As a former trading center for spices and a melting pot for Portuguese and Chinese cultures, it's little wonder that Macau developed its own very fine cuisine. The Portuguese settlers brought with them sweet potatoes, peanuts, and kidney beans from Brazil, piri-piri peppers from Africa, chilies from India, and codfish, coffee, and vegetables from Europe. In turn, the Chinese introduced rhubarb, celery, ginger, soy sauce, lychees, and other Asian foods. The result is Macanese cuisine. One of the most popular dishes is African chicken, grilled or baked with chilies and piri-piri peppers, but I also love minchi, a Macanese dish of minced beef prepared with fried potatoes, onion, and garlic. Other favorites include Portuguese chicken (chicken baked with potatoes, tomatoes, olive oil, curry, coconut, saffron, and black olives), Macau sole, caldeirada (seafood stew), spicy giant shrimp, baked quail and pigeon, curried crab, and feijoada (a Brazilian stew of pork, black beans, cabbage, and spicy sausage). Several restaurants also specialize in traditional Portuguese cuisine -- don't pass up the Portuguese sausage, clams, green vegetable soup, or bacalhau (codfish, served hundreds of ways). Of course, Macau also has countless Chinese restaurants, and in recent years fine dining has burst onto the scene in the form of mostly Italian, French, and Japanese restaurants, thanks largely to the gaming industry (which supplements the high costs of running a restaurant with casino profits). Many restaurants have extensive wine cellars, but for a bargain, try one of the inexpensive Portuguese imports. Most famous is the vinho verde, a young wine served very cold that is refreshing on hot summer days and goes great with seafood. For a tasty snack, be sure to sample a Portuguese egg tart, yolk-filled pastries topped with caramelized sugar.

Restaurants will add a 10% service charge to your bill, but as you'll discover, even the "moderate" restaurants in Macau would be a bargain in Hong Kong.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.