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Motormouth From Ipoh

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Hong Kong/Macau 2008 FINALE - When The Sun Goes Down in Macau ...

And here comes the finale ..... Well, for those who might've forgotten, this ultra long, and extended posts on Hong Kong/Macau actually spanned an un-enviable 5 weeks. Yeah yeah ... I could've finished them earlier, but "time constraints" and "human nature" (read : lazybum) had the better of me. For those who wish to recall the whole ordeal, from Day One til Day Nine, do click HERE for the entire itinerary.

As different as night and day .... Ruo do Cunha at night lacking in terms of traffic
We took the ferry from Tsim Sha Tsui pier to reach Macau, for HKD148/RM66.60 per pax. Of course I'm still assuming the conversion rate of HKD100=RM45, which held true at that moment when I was in HK. But as of now, the our RM has weaken slightly, and the exchange rate has since soared to HKD100=RM46+. Take note, k?
Arriving in Macau, we took Bus No 3 (or 3A) to reach Sun Ma Lou (Avenida de Almeida Ribeiro) for MOP$2.50/RM1.13 per pax. But really, if you're carrying the whole of HK (or more) back with you, do consider a cab instead, as the distance is not really far.
As it was already pretty late, we checked ourselves into Ko Wah Hotel at Ruo de Felicidade, a few shoplots away from San Va Hospideria. For MOP$550/RM247.50, we got ourselves a very spacious, clean and comfortable room for FOUR, with air-conditioning, TV, hot shower, and the likes. Just like a REAL hotel. Marginally improved in comparison to San Va (click HERE for our unique experiences on the 1st night). Sadly, I've lost the contact for the hotel (will post here once I've found it), but bear in mind they DO NOT cater to pre-booking online, thus either you call before arriving, or push your luck and hope for a room.
DUMBO Portuguese Restaurant @ Taipa
For dinner, we took a bus No 33 to reach Taipa across the straits, for MOP$3.30/RM1.50 per pax. The whole stretch of Ruo do Cunha or "Koon Yeh Khai" in Cantonese was rather deserted, raising slight surprise, that will soon be answered after dinner.
We unanimously agreed on any restaurants serving Macanese/Portuguese food for the last dinner in Macau. For this trip, at the very least. So we proceeded to DUMBO Restaurant in Taipa Village, a short walk from Ruo do Cunha. Very easy to locate, as you'll notice the signboard with what else, but DUMBO the flying elephant erm ... cheerfully welcoming you. The building's rather big, spanning a few floors.

We were ushered to our seats upstairs, and were pleasantly surprised by the large crowd in the restaurant. The exterior was unassuming, but once we stepped in, the place came to life, literally. With cutleries & glasses a-clanking, the boisterous/lively/vibrant crowd (mostly tourists, I presume) imposed a sense of camaraderie, automatically injecting charm into the classic dining hall.
The menu covers everything from Portuguese classics to Macanese crossovers. And everything in between. Bear in mind the crowd may be overwhelming at times, and reservation may be vital. But then again, the quieter than usual streets in Macau that evening was highly suspicious. Hmm ... what could be on?

Complimentary bread and butter .... The bread resembled baguette, but not as hard

Bacalhau Fried Rice (MOP$35/RM15.75)

Bacalhau is a traditional and favourite Portuguese dish, referring to salted codfish. Yup, even the taste mimicked our very own salted fish. We dared not order a whole fish, which can be steamed, fried or cooked with gravy. The simple fried rice was fluffy, with eggs and capsicums. The Bacalhau provided much of the flavours, but then again, did not click with our palates. :(
Roasted Pigeon (MOP$55/RM24.75)
Highly recommended by other floggers, the roasted pigeon arrived as a singleton, and quartered to ease serving. Stuffed with garlic and spices, the bird was served with lemon wedges to be squeezed liberately. Tastewise? Other than the overpowering garlic stuffings, the bird was roasted well, but to me was akin to a quail. And do not be fooled by the photo above, as the portion's not big at all. One can easily polish off a whole bird in record time. =P

Roasted German Pork Knuckle (MOP$70/RM31.50)

The sight of pork knuckle in the menu had me in a trance. Really. And the next table savouring the whole slab of meat was all the more inviting. You can have your knuckle roasted or steamed. But ewww .... who eat their pork knuckles steamed anyway?

