Where to Eat in Macau: Wong Chi Kei Congee & Noodle

March 29, 2012 § Leave a comment

Famous for their hand-made noodles, we searched for it and found it at the left side, sitting opposite McDonald’s as you enter Senado Square.

Many, my dad included, claim that they make the best Cantonese noodles in Macau.

Dark wooden interior make up what seemed like a tiny noodle shop until you walk in and realize that it has a mezzanine and a 2nd floor.

The menu was extensive but most of us went for the Wanton Noodle Soup while my brother decided to go for the one with Roasted Duck.

The bowls arrives from a dumb-waiter with noodles and in our case, wanton sans the soup.  The waiter adds into the bowl piping hot soup from a big pot before serving.  That simple.

The soup and the wanton were excellent; the hero however is the noodle.  Cantonese noodles were (obviously) originally from Canton and became popular in the 1920s.   Traditional noodles were made by hand using a long bamboo stick, producing some very smooth, springy noodles that yield a good bite.

Wong Chi Kei’s noodles deliver the same springy noodles as its founder started his business in Guangzhou and Dongguan before he moved his shop to Macau.  This noodle shop has made customers happy with its noodles since 1946 and the family had a satisfying lunch of noodles after a good work-out walking to and from the Ruins of St. Paul’s with a bit of window shopping on the side.

A simple noodle or congee dish was the best neutralizer to the scrumptious Macanese dinner we had the night before.

Wong Chi Kei Congee & Noodle

Macau Old Shop:
Rua Cinco de Outubro, No. 51 r/c
Tel:  +853-2892-2271
 
Macau Main shop:
Largo do Senado, No. 17
Tel: +853-2833-1313
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An Adult Take on a Childhood Favorite

March 23, 2012 § 12 Comments

We used to live in a compound.  It has four houses, the main house was my lola’s (grandmother’s), one was our house and the two others were my father’s siblings’.  We lived there most of my life until we moved house after college.  There were so many memories in that compound but summers (as a child) were especially memorable as the days were spent playing with cousins in that compound – patintero, touch-taya, Chinese garter… there even was a baseball phase.  I remember catching tadpoles at the canal outside our house. Yeah those were carefree times.  I can’t imagine any parent allowing their kids to play in a canal today.   😯  We’d climb and pick santol and indian mangoes from the tree in my lola’s garden, devouring it with salt or toyo (soysauce).  I’d always look forward to my uncle’s treats to Sunshine Market, our neighborhood grocery.  I’d go straight to the snack section and pick-up Carol-Ann’s potato chips.  Oh how I love that greasy but crispy, thin chips seasoned only with salt.  To this day, nothing beats Carol-Ann’s and you don’t find them anymore.  I love Choco vim — I’d shake it till the chocolate at the bottom dissolves, such a thrill .   And there was Magnolia’s Twin Popsies, I like both the chocolate and the orange variant.  A perfect heat quencher.  Childhood memories… always make me smile.

The Kulinarya Cooking Club is a club that showcases Filipino dishes by way of a monthly challenge among the members.  And this is my first attempt on a fairly easy but so much fun challenge this month, thanks to Arnold of Inuyaki and Jun of Jun-blog.

The theme is “ice candy” or popsicle treats, which aptly signals the start of summer.  In spite of the heat, summer is always a favorite time of the year.  It means I get to soak up the sun in some remote island with some frozen delights on hand.  I usually go for fresh shakes nowadays but ice candy brought back so many memories that I feel like having twin popsies right now.

My take on the theme is an adult version of a childhood favorite.   I made 2 versions in honor of the 2 Magnolia Twin Popsies variants.  One is a delightful orange and mango flavor with a hint of ginger while the other is a chocolate popsicle made of native cacao balls and since I love a hint of orange in my chocolate, I added some orange zest to give it a twist.

