Piggy in Macau!

Hubby’s Aunty in Hong Kong offered to take us to Macau for a day. Even though we have been to Macau before, we have never had an insider’s guide to Macau so we enthusiastically agreed.

An hour away by boat from Hong Kong, Macau is now more famous for its multiple casinos and being a mini Vegas, but there are still hidden gems that exists around the area. 

photo 1 [640x480]Auntie grew up in Macau, so she pointed out old buildings such as this one which was a library when she grew up and behind it was the school she used to go to.  That place is still a library  and what a fantastic place to store all these books in this ancient hexagon Chinese building!
photo 2 (8) [640x480]photo 1 (8) [640x480]We visited the Leal Senado next, which is the Loyal Senate building in Macau.  The Leal Senado has this wonderful Portuguese blue and white tiles, intricately painted not only with Portuguese patterns, but also scenery of Macau.
photo 3 [640x480]For a bit of a contrast, we also went to one of the big Chinese houses.  Although I love Leal Senado, I love this even more.  This house has a open rooftop, and in case it rains, the stone floor below has an intelligent drainage system.  Its designed to be cool in summer and warm in winter.  I could just imagine looking up the open rooftop and seeing million stars above.  I would love to live there, but of course, now we are scared of robbers coming in from the rooftop :/
photo 1 (4) [640x480]Up next, we ventured up the touristy streets of Macau, where it gets more crowded and street vendors offered bits of beef and pork jerky for tasting.
photo 3 (2) [640x480]photo 1 (2) [640x480]photo 2 (2) [640x480]photo 4 [640x480]But one shop maintains its traditional store front and ways of doing things.  Inside this dark shop that looks like a home, a man, his wife and presumably his son worked tirelessly, hand making eggy wafers thingy.  Unfortunately even though their doors are open they are not actually open and we had to move on, so we didn’t get to try this shop.
photo 1 (3) [640x480]photo 3 (3) [640x480]photo 4 (2) [640x480]Instead, we went to the shop next door and had Pepper bun.  The pepper bun is made of pork and as the name suggests, lots and lots of pepper.  We are less than impressed with this bun.  Yes it’s peppery, but it’s also super doughy and had to chuck it away as it was just too much.  For AUD$2 although it’s quite cheap, it’s just not worth the calories.
photo 2 (4) [640x480]Walking up to the Ruins of St Paul’s, we venture off to the left where there is a little temple beside the Ruins.  It existed in perfect harmony for decades, the two cultures: Chinese and Portugal and this is a perfect symbol of that.
photo 3 (4) [640x480] photo 5 [640x480] photo 4 (3) [640x480]We walk down the road less travelled to this cluster of houses just behind Ruins of St Paul’s and there are a bunch of the smallest houses ever.  It really felt like those mini worlds compared to the Ruins of St Paul. Tourists are highly unlikely to venture towards those houses, all in different shapes and colors.  I secretly thought this is the perfect airbnb place to live.  It’s away from the hustle and bustle and yet so close to the main attractions!  It’s a bit hard to find the right house though as there are so many twists and turns and not many road signs.
photo 1 (5) [640x480]After visiting such a quaint place, we taxiied to somewhere grander.  Much grander.
photo 2 (5) [640x480]Pousada de Sao Tiago is a castle built by the Portuguese to defend Macau against other European countries and pirates.  Nowadays it’s a beautiful hotel.  I seriously wanted to stay there for a night!
photo 4 (4) [640x480]We did the next best thing and had lunch in the restaurant, La Paloma.  None of us are big eaters so we actually ordered two set lunch (appetizer plus main course) and 2 salads between the four of us.
photo 1 (6) [640x480]For $240 (AUD $30) for the set lunch, you really do get a generous serving.  We all shared the food.  But first, we got the most delicious bread I have tasted in Asia.  Seemingly fresh out of the oven, this bread was studded with bacon.  Oh my lord it was yumgasmic.  I can just have this bread for lunch itself!
photo 2 (6) [640x480]Auntie had the Seafood soup flavoured with starred anise, saffron & orange for appetizer and it was huge.  The seafood was so fresh and the bisque was delicious.
photo 3 (6) [640x480]Hubby selected the Croquettes of chicken, cheese & “Iberico” ham.  Once again it was a generous serving, the croquettes are crispy on the outside and soft and fluffy on the inside and oozing with cheese.  Oh my noms.
photo 4 (5) [640x480]The garden salad $65 (AUD$8) I ordered in comparison is obviously very boring.  But to be honest it’s very hard to find great salad in Hong Kong, so this is actually very refreshing.  The salad was fantastically fresh and it hits the spot.
photo 5 (3) [640x480]The other auntie ordered poached mixed veggies $85 (AUD$10).  Yeah right, simply poached- with a heap load of butter.  It tasted so awesome. Heehee
photo 1 (7) [640x480]Auntie’s main course was the seafood and chicken paella.  It was obviously not as nice as the ones we had in Barcelona but its certainly delicious and the seafood was fresh.  Unfortunately I had one pipi that has a LOT of sand it in and made the loudest “crack” sound in my teeth so I had to unceremoniously spit it out.  Boooo
photo 2 (7) [640x480]Hubby had the Supreme of Salmon with sea urchin coral sauce and he was super impressed by it.  I found the salmon a bit overcooked and I can’t actually taste the sea urchin.  I scoffed at Hubby telling him that he is only happy because there is potatoes in his dish. :p

Overall, with a little bit of a mishap but we had a very enjoyable lunch. We did have a very gruff waiter though which somewhat spoilt our experience. It’s such a pity that the restaurant is empty except for us- it was a good meal and I would give it 8/10 even with the waiter and the sand.

We took the ferry back to Hong Kong after lunch where there’s an even better meal waiting for us. Stay tuned!