The portion was definitely meant for sharing, and the tender, juicy and fatty cuts of meat were irresistible. However, the saltiness may be a put-off factor to some. Ate them with the supplied bread and the saltiness was somewhat tempered.

Mixed vegetable salad (MOP$30/RM13.50)
In fear of constipation, we opted for some fibres in the form of their salad. The usual tomatoes, lettuce, cucumbers and olives with a boiled egg as protein-supplement. Substantial for one on diet, and perfect as accompaniment to a carnivorous meal.
Total damage : MOP$209/RM94. In conclusion? Mixed reactions from all corners. Maybe we should've ordered something else? Or we should've dined elsewhere? Or maybe our tastebuds are not that compatible with Portuguese food? Hmmm .... To be answered in my next visit. hahaha .... NOW I've a reason to go again. :)

Wow .... deserted street at 9pm?
We exited the restaurant and noticed they serve various desserts on display at the counter. From Serradura to cakes and such. At reasonable prices as well.
Once outside, we were puzzled by the strangely isolated streets. It was a Saturday evening after all. And we expected the whole place to be swarmed/infested/congested with seas of humanity. OK, maybe a tad far off, but the quiet streets were kind of ..... weird.
Some may argue : "Of course lah ..... Ppl go casinos at night ma .... Who will go jalan-jalan and makan-makan?!"
Which, I can't deny, may be one of the reason to such phenomenon. But then the pieces started falling into place. It was the 20th of September 2008. The night when the final 2 episodes of Moonlight Resonance were being shown on TV !!! Arguably the MOST popular and MOST watched TVB drama of all time, the popularity of the drama had people glued to the TV everywhere, from cafes to restaurants, and of course most in the comfort of their homes. And they held a special screening at one of the malls in Hong Kong.
Talk about Couch Potatoes. (Of course, we would've glued to our set in our hotel room, had we not travelled so distant from our hotel)
Pastelaria Fong Kei
A confectionery on Ruo do Cunha (it's the name of the famous street in Taipa, in case you're wondering) named Fong Kei looked unpretentious, and certainly lacked the glitz and glamour of its counterparts namely Koi Kee and Choi Hiong Yuen. But they do have a following of their own, selling traditional and homemade biscuits, and some cannot be found in M'sia. Deserve a try, but the packaging is nothing like Koi Kee's perfect-as-gifts varieties.

Largo do Senado (Senado Square) - You can count the mosaics without getting your fingers stepped on ... unlike the first night.

Ruins of St Paul's .... The evening crowd was a welcoming change from the hustle/bustle of the daytime rush

You can practically sit on the steps and soak in the surroundings ....

Lots of dog-lovers bring their pets to the Ruins at night ... Made me wonder what if my LULU was with me at that moment. Sure gave the other owners a shock. Crazy Golden Retriever.
After dinner, we utilised our room's space to the fullest. For packing and unpacking of our baggages. The spacious room was God-sent for such trivial matters. Or important, depending on how you look at it. hehehe ....
Back to Slumberland ....

An equally deserted Ruo De Felicidade .... G'night Macau ....

Morning view from our room ... G'morning Macau?! :)
Our flight's at 10.45 am. Thus, we checked out and took a cab to the airport (MOP$70/RM31.50) as harming the other passengers on bus with my killer-of-a-luggage was a tempting yet morbid idea.
Macau International Airport

Disastrous breakfast of Portuguese Egg Tarts (3 for MOP$21/RM9.45) and Curry Beef Brisket Noodles (MOP$35/RM15.75)
Arriving rather early, we had breakfast at the airport's food court. Bad choice, as which airport serves GOOD food anyway? :)
GOODBYE .... Til the next journey !!!
And that ... was a wrap, folks. Do consider holidaying in Hong Kong/Macau if you're one who loves food, lots and lots of delicious food, and shopping. Sight-seeings may not be comparable to other countries, and the weather may be unpleasantly hot and humid during summer. But a small price to pay, really.
The whole trip costed me less than RM2k, including airfare, accomodation, transportation, entrance fees, and food. But of course, excluding shopping and souvenirs. For a good 9 days, 8 nights. Now who says travelling to Hong Kong is expensive?!


