Friday, 12 April 2013

Travelling & Living: Macau One-Day Trip

$30 Pork Chop bun
Image from Locky's English Playground
We are flying to Macau for an English Playground blog article, and yes, it was once-in-a-blue-moon kind of cool, sunny day since we are now in the super raining season in Hong Kong and Macau. First stop, let's go and get some food.
Tai Lei Loi Kee Macau 1968
Image from Locky's English Playground

The Tai Lei Loi Kee pork chop bun has been famous for as long as it began doing business, and really, most of us here in Hong Kong knows about it. It's hot, it's fresh, it's tasty, it looks delightful, and it's a must-eat. What we might not know is that this bun has up the price to $30 per bun! That's almost doubled the price I last visited. How come? One thing I noticed was that there aren't any more seats or tables outside the shops. Maybe that killed their business quite a bit so they have no choice but to double the cost. Inflation is a sad sad thing, particularly when the salary doesn't go up to match the expense.

A nice park for a nice bun
Image from Locky's English Playground
Then again, with a park this nice right next to the shop, free for anyone to rest and enjoy their buns, the no-seats-kills-business theory may not work. Then why are the buns so expensive?

Live freshwater flathead mullet
Image from Locky's English Playground
Next stop, some fish for photography on the Rua do Cunha. I have never seen live ones swimming around in Hong Kong, so this is new for me.

$20 Coconut ice-cream
Image from Locky's English Playground
$20 a small cup of coconut ice-cream is really quite expensive, but it does taste the way I like it, icy and coconutty, so it was all worthy as long as I compared it with Häagen-Dazs.

A pavilion for resting and eating
Image from Locky's English Playground
And it added some bang for the buck when I sat on the base pillars of a pavilion nearby eating that ice-cream.
The pavilion from another angle
Image from Locky's English Playground
Hui Lau Shan
Image from Locky's English Playground
But let say, you want to get a more comfortable place to enjoy some nice mango dessert, there is always the Hui Lau Shan beside the pavillion with large picture windows. Should be quite a good 90° view or a Starbucks around the corner.
Starbucks
Image from Locky's English Playground

$9 for 2 Super Big Fishballs
Image from Locky's English Playground

After some desserts, it's back on the road of spiciness. $9 for two super big fishballs with hot curry sauce may be your next target. It's also just across the street...

The shop that sells big fishballs
Image from Locky's English Playground
...whether one fishball is worth $4.5 is a question difficult to answer.
Fish dumplings in the making
Image from Locky's English Playground
After that, my wife took me to noodles restaurant of which the name I do not know, and she said they make the best fish dumpling noodles in Macau.
All Chinese menus
Image from Locky's English Playground
It looked quite like the place where you could get a bowl of decent noodles indeed, but by then, I was already quite full and was not in a good mindset to judge.
People buying takeaway
Image from Locky's English Playground
But the fact that people kept coming to buy takeaway kind of spoke of the quality of the food.
Fish dumpling noodles
Image from Locky's English Playground
Turned out that the noodles were actually not the chewy type that I like, but my wife likes them soft. The fish dumplings were alright in my opinion, but they are not the type of food I will remember if I don't write about it.
MEGA BUN!!!
Image from Locky's English Playground
Walking further down the street I had my very first encounter with a Mega-size bun and I just had to take some photos with it.

People waiting to take photos with the bun
Image from Locky's English Playground
I didn't go inside for any more food, but my wife did buy a pudding.
Coconut rice pudding at $3.5
Image from Locky's English Playground
A $3.5 coconut rice pudding, slightly cold, really not bad, but slightly too small for that price.

Ladies love wings
Image from Locky's English Playground
Besides the cafe, a guy was charcoal barbecuing chicken wings and a group of ladies flocked to grab them before it was too late. I am not a wing-person but I was guessing I must have missed out something big.
"Minused egg biscuits"? What does it mean anyway?
Image from Locky's English Playground
Charcoal cooking seems to be the key to many of Macau's best food / snacks / dishes and so is the "Minused egg biscuits".
Doughs on the iron plates
Image from Locky's English Playground
My wife told me that if she had to choose one thing she liked most, it would have to be this charcoal-baked biscuit.
You can buy his biscuits at minimum $10
Image from Locky's English Playground
She said that this gentleman only works at the weekends and he only starts selling the biscuits in the afternoon, after all the biscuits are so, he will return home and there will be no encore. Sounds like a man with character to me.
The plaza where the biscuits are sold
Image from Locky's English Playground
The queue was pretty long for sure, and so I took the chance to take more Photoshere photos.
Finally! Our turn! Look at that characoal fire
Image from Locky's English Playground
Honestly speaking, the man was working at full speed, but yet it wasn't fast enough to satisfy the biscuit-hungered crowd, just look at those passersby and you'll know the charm of beach-pants man of character.
How do the biscuits taste like? Brilliant!!! Ironically, it has a very strong eggy taste, so why is it called "Minused egg biscuits"? Maybe you can answer this question by leaving a comment below.



Vocabulary:
once in a blue moon -- not very often:
pavilion -- (n)[C] It can refer to a free-standing structure sited a short distance from a main residence, whose architecture makes it an object of pleasure.
bang for the buck -- informal if you get more bang for your buck, you get more or better results for the amount of money or effort you spend:
flock -- (vb)[I] to move or come together in large numbers:



Resources:

Rua Do Cunha @ Wikipedia
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rua_do_Cunha

Pavillion @ Wikipedia
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pavillion_(structure)

http://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/british/once-in-a-blue-moon?q=once+in+a+blue+moon
http://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/business-english/bang?q=bang+for+the+buck+
http://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/british/flock_3

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