Mango-Orange-Ginger Popsies

What you need:

  • 3-4 pcs.  Navel oranges
  • 2-3 pcs. Ripe Philippine mangoes
  • 3-4 slices of ginger
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • A dash of Cinnamon powder or stick

What you do:

  1. To make the ginger syrup:  In a pot, dissolve sugar with ½ cup water.  Add ginger slices and cinnamon stick.  Bring to a boil.
  2. Meanwhile make into juice all the oranges and 1 mango*.  Combine orange/mango juice and the ginger syrup in a pitcher (for ease in pouring).
  3. Slice the rest of the mangoes into bite-sized pieces distribute in popsicle molds**.
  4. Pour the juice mixture.  Place popsicle sticks over the mold and freeze.

Notes: 

* You may use ready to drink juices too if desired.  About 2 cups of orange juice to 1 cup of mango.

** The frozen mango makes a lot of different so fill it to the bream and then pour the juice.

Orange-flavored Choco Frozen Delight

What you need:

  • 10 balls or more of native chocolate*
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tsp orange zest
  • A dash of cinnamon powder or stick

What you do:

  1. Dissolve choco balls in water, adding more depending on desired thickness.**
  2. Add a dash of cinnamon or place the stick of cinnamon while cooking the chocolate.
  3. When chocolate is ready, add the zest before turning off heat.
  4. Strain into a pitcher and let cool.
  5. Pour into popsicle molds, place popsicle sticks and freeze.

Notes:

* Native chocolates are made differently; it is best that you know what kind you’re using or follow instructions if it they have it.

** The thicker the chocolate, the richer the popsicle.  If you make it thick enough, it is like biting into a frozen chocolate bar.

Both were delightfully refreshing.  At the last-minute I decided to add the mango on the orange version and did a happy dance when I bit into the finish product.  It really made a lot of difference biting into frozen mangoes.  The ginger is a great twist to a familiar flavor.  Makes sure though not to overdo the ginger or it will overpower the light fruity flavor.

The chocolate version, on the hand is less sweet and much richer than that of Magnolia’s.  The orange zest added a fruity dimension to dark chocolate.  I intentionally didn’t add milk or cream, as I wanted it dark.  If milk chocolate is the preference, go ahead and add a bit of cream.

If you don’t have a popsicle mold, you may use disposable cups.  To hold the sticks in place, tape over a plastic wrap and bore a hole in the middle where the stick will go.  This will make the stick stay in the middle.

Stay cool everyone!

Making Tiramisu

March 18, 2012 § 3 Comments

Credits:  Papers by Sahlin Studio from the Art and Soul kit and Crystal Wilkerson from the Room Collection kit; Elements by Sahlin Studio from the Art and Soul kit for the lace, Ezane from ScrapMatters’ Life’s Little Surprises kit for the journal.

It’s not just another Saturday – it’s the 3rd  Saturday since I moved to my new place.  It has been 2 weeks of unpacking, arranging and cleaning whenever I’m home.

Today I declared a cleaning and arranging time out.  I just want to rest and appreciate my new home.  To celebrate my moving in – so to speak, I invited some friends over for dessert and coffee after dinner.  I’m not ready to invite them for the real deal.  Kitchen still not ready for that, or should I say, I’m not ready for that… haha!

Anyhow, I made tiramisu, my 2nd attempt actually.  The first one failed because I used our local broas – you know the one I used to make this.  It went all watery on me.  The broas was too light, it soaked up a lot of the espresso;

I went and bought this instead.  It’s much denser and holds well when soaked in liquid.

Tiramisu

What you need:

  • 3 large Eggs, with yolks and whites separated
  • 1/2 cup Sugar
  • 8 oz. Mascarpone
  • 20 Lady Fingers
  • 1 cup Espresso or Strong Coffee
  • 2 tbsp. Cognac or Brandy
  • 1 cup Cocoa

What you do:

1. Combine 3 egg yolks, 1 tablespoon Espresso, sugar, and Cognac into the large mixing bowl.

2. Beat 2 to 3 minutes.

3. Add Mascarpone and beat 3 to 5 minutes until consistency is smooth.

4. In another bowl, combine 3 egg whites and a pinch of sugar. Beat until mixture forms stiff peaks.

5. Gently fold into Mascarpone mixture.

6. Pour rest of Espresso into a flat dish, dip one side of each Lady Finger, and layer on bottom of serving dish.

7. Spread 1/3 of the Mascarpone mixture and sprinkle with cocoa.

8. Continue layering and finish with a Mascarpone layer.

9. Sprinkle with cocoa and refrigerate 1 hour before serving.

This is the way to dazzle, I must say.  A no bake dessert that is impressive in flavors – it’s the Cognac.  Simple enough allowing me lots of time before dinner to relax and enjoy the flat.

