Saturday, 13 June 2015

Macanese Surly Service

Delicious and hearty pork chop vermicelli noodle soup at Choi Un Kei
I spent the day in Macau today and a friend who lives there took me around Coloane for a bit of sightseeing.

It's a stark contrast from the shiny tall and large-scale casino resort buildings, a reminder of what most of Macau used to look like.

The streets are narrow and quiet, and the houses are proportionally small. They are Chinese style, with a large living room area on the ground floor and then stairs leading up to the bedrooms.

Shops selling fruits and vegetables can be found, along with beauty salons, boutiques and cafes. Apparently not much development happens here because the land is not free hold.

Don't mess with the owner! (back)
We went to one famous small cha chaan teng called Choi Un Kei located in a non-descript shack. It's been around for around 30 years and the husband and wife still run it.

However you have to have a thick skin coming to this local eatery because the husband is a short-tempered man who has no patience in explaining there is no printed menu, that they only serve pork chop or chicken fillet with either a bowl of vermicelli or macaroni in soup. The place also sells some buns, but by the time we arrived, they were sold out.

At first he didn't seem to want us to come into the place -- we heard that if too many people show up he may get stressed out, which is understandable. But we sat down anyway with my friend's friend who just happened to be there.

We sat for a while, but the owner didn't come by the take our order and my friend's friend had to advise us to be patient. Eventually he did wander near our table and in her sweetest voice, my friend's friend politely listed what we wanted to eat.

First came my milk tea, which was heavy on the milk, but that was perfect for me, as I don't usually drink it, but needed the caffeine. Not long after my order of pork chop with vermicelli came.

The pork chop is on the bone, and is seasoned with pepper, a few spices and a touch of garlic, and it's delicious and not too tough. It's on top of a bowl of vermicelli, that has cubes of cabbage, potato and tomato in it.

Scrumptious Macanese tarts from Lord Stow
Even though my friend's bowl with macaroni instead came much later, she finished hers before me, though her glass of hot lemon water didn't come until we paid the bill!

Meanwhile a mainland couple sat down at another table and obviously didn't know the rules here and were chided by the owner for not knowing there's no menu and not clearly hearing what was available; the wife kept asking for ho fun, or thick rice noodles and he already told her once that he didn't have those noodles.

We quickly got out of there before the chances of a brawl happening...

A short walk away was Lord Stow's Bakery, so we popped in for a look. They make all kinds of baked goods, from breads and buns to cheesecakes and of course the legendary Macanese egg tarts.

Why not? So I bought half a dozen for 50 MOP and while we were there, another group of guys didn't realize that one dozen of tarts would be 100 MOP.

One of the women working there chided them for not having visited the shop in a long time otherwise they would have known the prices had gone up!

Ah surly service. The Macanese who don't really care to have repeat customers still get them anyway...

Choi Un Kei
Lg Pres. A Ramalho Eanes s/n
(853) 2888 2064

Lord Stow's Bakery
1 Rua do Tassara
(853) 2888 2534

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