Get a taste of Macao December 7, 2018 admin Anecdote 0 The ultimate melting pot of western and eastern cultures, Macao has undergone a renaissance over the past several years to turn itself into a tourist haven, with visitors coming from all over the world to experience the different delights the territory has to offer. The Portuguese influence in Macao can be seen in its unique architecture, with ancient colonial era buildings standing alongside more modern structures. Even among its people, the blend of two distinct cultures has left the Macanese with their own sense of identity, as reflected in their colourful local festivals, traditional clothing and their cuisine. Last year Macao became the third city in China to join the Unesco Creative Cities Network (UCCN) in the field of gastronomy. As part of its four-year plan to promote Macao’s unique gastronomic culture and develop a sustainable tourism industry, the city has designated this year as the Macao Year of Gastronomy, complete with a lineup of activities and celebrations all aiming to highlight and shape its new identity. One of the best places to see and experience what Macao cuisine has to offer is at Taipa Village. This former fishing village in the oldest and best preserved area of Taipa, an island south of the Macao peninsula, is a culturally diverse landmark destination. Taipa Village features traditional shophouses that offer visitors a taste of the original, authentic Macao, coexisting peacefully alongside hip, modern cafes popular with the younger crowd. With its retro vibe and architecture and quaint cobbled streets, Taipa Village is a refreshing antidote to the glitz of the more modern aspects of Macao on the Cotai Strip. The newly-revitalised village provides tourists and locals with a genuine, relaxed experience as they explore myriad heritage attractions, innovative dining establishments, unique shopping experiences and diverse arts and entertainment offerings. A specially-curated Gastronomy Experience route, that features several key restaurants, cafes and shops, takes visitors on an indulgent trip to savour popular Macanese fare. where foodies can find classics like egg tarts (left); and serradura (right). Start off at Tapas de Portugal, a tapas restaurant offering Portuguese and Macanese fare such as grilled squid with garlic olive oil, Portuguese duck rice, African chicken, and local dessert serradura. At Antonio, which was set up by a Portuguese chef to promote authentic Portuguese dishes, the homey, casual dining restaurant is decorated with tiles and paintings from the chef’s home country. For a more Oriental vibe, Restaurante Portugues Pescade offers a contemporary fine-dining experience in the traditional setting of a local teahouse. Diners can indulge in local food while enjoying the claypot-brewed milk tea, where the brewing process adds a richer flavour to the beverage. For those looking for some authentic Macao desserts, Lord Stow’s Bakery offers the original Portuguese egg tarts that have become a signature dessert of Macao. Then, there is Mok Yei Kei which is the perfect place to go for durian ice cream, sawdust pudding, and agar, while Cheung Chau Mochi Dessert offers unique fruity versions of the chewy rice cake, with fillings like durian, strawberry and mango. For something uniquely different, Bella Taipa offers authentic Italian dishes with a modern twist. Part of the restaurant’s charm is its rooftop dining area offering a bird’s-eye view of Taipa Village. To further whet your appetite for what Macao has to offer, visit Macao Super Sale that is taking place from this Thursday to Sunday at the LG2 Blue Concourse, Sunway Pyramid Shopping Mall, in Bandar Sunway. Organised by the Macao Government Tourism Office (MGTO), the event will feature must-try Macao snacks, as well as six travel agencies participating in this roadshow. Visitors can also test their driving skills on a race simulator, as part of activities to mark the 65th Macau Grand Prix which takes place from Nov 15 to 18. Lucky visitors who have three of the digits ‘6’ and ‘5’ in the first six digits of their IC also stand a chance to participate in a draw to win a three-day-two-night travel package to Macao. Other landmark events taking place in Macao include the 29th International Fireworks Display Contest (on Sept 1, 8, 15, 24 and Oct 1), the 18th Macao Food Festival (Nov 9-25), and Macao Light Festival and Macao International Parade (December). For more, visit the Macao Tourism Malaysia Facebook page at www.facebook.com/MacaoTourismMalaysia, or Taipa Village website at www.taipavillagemacau.com.