Archive for the 'Macao' Category

Fusion Food, Macanese style

May 16th, 2008

Portugese Dish

THINK fusion when you dine at Nga Tim Cafe, one of the “must go” dining institutions in Macao. When I was in Macao recently, I had lunch at the cafe and ordered a Portugese style pan-fried garoupa dish from the menu. The dish came as chunky sizes of fish and surprise, surprise – thin slices of dried Chinese sausage or lap cheong. Preserved Chinese sausage in a Portugese dish? An interesting fusion touch. But too bad, the lap cheong was a tad too salty and fatty. I didn’t finish it.

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Adding color and fibre to the dish were slices of green pepper, tomatoes and fried onion strips. I found the generous slices of garoupa succulently fresh and chewy.

But Nga Tim Cafe had a different kind of appeal for me. Its odd, eclectic decor was an amusing conversation starter. You know how laid back and carefree the place was from the old Christmas trimmings that still strung across the ceiling. On the wall, a pin-up calendar of Chinese opera singers looked menacingly over hungry diners. And for some unknown reason, huge swaths of white cloth were wrapped around the trunks of the two gigantic banyan trees that stood on the site of the cafe. The irreverent mix of decorative styles gave the cafe a quirky, off beat charm.

I like the ‘anything goes’ kind of spirit of the place. On a hot afternoon, Cafe Nga Tim is an affordable place for shade, an iced cold local milk tea and a view of the Coloane village square.

Getting there
8 Rua Caetano, Largo do Sao Xavier
Macau

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Cobbled Street Art of Macao

May 15th, 2008

COBBLED streets are uneven and uncomfortable for walking but a curious traveller knows they usually lead to somewhere old, somewhere historical and interesting. Think of the cobbled piazzas in Florence and the stone paths leading to the Uffizi Museum in Florence.

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My most recent escapade was closer to home – the old Portugese quarter of Macao which was a maze of cobbled streets and quaint side lanes dating as far back as the 16th century.

I found myself looking not up at the destination the ancient steps were leading me, but looking down at the fascinating cobbled street art underneath my soles. See how stones of varying sizes were forged to form an enduring work of street art.

Here is one of them:

cobbled streets of macao

Not fascinated with stones? Walking barefoot on uneven cobbled stones is good for the feet. Stimulate the feet’s accupressure points, health experts say.

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Five Other Things To Do In Macao

May 14th, 2008

FORGET the glitzy casinos when you’re in Macao. If you’re in Macao during this time, the new casino belt in Taipa is a mega construction site. Instead of throwing your year’s salary to a game of chance in the casino city, discover the gentler side of Macao with this self-guided tour.

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Five Other Things To Do In Macao

Hop on a bus tour to Hac Sa Beach

This is a self-guided sightseeing tour. Hop onto bus 26A from bus stops along Av de Almeido Ribeira on the main Macao island. Make sure you board the bus going towards Coloane island. For five MOP (Macao Pataca) dollars or less than US$1.25, you get to see the sights of Macao and Coloane in air conditioned comfort. The bus takes you on a 50-minute ride to the last stop – the famous Hac Sa Beach (‘black sand beach’).

Tour of old Portugese Churches

Don’t just stop at the ruins of the iconic St Paul’s Cathedral. The Old Quarter of Macao is littered with old Portugese churches which are still a draw for the 22,000-strong Macanese Catholics. Explore the cobbled streets and look for the Church of St Augustine, Church of St Lawrence, and the Macao Cathedral.

Stroll Around Coloane Village

Church of St Francis Xavier
No visit to Macao is complete without a stopover at the Lord Stow’s Portugese Egg Tart shop and a visit to the mustard-colored and baroque-styled Church of St Francis Xavier in Coloane Village. Bus No 26 plies between the centre of town and Coloane with stops to board at Av de Almeido Ribeira, Hotel Lisboa and New Century Hotel.

Soak in the history at Macao Museum

This is a delightful boutique museum perched on a hill opposite St Paul’s Cathedral. Sensitively restored, the interactive museum makes history fun. Try the interactive exhibits depicting the old Macanese way of life. The sights and sounds of traditional hawkers and firecracker makers come alive with the press of a button!

Delight in Street Cafe Culture

Brand name cafes have yet to invade Macao. There is only one solitary Starbucks cafe near Senado Square in the heart of town. Join the locals for coffee, milk tea and snacks at homegrown joints such as Cafe Eskimo or the Singing Cafe.

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