Archive for April, 2011

Italian in St. Louis – Stefano’s

Friday, April 29th, 2011

The FoodLover took Junior to St. Louis for the National Championship of FIRST robotic competition.

After a day of exciting matches, the team had dinner at  Stefano’s, a nearby Italian restaurant. We had reserved a corner of this small restaurant; parents sat at two long tables while the youngsters took up a few smaller tables. I sat with a few parents who were health conscious. Each of us had a side salad and six of us shared two 12-inch pizzas.

My salad was very fresh and I liked the taste of raspberry vinaigrette. The two New York style pizzas were good too. A salad and two slices of pizza were enough to fill my stomach; I took another half a slice just because I liked its flavor and texture. I looked behind me and found a teenager finishing a whole pizza all by himself. That explained why most of these high school kids were taller and bigger than their parents.

Service was good and food was decent. If you happen to be around the convention center in St. Louis, this is a good place to have casual meals. You may need to call ahead to reserve a table though.

Stefano’s
504 N 10th St., St Louis, MO 63101
Tel: +1-314-241-7722

Because of recent flooding along the Mississippi River, water level was much higher than normal.

Mississippi River next to the Gateway Arch

Based on what I saw in these three days, St. Louis is a pretty miserable city economically. This is only one of many vacant buildings in the downtown area.

Vacant Building in St. Louis

Congee + Portuguese Style Egg Tart – 成記粥品 / 瑪嘉烈蛋撻

Thursday, April 21st, 2011

Before leaving Macau, I wanted to have plain congee and rice noodle rolls (白粥腸粉) for breakfast. As I arrived Bo Kei 保記 at 7:30am, I noticed that Seng Kei 成記粥品 across the street had just opened. Without wasting a second, I walked over there and sat down at a table at the end of the alley. This was my lucky day. I liked the congee at Sing Kei but it was either full or not opened whenever I went there.

There were only four small tables along this alley, so you would have to wait in line if you were not among the first 16 customers. The owner (the guy in blue T-shirt) was very energetic. He would greet every customer who walked in by nickname so he could let his helpers know where each order should be served. The South Asian who shared the table with me was “Amigo”; the men wearing a suit was “西裝哥哥” and his younger friend was called “靚仔” (handsome); a middle age woman was “靚女” (beautiful); and I was named “哥仔” meaning “young brother”. Even though I knew that I was no longer a young brother, it sounded much better than being labeled as a “big uncle” (大叔) – that’s what an old lady called me at a 義順 Diary Products the day before.

While he was talking to customers nonstop, his hands were busy preparing ingredients for each order; a female helper was cooking congee with these ingredients. Two other females helpers (阿姐) were busy serving customers and filling takeaway orders.

Since the doctor had advised me not to intake animal organs, I asked for Pork Congee with Thousand Year Egg 皮蛋瘦肉粥. The congee base was very smooth (綿) and delicious. The shredded pork tasted good too. Some congee shops would cut corners by using minced meat; he didn’t.

In the old days, eateries operating in back alleys used to be dirty and wet. This one was clean and dry; at least it looked that way. When you visit Macau next time, don’t be turned off by the appearance of this congee shop. Try it if the queue is not too long.

On the way back to Rio Hotel, I stopped by Margaret’s Café e Nata 瑪嘉烈蛋撻店 to have a Portuguese Style Egg Tart 葡撻 and a cup of coffee. There would usually be a long line waiting to buy these egg tarts in the afternoon; at 8am, I could pick my table. The Portuguese Style Tart here was not bad but I remembered those at Lord Stow’s Bakery 安德魯餅店 being fluffier 鬆化.

成記粥品
澳門新馬路營地大街吳家圍

瑪嘉烈蛋撻店 Margret’s Café e Nata
澳門新馬路馬統領街金利來大廈17B地舖
G/F, 17A Rua Alm Costa Cabral R/C, Avenida de Almeida Ribeiro, Macau
電話: +853-2871-0032

新口岸去邊飲早茶 – Fong Tat Mei Sek 豐達美食

Tuesday, April 19th, 2011

Vincent called to ask whether I wanted to join him for breakfast. Why not? We arrived Fong Tat Mei Sek 豐達美食, a restaurant for the working locals in 新口岸. Even though the sign at the door indicated that it was a “Seafood Restaurant”, it looked more like a “Chinese Cafe” 茶餐廳 to me. It’s menu included tea, coffee, sandwich, noodle, rice plates, dim sum, etc. It was almost full at 8am. Most customers looked like blue-collar workers.

