Macau – a halal/pork free dining trip (Kuliner Halal di Macau)

So, where do Muslims go and dine at when in Macau?

Well, for the “go” part, there’s plenty to see, learn and explore sans casinos.

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Macau has thrived on tourism for years with its beautiful historical sites and grandiose hotels.
Some of these majestic properties are mind-blowingly huge, and offers dining and all manner of facilities which are enough to keep its occupants preoccupied for days, without having to step out of the property.

Macau Tower - sightseeing - bungee jumping

But since this post is about FOOD, let me get on with it and I’ll talk about the sightseeing in a separate posting.

The safest bet for an absolutely pork free meal is in an Indian cuisine outlet.

As Macau is an an international travel destination and leisure hub, an increase in the number of visitors from Muslim countries is expected as well. Likewise for a substantial number of foreign workers to fill the employment quota.
Many of these workers are of Islamic origin. As a result, a restaurant that specializes in Halal food has a reasonable chance of success in Macau.

Macau Day 1

During my trip I managed to to dine at 2 with HALAL certification and one without the certification but with no pork on the menu.

No doubt if you are in Macau you would prefer to sample the local delicacies instead of having Indian food, but for now, you can’t have it all.
Restaurant staff (in general) are more than happy to oblige special request, but most outlets would have pork on the menu.

Anyhow after a long flight without food, our dinner was this scrumptious spread of rich curries, fluffy breads and even some Portugese specialties plus “Chinese” dishes thrown in the mix, such as the chap chye.
All in a comfortable, hygienic, air conditioned outlet with efficient service, of which I can’t complain.

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Taste of India @ Macau Fisherman’s Wharf is Macau’s first halal-certified restaurant.
There is a bar in the middle and the dining area is on either side.
There are options for both buffet or ala-carte but for our small group, ala-carte sets were more suitable.

Verdict of food?
Well, the breads were good though some of the items were a bit salty for me. All in all, it was definitely adeptly prepared Indian food that could rival any respected Indian restaurant in Klang Valley.

What we had: Portugese Seafood Stew, Portugese Vegetable Croquette, Portugese Piri-Piri Prawns, Chicken Tikka, Biryani, Macau style beef and Indian Bhuna Gosh.

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Taste of India is one of the many F & B establishments within Macau Fisherman’s Wharf, a 111,500m² park and the first-ever cultural, themed and creative attraction in the tourism industry of Macau.
It is centrally located in the outer harbour (hence there are seaview on one side) and it is not just a theme park but a combination of dining, shopping, entertainment, accommodation, convention and exhibition facilities in a single location.
It is worth noting that the wharf sits right beside the Sands Macau, which is another place to further your visit.

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Yes, that tiny blue figure is me! 🙂

rebecca saw at fisherman wharf Macau

Tips:
Macau Fisherman’s Wharf opens 24 hours, with no admission fee.
Transportation:
Take bus no. 1A,3,3A,8,10,10A,10B,17,28A,28B,28BX,28C,32, get off at Macau Fisherman’s Wharf.

Breakfast was at our hotel, the Grand Harbour View which was just opened a month ago.
Generally hotel buffet spreads would have elements of pork (bacon, sausages, steamed buns). However the Muslims could avoid those by opting for the packaged products like cereals, milk and cheeses.

BELOW: Harbourview Hotel Macau, a 4* luxury hotel ideally located‎ in Macau city.

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We went to Senado Square for a cultural tour after breakfast and was rewarded with another delicious lunch at Escada Portuguese Restaurant.
This restaurant doesn’t have a halal certification and there are pork on the menu. However, our meal was specially catered for us without any trace of pork or alcohol.

**Note the yellow facade of the restaurant: That would be the entrance to Escada Portuguese Restaurant.

Macau Day 11

It was a beautiful Portugese lunch with the freshest seafood and some traditional dishes like African Chicken and Portuguese grilled sardines (not the canned ones mind you!).

We slurped hungrily at our Portuguese Soup, bit into crunchy samosas, devoured juicy clams with lemon, bouncy prawns in chilli, garlic and coriander and then the Portuguese Seafood Rice.
I especially loved the prawns and the Portuguese Seafood Rice, which was cooked in delicious, hearty seafood stock so I could taste all the essence of the sea in it.

BELOW: Soup, Portuguese Seafood Rice, bouncy prawns in chilli, garlic and coriander.

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BELOW: Clams, African Chicken, Grilled Portugese Sardines.

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Desserts:
Serradura (aka Macau Sawdust Pudding), Portuguese Chocolate Pudding and Portuguese Egg Pudding.

