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St. Dominic's Market: 5th Floor Food Court

 

On Travessa do Soriano, very close to St. Dominic Church, there’s a big white building that’s a huge vegetable, meat and seafood market.  Aptly named St. Dominic’s Market, the 5th floor is home to a food court with about 10 stalls selling cheap street food and local snacks.  Totally unknown to tourists, I’m very happy to introduce it here, because it’s a sneaky good option for budget travellers or those wanting to try good authentic local food.

 

  


As for the various stalls, I think Ping Kei sells the best stuff, with their fish eggplant ($44) and wet fried beef noodles ($45) worthy of special praise.  When I first got the fish eggplant, I wondered where the seafood was, but it was there in the form of a dried paste that was fried together with the eggplant.  It made the eggplant taste somewhat like a fish, a pairing that worked surprisingly well, especially when mixed together with rice.

 

The wet fried beef noodles were phenomenal too, and I liked them so much that I included it as one of the main dishes in my overview of Cantonese cuisine.

 

 

 

Another stall to try is 珍记美食 for their spicy sardine soup (辣鱼通心粉), which costs $24.  Wonderfully executed, they add just the right amount of seasoning and spice to balance the somewhat fishy soup and sardines with the macaroni.

Discounting texture, appearance, and the fact that they were served in a food court (gasp!), these three dishes taste as good as anything I’ve had off a Michelin menu.

 

Pig’s Guts Noodles

 

Pig’s Guts Noodles probably sound like the last thing anyone would ever want to try, but the truth is they’re actually not pig’s guts at all.   Rather, they’re a kind of steamed roll filled with meat, seafood or vegetables, and sometimes topped with sesame seeds.  An extremely popular snack food (dim sum) in Southern China, I’m a big fan of the dish, especially the pork and seafood ones made at Hoi On San Sek, close to Camoes Park. 

 

 

Get there before noon if you want to order any, as they sometimes sell out after lunch.  And costing only $12 for three rolls, it’s no wonder they’re so popular.  For more information, please see my full length review here: Hoi On San Sek.

 
Vietnamese Noodles

 

You might not know it to look at the picture, but that little bowl of Vietnamese fish noodles packs quite a punch.  A motley mix of seafood, noodles, and vegetables, it’s seasoned with a dry shrimp sauce that lifts the dish into another stratosphere.  A little salty, a little sour and a massive workout for your taste buds, it’s a personal favourite of mine and something you should seek out if you’re around the Three Lamps District.

 

 


Afterwards you can eat it inside the small shop that doubles as a convenience store, right beside the diapers and detergent, and feel like you live right around the corner.  

Location: Rua de Tome Pires and Rua de Emenda
 

Beef Organs

 

I don’t think the locals call the intersection of Travessa do Mastro and San Ma Lo anything, but for me it’s always been the “The Click Clack Corner”.  Pass by any evening around suppertime and you’ll be serenaded with the non stop clatter of knives and scissors chopping and bopping away.  The two people who run the stall are total veterans of the street food industry, as I’ve seen photos online of them from the mid 2000’s, looking much the same as they do now.  Their main fare is beef organs, which I consider to the quintessential Macau street meat, on par with hot dogs and sausages are in the West. 

 



While beef organs certainly sound scary, they do them in a way where the organ taste isn’t so apparent, which is why it works for me.  My friend and I added octopus, oysters, clams and Chinese cabbage conch to ours and then had a merry feast inside the San Va.  Another thing worth trying is the chicken leg which I really enjoyed as well.

 

Two issues to keep in mind here: communication may be a problem as well as the price.  A lot more expensive than I thought, everything cost $100 in total, which certainly isn’t cheap.  Judging by how popular the stall is though, with a line that sometimes snakes around the corner, the locals definitely don't seem to mind.
 



Apologies for the pictures looking as they do, but I don’t know how anyone can take a shot of that mess and make it look good.  It's definitely not the kind of food to take home and show Mom.

 

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