Christina Kim said...

Ohhhh, that's really really cheap!!!!
And I'm going to miss all your HK posts....

Ciki said...

love the Largo do Senado by night.. very pretty! Wow... the grand finale! Thanks for sharing... this was an excellent journey for you (and for me!) Cheers

HairyBerry said...

*clap clap* on such complete coverage of your trip! RM2K for the whole trip is a really good deal! 2 countries pulak tu!

and u took the last picture of the sky from the plane is very nice lar.

Min said...

Hehe, finally you finish ur Hk/Macao post. It seems the Ko Wah not bad ho, maybe I should give it a try, much better than Sanva.

minchow said...

Now that it's come to an end, I'm going to miss looking forward to the posts... well, the only next step is for me to make my own journey there! Thanks for sharing!

SuwEi said...

Finally u'd finish ur post.Haha!I think Dumbo is a bit salty for me, hope can try some other place next time.Min, Kowah not bad rite, trust me.Haha!

J2Kfm said...

christy : thanks. I will miss posting them too. haha ...

cumi & ciki : you're most welcomed. someday I'll read back and smile. :)

nic : somehow snapping clouds during flights is very addictive lah. the feeling of above it all.

min : yup. sorry not much pics posted. but it's REALLY a hotel, with lifts, carpeted, and all. on wkdays less MOP100 also.

550mL Jar of Faith : thanks for following (enduring) my rants.

suwei : maybe we should try the Pinocchio, or the Ayam brand on Ruo do Cunha?

ai wei said...

huh! i wanna go HK!!!!!

soo sean said...

Hong Kong airport serves very nice food. Few famous restaurants or cafes opened a branch there. I had two breakfasts in the airport before flying back. :P

Anonymous said...

ah now i feel somewhat relieved to see that it costs you around 2k coz i'm planning a trip there for around the same duration and have been worried about how much it would cost... would def. refer to your reviews to go cari makan2 :)

J2Kfm said...

aiwei : haha ... go on! book one now. or at least wait til Air Asia holds another promo.

soo sean : oh really? then sorry I made a generalised statement. but Macau's airport food was nothing to shout about.

epicuriousgirl : haha, there are so many more outlets we din get to try, due to time constraints. but there's alwiz another trip down the line ...

soo sean said...

no need to say sorry. I had the same perception before I tried hong kong airport food also. :)

Anonymous said...

Hi, I'll be leaving for Macau next week and have actually booked for Sanva Hotel. But I'm worry about the safety and whether it's comfortable to stay there (my friend and I are both girls). As you mentioned, we have to share bathroom and so on. Is there a cheaper room rate in Ko Wah Hotel and do you know the price of it? Thanks in advance.

Melissa Ng

J2Kfm said...

soo sean : haha.. its true.

Anonymous : Ko Wah if on weekdays its around MOP$350/room for two. if weekends add another MOP$100 I think. but sad part is you cant book online. I've misplaced the business card, unfortunately.

SAn Va is definitely cheaper, with rates from MOP120-160 per room for two, with NO air cond, and ceiling fan/table fan. room's rather rundown, but classic. shared bathrooms, total of two of them. security's ok, as CCTV is installed at corridors. but if both of you are girls, recommended to watch out for each other when going to the bathroom.

cariso said...

Your full coverage story made it like RM5k. :) What a nice and cheap trip you had!

J2Kfm said...

cariso: RM5k?! haha ... no way I'll spend that amount for HK alone!