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Eating, drinking and nightlife

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Macanese cuisine fuses Chinese with Portuguese elements, further overlaid with tastes from Portugal’s Indian and African colonies. Fresh bread, wine and coffee all feature, as well as an array of dishes ranging from caldo verde (vegetable soup) to bacalhau (dried salted cod). Macau’s most interesting Portuguese colonial dish is probably African chicken, a concoction of Goan and East African influences, comprising chicken grilled with peppers and spices. Other things worth trying include Portuguese baked custard tarts (natas), served in many cafés; almond biscuits, formed in a wooden mould and baked in a charcoal oven, which can be bought by weight in many pastellarias, such as Koi Kei, around São Paulo and Rua da Felicidade; and sheets of pressed roast meat, also sold in pastellarias. Straightforward Cantonese restaurants, often serving dim sum for breakfast and lunch, are also plentiful, though you’ll find wine on the menus even here. Cafés tend to open around 8.30am, while restaurant times are from about 11.30am to 2.30pm, and from 6pm until 10pm. Prices for the typically generous portions are low compared to Hong Kong, though watch out for little extras such as water, bread and so forth, which can really add to the cost of a meal.

Macau’s nightlife is surprisingly flat, if you don’t count the casinos – drinking is done in restaurants or in the handful of bars in the “Macau Lan Kwai Fong”, located along the waterfront facing the Porto Exterior, and offering live music and street-side tables.

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