Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Cunha Street Breakfasts

Before we parted way with our gracious host J, she left us a little map of more restaurant recommendations near Cunha Street not too far away from where we were staying for the night. And we decided to spend the Sunday morning to explore a couple of them on the list.

Even occasional visitor to Macau should be familiar to Cunha Street district, a small enclave in the town center of Taipa island popular to tourists, with a few narrow streets lined with traditional bakeries, souvenir shops and restaurants. Of course, there's none more famous than Cafe Tai Lei Loi Kei, once a corner street cafe near to a park famous for their pork chop buns, but before we went to their new store, we stopped by Cafe Pui Kei, a small, unassuming cha chaan teng on Cunha Street.

If it wasn't for J's recommendation, we probably would have walked by the place without even paying any attention to it as cha chaan teng like this came a dime a dozen. Nothing out of ordinary as we walked inside and sat down in one of the empty booth tables - except the restaurant was relatively crowded given it's still early in the morning. We were told the noodles with satay sauce is the must-order item, and here there's a good choice of different meat served on top.

My noodles with pan-fried ox-tongue was indeed delicious and worth the hype. The satay sauce was truly great - it's not those super spicy type, but one loaded with peanut flavors and very creamy (though I don't think cream was involved) There's a choice of noodles (some for an additional charge) but the default choice of flat egg noodles was fine. We completely forgot J's advice of ordering an egg - fried over-easy - on top of our noodles - that would have been heavenly with the egg yolks mixed with the sauce coating the noodles in every bite.

We also ordered a walnut cupcake when a new batch just came out of the oven. Actually half of those batch was gone just as they were being brought out from the kitchen at the back to the rack in the front, as every table was ordering one (or a few). Apart from the fact that it's freshly made and still steaming hot, the cake has the perfect crumby texture, not overloaded with butter as some might be, but one with good balance of egg and butter taste.

Where? Pui Kei Cafe. 25 Rua da Cunha, Taipa, Macau
沛記咖啡室 澳門氹仔舊城區官也街25號地下
Web: No website available, but you can read my friend's blog at

Our next stop was the ever-famous Cafe Tai Lei Loi Kee which started as a hole-in-the-wall diner at a street corner under the makeshift canopy and has since moved to a proper shop with 2 levels not far away from the original location.

But I don't know whether it's because we have become pickier with food or their standard just went downhills, I was quite disappointed at their Pork Chop "Pineapple" bun, supposedly one of their signature dish. To start, I wouldn't even call that a proper pineapple bun - the "crumbs" on top was soggy and not sweet at all. And nothing special with their pork chop either - just a very ordinary piece pan-fried and stuffed int the middle of the bun. So why does it cost me MOP35 (approx US$4.5)? But I must say the bowl of curry fish balls was just as good as I remembered - good flavor in the sauce combined with the bouncy fish balls. Still on the pricey side (MOP 30 for 5-6 pieces) but at least it's delicious. But for me, I am happy to skip Tai Lei Loi Kee altogether, to be utterly honest, for there are no lack of other interesting places to try in the hood.

Where? Cafe Tai Lei Loi Kei, Rua Direita Carlos Eugenio, Taipa Village, Macau

(Macau Food Crawl Part 4)

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