“Tell me what you eat and I’ll tell you who you are.” – Brillat-Savarin
Vasu’s purpose of visiting Macau might be different but I knew what I was going to do there! Eat loads of Egg Tarts !! I had heard so much about them that I was wondering what kind of taste could make people rave about it with much gusto.
Andrew Stow, an English pharmacist, came to Macau during Portuguese stint. He had a flair for cooking and so worked in Hyatt’s Alfonso Restaurant (then Macau’s leading Portuguese restaurant of the day). The locals called him ‘Lord Stow’ since he was ‘lording it’ over them. 😀
He knew how Portuguese egg tarts are made. The Portuguese egg tarts were evolved from ‘pastel de nata‘, a traditional Portuguese custard pastry that consists of custard in a crème brûlée-like consistency caramelized fashion in a puff pastry case. Being an Englishman, he brought some changes in the recipe by adding an English touch to these tarts, and came up with his own specialty of Portuguese Egg Tarts which are now synonymous with Macau.
In September 1989, Andrew and his wife Margaret Wong opened their first bakery shop in Coloane Village, Macau, and called it Lord Stow’s Bakery. Soon demand for Andrew’s egg tarts spread and in 1997 the franchising of Andrew’s delicious creation led to Asia’s Egg Tart frenzy going as far as Philippines, Korea and Japan! There are a number of Lord Stow’s franchises around Macau as well.
Mango Cheesecake and Chocolate Cheesecake.
Non stop working to fulfill the demand.
When asked the guy who was packing the tarts, how many pieces do they make everyday, he answered 10000-12000 pieces. Can you imagine how many such trays? 🙂
The shop is still going strong, and you’ll generally find a long queue at the counter. It is the most common local snack on the street of Macau. Not only the locals snack on these Egg Tarts, the tourists also fall for it. It can possibly be called the national snack.
Outside Lord Stow’s Bakery is a beautiful sea view. Many people would buy tarts, sandwiches and salad from Lord Stow’s Bakery and eat by the sea. They costed us MOP $9 (Macanese Pataca, the local currency) per piece.
The egg tarts aren’t burnt. The “blackened” or rather caramelized surface is Lord Stow’s Portuguese Egg Tart’s signature look! You should eat it hot off the oven… hot, crispy and creamy. The slightly burnt sweet taste of caramel and custard filling and buttery flaky crust … ummm …. you just have to try it to feel it melting in your mouth.
Later, the couple separated and the wife opened her own Portuguese egg tart shop in the Macau Peninsula … Margaret’s Cafe e Nata. Egg tarts are quite easily available from bakeries and restaurants across Macau, but Lord Stow’s and Margaret’s are the most well-known ones, former being the most popular.
If you’re visiting Macau, I would highly recommend you to make a pit stop at Lord Stow’s to taste these Egg Tarts. These are worth the extra calories and sugar rush!
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