Wong Chi Kei Noodles & Congees - Macau, Sanado Square
Allow me to be frank at the commencement, this is most definitely not a food blog. Regardless, I’ve been heavily inspired (of late) by the food based digressions Alex has made over at The Pantalones and in a similar vein I’ve opted to share a few words on a restaurant I visited in Macau over the weekend. Shanghai and HK are going to get plenty of retail love, so leave it to Macau to provide a uniquely food-centric experience!
Wong Chi Kei (‘黃枝記’ for you traditionalists) has something of a prestigious pedigree in the special administrative regions of China. With 2 additional locations in Hong Kong, the original Macau shop - opened in 1946 - is the epitome of the hardcore Cantonese style of small snack foods. With a menu probably unaltered since half a century ago its clear that they excel at what it says on the label: quality noodles and congee (a sort of savoury rice porridge often flavoured with all the great bits Cantonese people have become infamous for, i.e. offal, flank and tripe).
Ever the traditionalists my family opted for the most conventional order you could dream up and we were served wonton noodles, egg and pork congee, some oyster sauce tossed vegetables and a generous portion of ‘Macanese bread’. The Macanese pork bread is particularly interesting and represents the influence that colonial Portuguese cuisine had on the people of Macau.
Bottom line is this - Wong Chi Kei make some tasty noodles and small plates. Cantonese food of this kind being what it is, you’ll get an eclectic mix of customers jockeying for real estate at lunch and dinner time: including grizzled locals, over-organised tourists and the obligatory foodies.
They claim to have the best noodles in Hong Kong, and while I attest that is a stretch these are certainly noodles as humans were meant to have them. Al dente, unctuous and with separately suburb condiments.
Do yourself a favour and go easy on the egg tarts, at least until you’ve had the healthy number of bowls of wonton mein.