The Pu Er 普洱 tea we had was pretty good. Dim sum were not exceptional but OK. Service was somewhat friendly and efficient. Like most cafes in Macau, there was a big TV at the corner for everybody to catch up with the latest news before going to work.

For little over MOP50 (approx. US$7), this was a good place for a quick and decent breakfast. You may come here for lunch, snack, dinner, super or any time you like. It opens 24 hours a day.

Fong Tat Mei Sek 豐達美食
澳門宋玉生廣場(皇朝)填河區巴黎街富達花園地舖C
S/N B, Shop C, Edf. Jardim Fu Tat, Rua de Paris, Alameda Dutor Carlos d’Assumpção, Macau
電話: +853-2875-1780

Delicious Garoupa Fin – North Garden 北園酒家

Monday, April 18th, 2011

The FoodLover was feeling better and took a day-trip from Macau to Hong Kong. Janet was very kind to invite him and Ah Sai to lunch at North Garden Restaurant 北園酒家.

Janet ordered much more food than we could finish; the most impressive were Crispy Salty Chicken 脆皮鹽香雞 and Braised Garoupa Fin 生炆班翅. Before ordering, Janet asked whether I liked to have Soy Sauce Chicken or Crispy Salty Chicken. Since I just had some very good Soy Sauce Chicken in Macau, I opted for the crispy version and I was glad I did. The chicken was tender with fragrant aroma of salt and chicken 雞有雞味. The garoupa fin was still sizzling in the stone pot when served and flavor of the ingredients went inside the fish thoroughly (入味). Ah Sai and I couldn’t stop eating everything in the pot before we realized that Janet only had a small piece.

This popular restaurant is always full at lunch time. Make sure you book a table in advance.

Northern Garden Restaurant 北園酒家
香港中環域多利皇后街5-8號鴻基大廈1-3樓
1-3/F Hung Kei Mansion 5-8 Queen Victoria street, Central, Hong Kong
電話: +852-2526-3163

Simple Breakfast in Macau

Sunday, April 17th, 2011

Peter had to take the 11am ferry back to Hong Kong; we went out early to have tea and dim sum. When we arrived Tou Tou Kui 陶陶居 at 7:30am, we were disappointed to find out that this restaurant would not open until 9am. We decided to have something light while waiting for it to open and walked along Rua da Felicidade 福隆新街 to Bo Kei 保記, my favorite shop for rice noodle rolls. The plain congee and rice noodle rolls were as good as ever. I noticed that the price for this combination was MOP12; it was MOP10 only a year ago.

We walked around Senado Square 議事亭前地 for a while and went to McDonald’s for a cup of coffee (MOP11 – used to be MOP10 a few months ago). In case you are wandering around this area and need to use the facilities, McDonad’s is a good place to go.

We went back to Tou Tou Kui only to find a long line waiting at 9:30am. Peter didn’t have to time to wait, so we hopped over to Ka Wai Tea House 嘉華茶居 on 十月初五街. Peter saw somebody at the next table enjoying a dish of fried noodle. He wanted the same. That happened to be Fried Noodle with Bean Sprout 芽菜炒麵. The picture below shows how he liked it.

In city center of Macau, you can easily kill a couple of hours, eat some good food without breaking the bank.

Paradise for Sweet Tooth – Hang Heong Un 杏香園

Saturday, April 16th, 2011

After a wonderful lunch at San Tou Tou 新陶陶, Vincent dropped Peter and me off old town for dessert. Hang Heong Un 杏香園 is located on a side street off 新馬路 and we were the first customers when they opened at 2:30pm.

The extensive menu on the wall indicated all sorts of combination of egg, almond, coconut, walnut, beans, etc. I had Egg White, Coconut and Almond 蛋白椰汁杏仁茶; Peter had Egg White, Walnut and Ginkgo 蛋白合桃白果.

My bowl of “sweet soup” 糖水 did live up to the reputation of this restaurant. It was smooth 滑 with delicious flavors of coconut juice and almond. Peter liked and finished his bowl too. You can’t go wrong by coming here to satisfy your sweet tooth after lunch or dinner.

Hang Heong Un 杏香園
澳門新馬路清平街13號
13 Travessa do Matadouro, Avenida de Almeida Ribeiro, Macau
電話: +853-2857-2701

San Tou Tou 新陶陶酒家

Saturday, April 16th, 2011

Peter, the Japanese, was so kind to come over to see me in Macau. After having dim sum at the nostalgic Long Wa Tea House 龍華茶樓, we leisurely walked back to the hotel through the residential district. Vincent had already booked a table at San Tou Tou 新陶陶酒家 in Taipa 氹仔 for lunch. He came to picked us up a little after 12:30pm.