Where to Eat in Macau: Restaurante Litoral

March 8, 2012 § 5 Comments

Walking along Rua do Almirante Sergio after our scrumptious lunch at A Lorcha last August, I chanced upon Restaurante Litoral – the other Macanese restaurant I wanted to try.  I took note of it for when we return.  I never thought that I would be trying this other famous Macanese restaurant so soon.

The family decided to spend the holidays in Hong Kong and Macau.  For a family of foodies, what better way to spend the holidays than in gastronome paradise? Restaurante Litoral, when I suggested it, was a unanimous yes.

To others, Macau is more of a gambling mecca, to me it is a food haven.  You will find Western and Chinese cuisines in hotels and clubs as well as in small sidewalk stalls, but the main point of a Macau visit (at least to me) is to delight in Macanese cuisine.  The 500 years of multicultural influence lead to a fusion of Portuguese, Chinese, African, and Indian flavors that is now uniquely Macanese.  Many dishes evolved from the spice blends the Portuguese women used attempting to replicate European dishes.

Housed in a 2-storey building in a quiet street, Restaurante Litoral is packed to the bream during our visit and I have a sneaking suspicion it is every night.  We were shown to our table on the 2nd floor where (again), a Filipina served us.

We started with a squid salad tossed in lemon and olive oil dressing.  Then came the clams, just as scrumptious as the one in A Lorcha. The soup infused with the delicious flavors of clams simmered in white wine, olive oil and lemon is fantastic especially when dipped in bread.

Then the dishes came one after the other.

Baked Duck Rice – a cut above the rest.  Rice simmered in duck stock and fat with succulent duck confit thrown in and then topped with bacon and chorizo.  A dish with everything I love.

With the Baked Duck Rice, who would think we’d order another rice dish?  But by the sound of it, Suckling Pig on Fried Rice, we just had to try it.  It had us at suckling pig.  Glad we did.  It was lighter than the Duck Rice but the flavor and the crispy skin of the suckling pig was to die for.

Bacalhau a Lagareiro or grilled cod-fish with potatoes and garlic.  A common dish in Portugal, Spain and in some Portuguese colonies like Angola, Macau and Brazil.  Its essential ingredient is salted codfish so be ready for the saltiness.  I, for one, love Bacalhau, some are however put off by the saltiness.  Salted cod has been around since 500 years ago when there was no refrigeration.  Just like our daings and our danggits, drying and salting are ancient methods of preserving the nutrients and can actually make the fish tastier.

Braised Oxtail in Red Wine Sauce – extremely soft oxtail in very tasty sauce. Two thumbs up!!

For dessert, we wanted to try the egg yolk soufflé but they ran out of stock so we settled with their chocolate mousse, mango pudding and of course their version of Serradurra, biscuit mousse.

It was as yummy as the one we tried at A Lorcha.  I will attempt to make this one of these days or I will be burning miles to get my fix of this very addictive dessert.

My verdict:  Maybe it’s the number of dishes we tried but in my humble opinion, Litoral wins over A Lorcha by a hair.  Both restaurants are worth visiting again.  Perhaps I’ll need to go back to A Lorcha to try more dishes next time.

Restaurante Litoral
Rua do Almirante Sergio
216-A r/c, Macau
Tel: +853 2896-7878
 
Cafe Litoral
Rua do Regedor, Bloco 4 Wai Chin Kok
Taipa, Macau
Tel: +853 2882-5255

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