Despite having owned the place for five centuries, the Portuguese influence on Macau is actually quite superficial. The Macau of today is essentially a very Chinese city with a few Portuguese-style buildings, a very small minority of people of Portuguese descent, a handful of Portuguese restaurants and an abundance of azulejos (Portuguese blue tiles). Fortunately Macau is rather compact, so for those interested, seeking out the remnants of Portuguese culture, particularly those that are edible, is not difficult. And perhaps the most ubiquitous and tastiest remnant of the Portuguese colonial legacy are pastéis de nata, or more commonly in Macau, Portuguese egg tarts.
Having been denied the gene that grants one the ability to bake, I would never even dream of attempting making them at home, and am thus limited to eating them when I’m in Macau (although there is a decent vendor of the sweet here in Bangkok that I’ll blog about soon). And although they’re available just about everywhere nowadays, I’m partial to Margaret’s:
The shop appears to be one of the more popular vendors, particularly among tourists, and I spend a few minutes here virtually every day I’m in Macau. If you’re willing to put up with the mediocre coffee, they do an excellent egg tart (pictured above): flaky, buttery (I’ve read that the original version was made with lard), expertly scorched and not overtly sweet.
Margaret’s Café e Nata
Gum Loi Building, off Avenida do Infante Dom Henrique, Macau
+853 710 032
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