If your holiday mantra is ‘eat, shop, eat, repeat’, then here’s a hot tip for 2018: Macao. Devouring a plateful of baked-to-perfection Portuguese custard tarts is all the reason we need to visit this dazzling Asian destination. But the fusion cuisine of this tiny peninsula of plenty goes way beyond a beloved sweet treat.
Just a skip and jump from Hong Kong you’ll discover a culinary legacy hundreds of years in the making – thanks to trade and ties with China, India, Africa and Malaysia, and a former life as a Portuguese enclave. Word of Macao’s melting pot of charms is already spreading, with a record number of international travellers enticed by the rich history and vibrant dining, shopping and entertainment scene in 2017. UNESCO has taken note too with the local food deemed so integral to the country itself, Macao has just been honoured as a ‘UNESCO Creative City of Gastronomy.’ And what better way to celebrate than with a year of feasting and fun – the 2018 Macao Year of Gastronomy!
Related article: On the Menu in Macao
What to try first
So custard tarts (obviously) but also look out for Chinese-style roast duck, juicy pork chop buns, highly-addictive salt cod fritters bacalhau, simply delicious African chicken galinha a Africana, meaty local favourite minchi, and indulgent steamed milk pudding.
Macao hosts the prestigious Asia’s 50 Best Restaurant event in March with a packed schedule of dining experiences and demonstrations. September explodes with the month-long Macao International Fireworks Display Contest before MGM Macau kicks off its annual Oktoberfest festivities. Street stalls will fill the air with temptation in November for the Macau Food Festival, then it’s time for some serious retail therapy at the Macau Shopping Festival.
Where to stay
You’ll find plenty of luxe-brand hotels and resorts to choose from – but the much-anticipated $3.4 billion MGM Cotai integrated resort is one to watch in 2018.
Macao is so easy to get to/from! Fly direct to Hong Kong from selected Australian hubs and hop on over via high speed ferry for a short break to remember.
Related article: Checking in @ The Ritz-Carlton Macao