Thursday, August 2, 2007

Macao

We took the one-hour ferry ride to Macao from Hong Kong. The ferry is next to Harbour City and there's one every half-hour so you can shop till you drop but remember, if you get into Macao late, the free hotel buses stop around 9 pm and you'd have to get a taxi. If you get one.

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The Venetian Macao Resort, Phase 1

It's hard to believe that Macao now surpasses Las Vegas in terms of gambling revenue because there's really not that many casinos. The major ones are Wynn, Sands and Crown. But the giants are getting into action, with the building of the super 10.5 million-sq ft (!) Venetian Macao Resort Hotel, which will come with lagoons and gondolas and everything Venice. Wow. Btw, notice the scaffolding in the pic--all done with bamboo poles. This is an amazing skill the HKgers and Chinese wouldn't modernize, even when building their tallest building.

UGLY
The Grand Lisboa

Stanley Ho's Grand Lisboa stands out like a some architectural joke, with a tacky mushroom-shaped attachment. Looks like some archies are having fun at the old man's expense.

Hub transited here ages ago so it was down memory lane for him. Yi meanwhile had reached the end of her tolerance and developed a fever on the ferry. I had urges of going back to HK to shop. Still, we checked into Grand Taipa Hotel on the Taipa side (like HK, Macao is made up of the mainland and Taipa Island) which is less developed but holds the airport and new casinos that are coming up. As tourists, you can never be smart all the time and that night we were not. We ended up at this restaurant paying tourist prices eating salty Portuguese food.

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Portuguese-style crab

Never, ever fall for repeated "How can you come here and not eat this??" esp. if it's seafood because whatever it is, maybe it just died and they desperately want you to pay to eat it. And esp. if you came from Sabah, where seafood falls off the trees (people from our neighboring country will believe that), you'd be stupid to pay MOP168 (RM80/US$23) for one crab (size is a subjective matter: a big crab to me is at least a dessert-plate size but to the waitess/cook, it is the size of a Fillet-o-Fish) when you can have 4 kg of that in KK! I was having traveller's dementia. And the crab wasn't even tasty.

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Baked mussels

But I specifically asked for oysters! This tasted blah too, salty and tough. (At this point, 2 tourists walked in, then backed out after checking the menu. Hub said, "Clever guys!", a rub at me since I had chosen this place.)

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Fried rice with bacalhau

What bacalhau (salted cod)? Not one of us tasted anything other than rice, egg and onions.

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Portugese mixed veg

Notice how every dish looks yellow (tumericky)? I don't know about you, but I'm put off Portuguese food, alongwith my No. 1 feared cuisine--Greek (olive oil rice wrapped in salted grape leaves is yuks!). My friend Liz gave me a portuguese chicken recipe that far exceeds the taste of any of the above. To top it all, that meal costs MOP498 (RM250/US$70) and Hub, also overcome with traveller's dementia, paid in cash, all the MOP we had. And it was nearly midnight, no ATM in sight. Which turned out wise, because we went to Crown and had only RMB20 (RM10/US$3) to spend!

3 comments:

Shan said...

Hey so that's what the venetian looks like. A friend of mine has just joined that team. He seems to be enjoying his work there.

Sorry to read about the meal - nothing pisses me off more than paying a lot for rubbishy food. Grrr!

Terri @ hungerhunger said...

u're d 3rd person to tell me a friend has gone to work in Macao. u shd go, say 6-8 months from now when d Venetian is fully opened.it's really awesome, the scale n concept. just think, its so near n we don't have to fly to Las Vegas. in front of d Venetian is another major project, a theme casino also. huge, really monstrous. yea, makes me upset just thinking of tt meal.

Anonymous said...

Greek food is not that bad! I agree that bad dolmades is not nice but if you carefully wash the excess salt off the grape leaves, and make a nice filling with minced lamb, onions, rice, plus throw in not-authentic chilli for extra kick, it is really not that bad. Greek tomatoes are also nice - not as nice as Italian but still very tasty in a Greek salad. And my favourite Greek dish of all time is the simplest and most widespread of all Greek street foods - gyros, succulent roast pork in a warm pita roll, with salad and tzatziki sauce.

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