Eating a piping hot Portuguese egg tart is one of the essential experiences for any visitor to Macau. While their history doesn’t date back quite as far as the iconic, 400-year-old Ruins of St Paul’s, these flaky cups of buttery, creamy goodness have their origins in the monasteries and convents of 17th-century Lisbon. At the time, egg whites where commonly used to starch the gowns of monks and nuns. Left over egg yolks were used to make pastries and cakes, which evolved into egg tarts. Portuguese egg tarts have since spread beyond Portugal and its former colonies to become a delicacy enjoyed worldwide. Here’s where you can get the best egg tarts in Macau:
Lord Stow’s Bakery
Macau’s Portuguese egg tarts truly became a phenomenon starting in 1989, when Englishman Andrew Stow added cream to his custard mixture at a bakery in Coloane.
1 Rua do Tassara, Coloane Village; lordstow.com
Margaret’s Café e Nata
Even locals find it hard to distinguish between Lord Stow’s creations and the ones here, baked by the late Englishman’s former wife, Margaret Wong. Arrive early or be prepared to wait. Opens at 6.30am.
17A Rua Alm Costa Cabral, Avenida de Almeida Ribeiro
Estabelecimento de comidas “San Hou Lei”
Beyond a mean Portuguese egg tart, this bakery serves up a lighter, pure yellow Macanese version, a milky white “bird’s nest” tart and a sweet, moist coconut tart.
14-13 Ruo do Regedor, Taipa; www.mycuppacoffee.com
CuppaCoffee Bakery & Coffee House
Try the Espresso e Nara coffee-and-tart combo at this homegrown cafe.
Rua Fernao Mendes Pinto, 104 – 106 Taipa
Pastelaria Koi Kei
If you’re pressed for time, grab an egg tart on the run at any of the 21 outlets from this famed Macanese chain. There are also outposts in Hong Kong and Singapore.
Various locations; www.koikei.com
This article originally appeared in the April 2015 issue of Smile magazine.