Travel: Our Macau/Hong Kong Getaway (6D/6N)!

Follow our 6 day, 6 night adventure in these lands of amazing food, awesome culture and astounding sights. See how we ate, shopped and laughed our way through Macau and Hong Kong! :)

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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Travel: Macau Day #1 - Lunch at Kam Lung Wan Nam Mai Sin 金隆雲南米線, Ruins of St. Paul

Last post I stopped at the kai dan zai and how we were wandering around looking for Cheung Kei for har zi meen. Well, we never found it (because it was on the opposite side of the main road, not even close to where we were walking! -__-), so we settled on the nearest place for lunch, that turned out to be...

...Kam Lung Wan Nam Mai Sin 金隆雲南米線! (pronounced Jin Long Yun Nan Mi Xian in Mandarin). Kam Lung / Jin Long is the name of the place, and Wan Nam Mai Sin / Yun Nan Mi Xian just refers to the popular noodle from Yunnan. Please forgive our amateur-ish attempts at Chinese phonetics!

The restaurant is actually downstairs at basement level, underneath a Mannings store (Chinese name of Guardian pharmacy). Can't tell you exactly how to get there, but according to the Mannings website there are only two Mannings in the whole of Macau so it shouldn't be too hard to find =)

The place inside isn't very big, so space is at a real premium. Going in pairs makes it easier to get a table, 4 is also a good number. We had 5 so we had to wait a bit and squeeze a bit more.

That's us looking like homeless people while waiting for a table. We walked in at about 1-2pm and the place was packed. It remained more or less the same the whole time we were there until 2-3pm, so don't try and aim for any quiet periods because there doesn't seem to be any.

When we finally did get a table it was actually a booth meant for 4, so Bryan had to sit on the outside. By that time we were already so tired and hungry we didn't really care anyway.. =P

We had no clue what to order, and looking around other tables only hinted that portions were quite big. With that in mind, we ordered 4 bowls of noodles for 5 of us to share. A fantastic decision, because each bowl of noodles that came out was huge!

This one is the 金菇肥牛米线 (Golden Mushroom Meat Noodle - MOP 26). As you can see from the picture, it was a very clear soup, but the flavour was extremely porky thanks to the generous servings of pork in the bowl! There was minced pork, streaks of pork bacon, and also a ton of shiitake mushrooms - almost as many as the noodles itself I think! (I kid =p). For us Malaysian Chinese not used to seeing big bowls of pork noodles, it was a slight culture shock to say the least..haha.

Although the pork noodles had a strong pork flavour, the clear soup was welcome because it balanced out the spicy noodles we had, like this one. This is called 炸酱香酥肉米线 (Noodles in Spicy Bean Broth with Crispy Pork -  MOP 26). This one was really spicy and slightly tangy with the peppering of preserved vegetables, and it came with some crispy, well-marinated fried pork on a side dish. It was another super big bowl of noodles, and I can't imagine eating a bowl of spicy noodles like this by myself!

Continuing in the same vein, we had 杂锦猪肉米线 (Assorted Pork Noodle - MOP 29). This one was also spicy, but not as bad as the previous noodle. I actually liked this one the most of all the noodles we had (not to say I didn't thoroughly enjoy the rest!), because this was most flavourful, and there was big chunks of fried belly pork inside. It's not to say I didn't enjoy the other noodles in clear soup, but this one just had that extra "oomph" for me! Anyway, if anyone is looking for a hearty bowl of spicy and yummy noodles then I will definitely suggest this!

