|The view of The Venetian in Taipa from Sheraton Macao|
Interesting observations about Macau this trip:
|My ticket to Macau (left) and return to HK for only HK$100!|
The one going to Macau was priced at HK$293, while the one going back to Hong Kong was HK$100! I wondered if it was because no one wanted to go back to Hong Kong because of the protests and later asked my friend's former colleagues who work in hospitality in Macau.
They said it was because of competition from the Hong Kong-Macau-Zhu Hai bridge that forced the ferries to make their prices more competitive. If you can take a bus along the ferry for about HK$70, it's much cheaper, though it takes around the same amount of time, and logistically to go to the casinos and hotels, taking the ferry is more convenient.
|Very tender char siu that may have been sous vide first|
Macau in general was not as packed with mainland tourists as before, but many more than Hong Kong. The check-in counter at The Sheraton Macao had long lines of customers, but when walking through the shopping malls attached to the hotels, there weren't many people wandering around, let alone shopping. Maybe they were all gambling.
We met up with a chef of a Michelin-starred Italian restaurant who told us while business was pretty good, it was difficult for some of his Hong Kong-based guests to get to Macau because of the protests. But with this past week being relatively quiet on the protest front because the District Council elections were over, business seems to be slowly trickling back.
|Delectable braised vermicelli with prawns in clay pot|
Other standout dishes were braised vermicelli with prawns in clay pot that had a slightly spicy finish, the signature crispy chicken, rice mixed with crab meat, conpoy and mushrooms, steamed in a lotus leaf, pan-fried boneless chicken wings stuffed with ham, and braised fried bean curd mixed with minced fish with bamboo fungus.
For dessert, the steamed red date pudding was delicious and elegantly topped with bits of gold foil. As it was one of the dinner guest's birthday, we also had longevity buns, fluffy peach-shaped steamed buns with lotus seed paste and slightly salted egg yolk inside.
|Fan-tastic tofu with minced fish and bamboo piths|
After not much sleep three of us had an early breakfast in the 24-hour Cantonese eatery next to the casino. Every other table ordered a bowl of congee (HK$78), while we had a few dim sum to keep our stomachs from growling before lunch.
We noted how mainlanders wandered around in packs of three. There were three men in their 50s who each had a belt with the letter "H" on them; three women wandered into the restaurant, and last night in the bar we saw three young men coming and going several times. What's with that?
|Pan-fried turnip cake with XO sauce for dim sum|