More Portuguese classics are served at O Manel, where we are welcomed with luscious slices of pata negra (cured ham), aged for 36 months and imported directly from Portugal. I could eat solely this, folded on top of the homemade bread, but the chalkboard menu cries out to us and so I order more clams, more prawns and a seabass from the nearby fish market, cooked on a charcoal grill. Owner and chef Manel visits the market twice daily to get the very best fresh fish and the benefits are clear – this is one succulent seabass.
Portuguese food may be popular in Macau, but I am in China and can avoid its intoxicating pull no longer; it is time to indulge in some Cantonese. For this I head to Coloane, where Kwun Hoi Heen serves upmarket dim sum. This is a real test for my chopstick skills, as I pierce crystal dumplings, scoop up dao miu (peasprouts) and attempt to wind stir-fried crispy noodles with Wagyu beef around them. This is dining at its most varied and I stay for hours, soaking up the sea views and trying to fit in just one more prawn dumpling.
Suitably sated I stroll around Coloane. This historic fishing village has always been less populated than the main city and today it remains a quiet retreat, the parks lined with walking trails and cobbled squares surrounded by pastel-coloured churches.
From Coloane Town Square we walk along the waterfront to one of Macau’s most well-known foodie names – Lord Stow’s Bakery. This small café is credited with bringing Portugal’s most famous tart, the pasteis de nata (egg custard tart), to Macau. It is the perfect mid-afternoon snack, the creamy sweetness providing the necessary sugar rush to carry on exploring.