Sunday, October 3, 2010

Lord Stow's Bakery & Cafe, Macau by Big Fil

Macau is the place for Portuguese egg tarts and Lord Stow's bakery is reportedly the best in Macau. Located at the bottom end of Coloane Island, on the day before we left Macau it was time to brave the perils of the Macau public bus service and head on down to try one of my favourite treats.

Portuguese egg tarts have some similarities to the Hong Kong style ones you can often get at yum cha, but some major differences as well. Portuguese egg tarts are much richer and creamier with a far more 'eggy' filling. They also have a very different texture, with a thicker, denser casing, and the filling less set than for Hong Kong tarts. The top of the Portuguese egg tart will often also have a blackened crust on top.

Lord Stow, who wasn't a real lord apparently, opened his first store almost 25 years ago. Given that the bakery is so well known it's surprisingly non-descript from the outside. It also offers only a fairly small selection of items, with a number of cheesecakes, sandwiches etc in the fridge and behind the counter with large trays of egg tarts cooking in the background.

The egg tarts come in their own branded package.

The tarts looked like the usual style of egg tarts, crispy pastry, blacked tops and a deep yellow colour. Taste wise I thought they were fairly typical, with the pastry maybe a little thicker than I prefer. I also ordered a slice of the chestnut cheesecake, which again was fine but not outstanding.

The thing I liked best about this bakery wasn't the food however. Coloane Town is a quiet spot, with few cars, a mix of old and newish buildings and a few small temples. Just down the road there are a small number of seats overlooking the water to mainland China. After we finished our tarts we sat here for at least 20 minutes just admiring the view and ambience.

After walking around town for a couple of hours Hungry Pete was keen on lunch. The bus stop is next to a small town square, and Lord Stow's Garden Café is just off the main square. We'd wanted to sit out the back in the Garden but the weather drove us inside to the comforts of air-conditioning. For some reason Hungry Pete was fixated on having the Cornish pasty. This is a type of pasty which wives used to make for men in Cornwall heading off to the mines for the day, and something we;ve had hundreds of back in Adelaide. Reports were that the pasty at Lord Stow's was quite good with fresh ingredients.

I went for the fish pie. I'm not sure what types of fish were used but they were chunky, tender and pleasantly flavoured. It was also nice to receive a bit of garden salad on the side, something we didn't see a lot of in Hong Kong or Macau.

Good solid food but the Garden Café was a bit expensive compared to cafes in Hong Kong, something we found generally the case with food in Macau. The egg tarts were good but weren't so much better than others we tried in Macau that I would take the 30 minute bus ride down again.

1 Rua da Tassara
Coloane Town, Macau


Anonymous said...

i LOVED Lord Stow's bakery. My Uncle/Auntie drove us there (no 30 min bus ride =P), to JUST eat the Portuguese tarts. We bought a box of I think 12 amongst 6 of us (note: auntie had 1, the girls had 1 or 2 each, uncle didn't have any, which means the 2 guys had the rest. LOL.
It's actually very technical and high level of quality control both in flavour and appearance: eg. apparently the boss throws out any tart which is over or under burnt (must be just right). Flavour wise it has been adapted to a HK palate, thus the similarities with HK's egg tarts. And quality difference is probably subtle and one could possibly settle for most portuguese tarts around Macao, unless you went around and ate tarts everyday and everywhere. I think by the end I could tell a difference between different branches... (cholesterol to the max!!!)

Bureaucrat said...

i love those plates! i want to own a set of them. =)

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