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Serradura is an iconic Portuguese dessert and its name means “sawdust”, referring to the finely crushed cookies in the pudding. This is made from cream and condensed milk, and is often compared to Italian Tiramisu because of its beautiful layers of cream and crushed cookies.

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Dinner at Golden Peacock Indian Restaurant at the Venetian Macao which includes an interview with the chef.

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Golden Peacock Indian Restaurant is the only Michelin-starred Indian cuisine in Asia and thus I had high expectations of dinner. I expected top-notch ingredients, first-rate authenticity, high level of detail to the cooking preparation and superb flavours.

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And what I sampled that night exceeded expectations. Yes, it is indeed an Indian restaurant worth visiting in Macau.
The authenticity of the Golden Peacock derives not only from the chefs, recipes and preparation techniques, but from the ingredients themselves. Spices, bright red pomegranates and even clay serving pots are imported direct from India.

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The Chef was even nice enough to share his recipe of the delicious Tandoor Beetroot Chicken; a unique sweet, smoky chicken that is not overly smothered in spices and thus suitable for consumption for all ages.
So, here I’m sharing this recipe with you, for good things are meant to be shared yes?
I hope that when you prepare this at home and serve it to your children, parents and friends, you will toast to Chef Justin Paul’s (a native of Kerala) health and send him warm regards for his excellent work.

Macau Day 13

1 kg chicken breasts.

Marinade A:
50g coriander seeds, 25 g cumin, 15 g dried chillies
– roast , tumbuk to make paste

Marinade B:
200 g pomegranate juice only
100 g beetroot juice
15 g Ginger and 20 g garlic (make paste) and juice of 3 lemons + a pinch of salt

Marinate chicken breast in marinade A for 30 mins.
Then add marinade B to the chicken and marinate for 24 hours.

Bake in oven at 180 c for 15 mins.

The Beetroot Chicken was 1/4 of this appetiser platter.

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Our dinner was another scrumptious affair. The venus is gorgeous, the service stellar and food rich, aromatic and tasty.

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Chicken Tikka Makhani, Kashmiri Lamb Rogan Josh, Yellow Fish Curry, Aloo Gobhi, Dal Tadka, Kabuli Pulao (Chickpea rice).

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Dessert: Pistachio Kulfi.

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It is not a halal outlet but PORK-FREE.
So there are alcohol served but the Lassi is amazing. So is the Masal Chai Tea.

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Apparently Macau only produces only one beer. True?

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We staggered out of the restaurant that night. What a wonderful meal!

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Our lunch the following day was at Grand Coloane Resort.
The menu was Indian/Arabic, even Indonesian with Soto Ayam thrown in.

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A lover of greens, I obligingly opted for the Salad (Fattoush) to start, and then the Lam Rogan Josh as my main.

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There was sharing plates of freshly baked flatbreads with hummus as well as baba ghanoush as appetizers before the mains arrived.

Macau Day 4

My Lamb Rojan was flawless, aromatic rice without being overly greasy and thick, rich curry with chunks of tender lamb.
I sampled some of the Chicken Biryani as well and was impressed. It was seriously good.

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Our lunch was prepared by the halal kitchen within the resort, which is separate from the Chinese restaurant. So if you happen to be in the Coloane area, then this would be the ideal venue for a halal meal!

Grand Coloane Resort
1918 Estrada de Hac Sa
Coloane Macau, China
[email protected]
General:+853 2887 1111/Reservations:+853 8899 1196

For dinner we have a buffet of international cuisine with a bird-eye’s view over Macau City.

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I must admit, it was a great respite from all that Indian food. I loaded up on the salads, the Portuguese specialties, the sashimi, the roasted meat and the desserts.

The 360 Cafe is on 62nd floor of the Macau Tower is a revolving restaurant so that you will get a 360 degree view of Macau as you dine.
The night views are pretty and the concept is cool though food was just good in erms of variety, but not great on taste.

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Below are some of the pictures I took from the buffet. I didn’t managed to shoot every single dish as we were pretty late for dinner and the food was in an disarray which didn’t make very good pictures.

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The only station that matters – The Japanese food section.
Unfortunately the sushi and sashimi were pretty dismal.

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Dinner was 480 MOP (about RM240++) so this would be a worthy splurge if you do appreciate the view.

Macau Day 41

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Macau Tower 360° Café
Address: Largo da Torre de Macau, Macau
Phone:+853 8988 8622

So that’s it.
All the pork free eating that we did for 3 days! As you can see, delicious pork free meals are possible in Macau. 🙂

*** This is a media trip with the Macau Government Tourist Office Malaysia and other members of the media from Malaysia.