and a good crisp case. The crust is the main deal-breaker. Some egg tarts are simply so weak that they crumbled apart no matter how gently I hold them; some are so thick that they completely overpowered the flavor of the custard. The crust at Lord Stow’s crackles and shatters on first bite, then melts in your mouth. This is what makes them so incomparably good.

Egg tarts don’t get much better than this. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

Lord Stow macau

May 21, 2017

Va Fung, Macau…it’s surprisingly affordable and lip-tinglingly good

Dim Sum is arguably one of Cantonese cuisine’s finest contributions to the world. It’s one of the few types of foods I can eat repeatedly without tiring of it, because of its endless variety.

Don’t be put off by the nondescript appearance of Va Fung, this Macau number prepares Cantonese- food fit for a banquet and it’s surprisingly affordable. If you have a big group, this is the place to come. All the classics are done very well here — prawn dumplings (ha gau), siew mai and Cheong Fun with shrimps and char siu – and quite a number of the items are really lip-tinglingly good.

What more could you need? This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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January 14, 2017

Tai Cheong Bakery, Singapore…very difficult to limit yourself to just one

This beautiful delicacy has no equal in the world. Only the Hong Kong or Portuguese egg tarts can inspire such passion.

Egg tarts are found on every street corner of Hong Kong and Macau. The ones at Tai Cheong Bakery is reputed to be the best in the country. In Singapore, this flavoursome egg-enriched shortcrust pastry provides textural contrast with the wonderfully smooth, creamy custard. It’s a very eggy treat.

The tarts are at their addictive best when they’ve cooled down slightly but are still warm. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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December 2, 2016

Morton’s The Steakhouse, Macau…it was so hit and miss

I have been to several Mortons and was excited to see that there was one in Macau. Like all other Morton’s Steakhouses, the restaurant’s interior is elegantly layered in dark hues, white linens and eye-catching light fixtures.

Morton’s prime burger – choice of cheese, crisp bacon, sauteed mushrooms or onions served with french fries was good but the Filet mignon trio – three mini filet steaks topped with Bearnaise, Blue Cheese Butter and au Poivre Sauce was subpar. I expected much higher end food. In the end, it was a case of a hit and a miss. I wasn’t wild about it.

Have eaten at Morton’s in other locations and this isn’t it – just go somewhere else. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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November 6, 2016

Koi Kee Bakery, Macau…you can bet your last dollar on the crunchy peanut candy and almond cookies

If you have a sweet tooth for pastries, Koi Kei Bakery will be a kick in the snackpants for you. This purveyor of cookies, candies is probably one of the few things Macau is famed for apart from gambling.

The crunchy peanut candy is a winner! It is a frivolous thing with no other purpose than to delight, and that’s why it’s so wonderful. There is a pleasing lightness and truly brittle so it breaks when you bite it. They’re crunchy, they’re crispy, they’re almost flaky and they’re truly addictive. The delectably light and flavorsome, melt-in-your-mouth almond cookies are not to be missed either. Another Koi Kee sure win bet is the phoenix egg roll with seaweed and pork floss. Though seaweed, pork floss and egg may not seem to be the most congenial culinary combination, this unassuming threesome packs a truly appetizing punch

If you’re in Macau, or even Hong Kong, take advantage and buy as much as you can because it’s good. Very good. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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July 5, 2015

Bar Celona Tapas & Rice, Macau…the Iberian ham 36 and 45 are almost indescribably mouth-filling and deeply satisfying

For such an acclaimed restaurant it is surprisingly unassuming. Set upstairs in a de-script building on a quiet street in Macau it’s even almost difficult to locate. Inside, there’s a casual and relaxed atmosphere rather than stuffy with decor in dark and earthy colours.