And lastly, with 3 bowls of noodles we decided to have at least one rice, so we chose the 飘香鸡汤泡饭 (Rice in Fragrant Chicken Soup - MOP 29) after a recommendation from our waiter. I said the previous noodle was my favourite of all the dishes, but this one came a very close second! It was basically just rice in chicken soup together with a big piece of chicken, but the broth tasty and full of flavour that it could have rivaled the ABC chicken soup made by Mum at home! If you're not a fan of hot and spicy food or are worried about sore throats, this is the perfect bowl of rice for you. Some side condiments are provided, but are not necessary to enjoy the meal. =)

We weren't very adventurous with drinks, because I just saw these tiny bottles of milk tea in the fridge and we all ended up having one each. It looks cute, but cute things never can contain much, and this of course couldn't hold much tea either. It cost about MOP 10 each, so it wasn't that cheap for the amount in each bottle. I also felt it didn't go very well with the noodles, so perhaps it's a good idea to drink something else when eating here.

And that was the end of our first lunch in Macau! Energized and happy that we had discovered good food for lunch, we went back to sightseeing with a smile on our faces.

There are plenty of smaller shops selling similar kinds of food around Senado Square. This was the longest queue we saw outside such a shop though. The queue had about 10-15 groups standing in line waiting for that Kam Wai Beef Offal place. There are a few other shops that sell the same steamboat thing, but I'm not sure what's so popular about this. We didn't stop to try.

A tip though, if you're planning on trying Kam Wai - there's no queue at night! We went up this lane on our last night in Macau and the queue was non existent.

Whilst wandering around the cobbled streets of Macau, we also took a detour by chance into the Casa de Lou Kau 卢家大屋. At that time we didn't know what it was, but a bit of research after returning home tells us that it's actually one of the 22 sights within the Historic Centre of Macau and is also inscribed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. It's not big, but an interesting (and cooling) getaway from the busy (and hot) streets of Macau and a closer look at the olden architecture and fittings. There are regular traditional art exhibitions held there (when we were there it was hand made kites) and also guided tours if you're interested. :)

After that venture off our pursuit of the Ruins of St. Paul, it was quickly back to full force again. To get to the Ruins, just follow the signs placed at most street junctions - that was what we did and we soon found ourselves on this narrow uphill street leading us to the Ruins.

Many travel articles recommend budget travellers to visit this street for a meal as it's packed with bakery & sweet peddlers offering you samples...and they weren't kidding! Be prepared for friendly yet overbearing staff offering you trays and trays of peanut sweets, almond biscuits and even dried meats. :D

Once you get past the hustle & bustle, at the very end of that street stands the majestic looking Ruins of St. Paul.

The Ruins of St. Paul 大三巴牌坊 was once a cathedral in the 16th century but as a result of a fire, most of the building was destroyed, and today, only the facade remains - making it one of Macau's most popular tourist landmarks.

The weather was still bright and sunny when we arrived, but by the time we reached the top it had started to rain. Thankfully there are also some indoor exhibits there, as a result of the conservation of the ruins.

(R): Some really big paintings line part of the wall.
(Bottom left): Where the foundation was in 16-17 century. Also has human bones on display.

It's not a lot, and can be covered in about 5 minutes. But it gave us a place to shelter from the rain and also provided all-important air-conditioning (because we were sweating like pigs after all the walking)! So we stayed for quite awhile..hehe

When we emerged it was still raining slightly, hence the umbrellas. We hurried back down because the rain was still drizzling, but Mel had to use the toilet...

There was a smudge of rain on the lens right where ZH was so he turned out blurry. :p
....So we sought shelter conveniently under a ledge that could just fit us! (We took this after Mel got back..that's why she's in the picture. =P)

We were all so tired from the walking and getting wet under the rain, so we hurried back to the hotel to get ready for the night's main activity - a casino crawl through the city The House of Dancing Water Show! That's coming up in next post. =)


Kam Lung Wan Nam Mai Sin 金隆雲南米線 (below Mannings)
Rua de S. Domingos No 20 (板樟堂街20號),
Edf. Commercial Lung Cheong
Res-do-chao A. Macau
Tel: (853) 2835 6956
Opening Hours: 11:30am-1am

Casa de Lou Kau 卢家大屋
No.7, Travessa da Se (大堂巷7号)
Opening Hours: 9am-7pm daily except Mondays (excl. PH). Guided tours available from 10am on weekends and PH
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