Nobody ever goes hungry in Macau – from multi-starred restaurants to hole-in-the-wall joints selling Portuguese egg tarts, the city’s like one enormous buffet. And nobody ever gets bored in Macau – where the roulette wheels spin 24 hours a day and there’s always something fun to do, be it bungy jumping, catching a show or exploring the former Portuguese enclave’s historical nooks and crannies or savouring the tastes in a Macau food street.
Combining both food and entertainment, The Broadway’s charismatic food street is a great way to fill up and enjoy yourself at the same time.
Dozens of Asian hawker stalls and mini eateries are spread along the length of the street, there’s plenty of outdoor seating, live music and entertainment, and it’s open from midday till the wee hours of the morning.
Macau food street
The predominant cuisine is Chinese, but Singaporean, Thai, Japanese and Korean chefs also strut their stuff here, as well as a solitary Portuguese.
The Broadway’s “house band” – Band on the Run – takes to the stage at weekends, belting out a string of toe-tapping numbers guaranteed to get diners on their feet and burning off a few thousand calories.
And every day there’s some sort of street performance going on, be it stilt walkers, strolling buskers, singing pedicab drivers, the Latin American Galaxy Star dancers or The Broadway’s multi-talented, multi-dexterous, gravity-defying juggler.
Unless you’re utterly famished and need to eat immediately, it’s probably a good idea to take a stroll up and down the street, browsing menus, catching the aromas wafting through the air, and noting which eateries seem busiest – always a good indicator of where to eat.
Where to eat at The Broadway
Just about every sort of Chinese cuisine is on offer, with each restaurant trumpeting its own specialities.
For anyone in Macau planning to take on Dame Fortune, Tsui Wah is a good place to start, with a special menu of auspiciously named dishes such as Laughing-out-Loud Fried Noodles and Dollars-Billowing Fish Ball Noodles. They taste pretty good too.
At Wong Kun Sio Kung, the signature al dente noodles are made by the owner himself using the traditional bamboo kneading method, which can take as long as four hours.
The restaurant’s also celebrated for its crab congee. Crab roe is added to the dish, turning it into a delicious sea of orange.
Wa Sang Hong is a well-known Chinese herbal specialist which makes especially good turtle jelly and double-boiled soup.
Using a secret recipe, the jelly is made fresh each day using more than ten types of top-grade Chinese herbs and medicine. And its seasonal double-boiled Chinese soup also uses the highest quality ingredients, which are savoury and nourishing.
And then there’s Fong Seng Lai Kei, whose dry and crispy crab cake is deep fried in lard with wafer-thin pork, crabmeat, shrimp and dried mushrooms.
The restaurant’s also rather proud of its stir-fried milk custard using almonds instead of the traditional chicken liver.
From China to Japan: Chi Sasa is a traditional izakaya-style restaurant and uses only the freshest ingredients which are airfreighted daily from Japan. It also serves its own home-brewed umeshu.
The sashimi platter and dishes consist of various ingredients from Hokkaido, including Kinki fish sashimi, which the chef gently sears to release the natural fish oil.
Chi Sasa’s grilled A5 Wagyu beef with rock salt is remarkable for its marbling, while the Ezo scallops require nothing other than a pinch of salt for their delicate flavours to shine through.
Korean food fans should head directly to KFooD Express, which serves up fried chicken, fried teok with shrimp, bibimbap dishes and budae jjigae with considerable style.
For Thai fans, Thai Chiu’s red-braised pork leg rice comes with a sauce made of liquorice, cinnamon, Sichuan pepper and star anise garnished with chocolate powder. The restaurant’s fried crab served with coconut milk and garlic bread is also immensely popular.
Singaporean and Malay fare is ably represented by Katong Corner, which cooks up a splendidly creamy laksa and a highly authentic Hainanese chicken rice.
The newest culinary kid on The Broadway is Dragon Portuguese Cuisine. Its signature dishes include homemade curry crab specially mixed with ten different spices and herbs, Portuguese-style baked duck rice which has a crunchy rice cover and a tender filling underneath, and cheese bread with four different cheeses toppings.
Perhaps The Broadway’s greatest appeal is that eating here is 100 per cent fun.
The street harks back to the days when Asian towns and cities were thronged with hawkers selling all manner of food and drink, who cried their wares aloud and whose arrival was eagerly anticipated by their regular customers.
There’s air-conditioned seating for those who want it at The Broadway, but the best place to get into the spirit of eating here is outside, watching the passing entertainers and scores of other diners – perhaps two or three generations at a single table — chowing down on their favourite foods.
Ed Peters is a freelance travel writer who lives in Hong Kong.
While there are lots of places to see in Macao if you’re a foodie, here are 10 things you need to know about eating in Macau.
1- Macau has several excellent Michelin-star restaurants and is known for its Chinese and Portuguese cuisine.
2- Macau’s local cuisine is called Macanese and is a fusion of Chinese and Portuguese flavours.
3- Macau’s reputation as a foodie Mecca has brought world-class chefs to the region.
4- Italian food is starting to make waves in Macau and there are several world-class Italian restaurants in Macau.
5- You don’t have to spend a fortune to eat in Macau as there are plenty of inexpensive restaurants and cafes in Macau.
7- Discover Macau’s coffee culture and find out the best places to drink coffee in Macau.
8- If you are a vegetarian you won’t starve in Macau. Read our survival guide for vegetarians.
9- If you just want to hang out in a cool bar and sip a cocktail, down a beer and nibble on finger food, you can do that too in Macau.
10- If you don’t feel like facing the crowds your hotel is likely to have more than one restaurant that serves up a tasty meal or a hotel buffet. For a real treat try this crab salad recipe shared with us by Chef Alex Gasper from La Chine.