The Iberian ham 36 and 45 (well-aged for 36 and 45 months) were thinly sliced (nearly, but not quite, paper thin) rashers of ham, each slice visibly interlayered with fat and lean. That was certainly a  flavour that is almost indescribably mouth-filling and deeply satisfying. The savoury olive muffins were also a crowd-pleaser. The unique flavor of these little breads is a slight departure from a traditional sweet muffin. The octopus leg gelatin style with potato and olive oil and the baby cuttlefish with artichoke were also pretty good. The former, though not my favourite dish, was an interesting combination that worked. The baby octopus, had stronger, if not more common flavours and was also quite nice. Again, however, both were qualified rather than resounding successes. A taste of the suckling pig is definitely necessary before you walk out those doors. Very different from your traditional Chinese Suckling Pig. My only fuss was that while the meat was amazing, the skin was tough and not exactly crackling with its crisp. The paella topped with generous amount of seafood shone less brightly amongst the rest of the stellar dishes served that night. The crispy egg with bone marrow and truffle is far from a simple egg dish but the crystal bread with olive oil and tomato was somewhat unremarkable.

Is Bar Celona Tapas & Rice a fine dining experience with top notch service? Nope and nope. Is it an satisfying and solid choice in Macau? Sure is. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

barcelona macau

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April 26, 2015

Antonió’s, Macau… If you can only try one Portuguese restaurant in Macau, make it this one

Macau is Hong Kong’s diminutive little brother. Over four hundred of Portuguese influence has added an extra flavour to everything from the architecture to the indigenous Macanese cuisine.

Portuguese Chef Antonio Coelho, owner and founder, is a Star Chef of Macau and his restaurant has been awarded by Michelin, The Louis Vuiton Guide, Chaine des Rotisseurs, among others. There are no gimmicks here, simply excellent, solid Macanese and Portuguese food. Antonio’s menu overflows with enticing-sounding items. One that shines is the roasted homemade Portuguese sausage which is especially good. The African chicken (imported chicken from Portugal) combines wonderfully with garlic, onions, ginger and desiccated coconut sauce, served with gratinated potatoes and mixed salad into a deliciously flavourful dish that surely impressed.

The restaurant has splendid Portuguese ambience with traditional vibes and the stroller and his guitar singing English and Portuguese songs makes this place perfect for special occasions.

If you can only try one Portuguese restaurant in Macau, make it this one. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

antonio's macau

February 9, 2015

The House of Dancing Water, Macau…..a daredevil’s dream but not on my top three must-watch shows

Touted as Macau’s most expensive show at HK$2billion, this 90-minute aquatic spectacle is a bit like watching the merrymaking of semi-naked Greek gods, their physiques so perfect and weaving elaborate stunts, dives, and explosions into a love story. The plot doesn’t quite make sense and only serve as a thread to connect each stunt.

My first impressions of the 360 stage was that it looked immersive and I don’t really think there’s a bad seat in the house. A pool at the centre of the stage appears and disappears throughout the show. Right off the bat it got pretty exciting with a spectacular and bizarre mix of theatre, acrobatics, stunts, dance and water.  Then nothing…  Though it was very poetic and aesthetically beautiful, there were scenes where it appeared the actors were just stalling for time, (which they probably were), but in this case it was super obvious and boring. The 15 minutes Evil Knievel stunt show was exciting but seem so out of place.

Though the stunts throughout the show are a daredevil’s dream, but the overlong House of Dancing Water is definitely not on my top three must-watch shows. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

house of dancing water macau

February 13, 2011

Restaurant Win Heng Seng, Kuala Lumpur…Oh. My. God. These freshly baked mini egg tarts are just heavenly.

The mini egg tarts here are as good as the portuguease ones I had in Macau. In the 20 minutes I sat in this coffeeshop, I observed trays after trays of over fresh egg tarts with wobbly egg custard being snapped up the moment it’s brought out of the oven.  The egg tarts here appeared dainty and small. These little devils are just heavenly – Oh. My. God. – sugary sweet plus the aroma of feshly baked pie crust. They were baked until just firm on top (not dried out nor scorched). The custard was silky smooth with the perfect balance of sweetness. The tart’s puff pastry crust was amazingly flaky, and crumbled easily to our bite.

Oh yes, when you are in this coffeeshop and you are tempted to try the chee cheong fun, don’t. It’s a waste of time and money. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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