For more information visit the Official Website of Ko Kei Bakery.
Aside from its colorful past, incredible sights and thriving economy, Macau is also considered an East meets West gastronomic paradise. This former Portuguese colony prides itself with mouth-watering, creative, and inventive delicacies to satisfy the tourists’ discriminating taste.
Undaunted by circumstances working against me–the heat and language barrier, I whisked Tutapel into my arms…
…and walked along the “grayish brick road” towards my delicacy haven–Ko Kei Bakery.
Ko Kei Bakery, barely a 5 minute walk from St. Paul Ruins, was abuzz with excited pastry lovers, hording an array of delectable goodies.
And for good reason. The staff was super friendly despite the language barrier. In fact, a kind sales lady tried her very best to communicate with me, held the shopping basket for me, ushered Tutapel and myself to their bestsellers, with free tasting and all. Talk about customer service in action! Did I mention that she said thank you with a slight bow after I made a purchase of these goodies? Whew!
Can you blame me for buying all these? Well, it doesn’t look much though, if you’re staying in Macau. But since we needed to take the ferry on our way back to Hong Kong that same night, just two plastic bags were really quite burdensome. It’s a good thing Mama Lydia and Ren helped me with them.
This expensive, yet truly creative exercise was a food lover’s delight! Because of this, I was able to come up with a list of six must-have Macanese delicacies for you to try and later on enjoy.
1. Portuguese-style Egg Tarts. (And it rhymes!)
Ko Kei Bakery kept them warm and toasty in an oven outside the store. Just one bite satiates your appetite all day long!
But obviously, that was not the case for me. Because I did sample egg tarts from two different locations just hours before.
Our first stopover was at the Macau Tower.
In the basement lies The Patisserie…
…home to the yummiest egg tart, in my humble opinion. Of course some may argue that Lord Stow’s still holds the spot for the most incredible egg tart in Macau.
It was beyond anything I’ve ever tried before. It has a buttery, crisp pastry shell oozing with a crème brulee-like custard filling and a caramelized top. It tasted like Christmas morning!
My second rendezvous with this pastry came hours after at Tea Plus in Senado Square.
Ecstatic didn’t quite encapsulate my exact feelings when I saw the stall.
If you’re a certified Koreanovela addict like me, you would know that Tea Plus became a tourist attraction because of the smash hit Korean TV Drama, Boys Over Flowers.
Kim Hyun Joon’s alter ego, Ji hoo and Koo Hye Sun’s character, Jandi, bought a box of egg tarts from this store. It was ironic that Jandi lost her wallet at this same place. Without money, Ji hoo decided to rent a guitar from a fellow minstrel in Senado Square. He gave the egg tarts in exchange, sang his way through until he has collected enough money from appreciative passersby. Very creative and romantic, right?
It wasn’t a question of whether to buy or not to buy.
For HK$ 5 or 30 PhP a piece, I was ready to join into that Ji-Hoo and Jandi romantic “egg tart moment.” When I finally tasted it, sadly, I found the pastry shell not as flaky and scrumptious than that of The Patisserie’s. Both tarts however oozed with the same rich custard filling which made me ask for more.
2. Jerky (bet HKD 51 and HKD 60 or bet PHP 278 and PHP 327 per packet of 4 strips each).
I didn’t know that jerky comes in a plethora of varieties: spicy, regular, pork and beef, among others. Don’t ask me how I managed to communicate that I wanted to sample their bestseller. Somehow I did. But the taste was rather too strong for me and left an unpleasant aftertaste. After sampling three more variants, I settled for the regular beef jerky without the zing.
Deep down, I was hoping that my relatives and friends would like it too. As expected some weren’t particularly fond of the taste, including my hubby. But there were also those who really really liked it. Mission accomplished!
3. Almond Pastry (MOP 72 or PHP 381).
Let me calm down a bit, when I talk about this delicacy. Okay. I love it to the nth degree times infinity! It’s like “Otap,” a Pinoy delicacy, made even better. No offense. The difference lies in how the dough is made. It’s flaky all throughout, making your craving to rise all the more. A generous portion of almond toppings made the delicacy even more perfect, if that is even possible. And that was the reason, why I finished the whole box!
4. Portuguese Style Cashew Cookies (MOP 75 or PHP 397).
One of Ko Kei’s semi-sweet bestsellers well-loved for its irresistible crunch and distinct cashew toppings. It has a grainy texture similar to the Almond Cookies with Whole Almonds. If you love the rustic feel in your tongue, then it will do you good to try them.
5. Almond Cookies with Whole Almonds (MOP 60 or PHP 317).
The cookie tastes like “polovoron,” another Pinoy delicacy.
The Macanese version however is semi-sweet, much larger and thicker in size which makes you enjoy the texture and the almonds even more.
But I dare say that the “polvoron” has a richer taste because of the addition of toasted flour, milk and melted butter. Macanese Almond cookies however use mungbean powder made of mungbean, cowpea and rice which explains its grainy texture as opposed to the smooth, silky consistency of the polvoron.
Courtesy of Lori Baltazar’s Blog
I’m not surprised at all that my friends absolutely loved these cookies maybe because of its semblance to our well-loved native delicacy.
6. Egg Rolls
Variant 1: Plain Egg Rolls (MOP 48 or PHP 254).
They are crisp to the last bite which makes one think of the Filipino dish, “lumpia” sans the veggies. If you’re not too adventurous, you may want to settle for this variant for now.
Variant 2: Egg Roll with Seaweed and Shredded Pork Jerky (MOP 48 or PHP 254).
Another variant infuses seaweed, shredded pork jerky and sesame to create a symphony of flavors that’s uniquely Macanese.
For that extra zing in your egg roll, choose this over the plain one.
To make your food trip even more enjoyable, don’t forget to share these treats with those you love the best.