This old style Cantonese restaurant has a history of 80+ years and serves traditional Cantonese dishes. The owner is a friendly elderly lady who took over operation after her husband passed away some twenty years ago.

Vincent had been a regular customer here since he was kid and knew exactly what to order. While rich mainlanders around us were ordering expensive dishes such as shark’s fin soup to broadcast their newly acquired wealth, we had fish soup of the season 芫茜豆腐皮蛋烏頭湯 and a sea eel cooked both ways – steamed and braised. For starter, Vincent asked the waiter to send somebody to purchase an order of Roast Pork & Soy Sauce Chicken Combo at the nearby Tai Tong 大東飯店.

As usual, the roast pork was crispy and soft 鬆化 and the tender chicken perfect flavored. The soup was 清甜 and refreshing.

Steamed eel was 爽脆 and bitter melon in the braised version was good to go with rice.

This is another one of those “don’t miss” restaurant you should try at least once in a lifetime. Do call ahead to reserve a table.

San Tou Tou 新陶陶酒家
澳門氹仔舊城區告利雅施利華街26號地下
Rua Correia da Silva No.26, Vila de Taipa, Macau
電話: +853-2882-7065

Traditional Tea House – Ka Wai 嘉華茶居

Friday, April 15th, 2011

Vincent came to pick me up at 7:30am to have dim sum at a traditional tea house. Ka Wai 嘉華茶居 is located on Rua de Cinco de Outubro 十月初五街 in the old town area. Ground floor was completely full, so I walked upstairs to find our seats while Vincent went to park his car. There were a long table and two round tables up there; I sat down at the long table which was already occupied by a few other patrons. In old style tea house like this, you are expected to share the table with others.

I rinsed the chopsticks, cups and bowls while waiting for Vincent. The Pu Er tea 普洱 was very good, probably better that that served in most large and expensive restaurants. That’s expected as customers of this type of tea houses can tell the difference between good tea and bad.

Congee of the day was Pork Bone Congee. Since they only offered one type of congee, they could spend the time to prepare it well. It was very good. The Beef Balls looked good but I didn’t try them – doctor told me to avoid beef.

Shumai and Steamed Spareribs were not bad.

They offered the traditional large Nuo Mi Ji 糯米雞 rather than the Pearl version which one would see in most restaurants these days. Inside the Nuo Mi ji, I found pieces of chicken with bone – again something we would not see anywhere else. It tasted good. The Steamed BBQ Pork Buns tasted just like those I used to have when I was a kid.

How much did this dim sum breakfast cost? MOP62 (approx. US$7.75). How can you beat that?

嘉華茶居
澳門十月初五街88號
電話: +853-2892-2993

Chicken at a Noodle Shop – Good Fortune Noodle 百福麵家

Thursday, April 14th, 2011

I was tired of hotel food, so Vincent sent a car to take me to have congee and noodle at Good Fortune Noodle 百福麵家.

According to the doctor, I should avoid red meat and seafood; that left me with chicken. I couldn’t find any chicken noodle dish and ordered their signature “Hoi Nam” chicken. To add some fiber to my body, I asked for a dish of Chinese Mushroom & Vegetable with Oyster Sauce.

The chicken was good with 雞味。 I finished all the vegetable and left some of the mushroom behind. Not that the mushroom was bad, I just wasn’t sure it was good for my body at this time.

This is a nice little noodle shop with good food quality and decent service.

Good Fortune Noodle 百福麵家
澳門新馬路殷皇子大馬路41號
41 Avenida Do Infante D. Henrique, Avenida de Almeida Ribeiro, Macau
電話: +853-2871-2288

Estb de Comida Portuguesea Porto Exterior 新口岸葡國餐

Wednesday, April 13th, 2011

I joined Vincent and Franky for a Portuguese lunch at the nearby Estb de Comida Portuguesea Porto Exterior 新口岸葡國餐. We all drank Red Wine Punch instead of Red Wine because I was not fit to consume alcohol. Grilled Beef Spareribs were as good as usual; I took a small piece of that. I did finish half of the Barbecue Fresh Chicken which was tender with crispy skin. Poached Cabbage is something we always have when we dine at Portuguese restaurants in Macau; very healthy and delicious. Vincent and Franky also had Eel and Grilled fish which I didn’t touch.

Porto Exterior is a good proven neighborhood restaurant you will not regret visiting.

Estb de Comida Portuguesea Porto Exterior 新口岸葡國餐
澳門新口岸宋玉生廣場中裕大廈606H-606G
Edf. Chong Yu, 606G – 606K Alameda Dr. Carlos d’Assumpcao, Porto Exterior, Macau
電話: +853-2873-0276/2870-3898