Yep, it did it again. I had an entire paragraph typed up and it didn’t save. Take two, let’s hope this time it saves. I debated whether or not to take a day trip to Macau. Peggy and I had been to Macau before the big casinos were built and I did not remember much about the trip to Macau. I remember we joined a tour and we were rushed through the city. Instead of staying with the tour for a yucky buffet lunch, we had wandered off by ourselves to eat the famous Portuguese pork bun sandwich. I planned the trip to Macau with the thought that we could always skip Macau, we did not have to put any money down and commit since it was just a ferry ride over. Do not let google fool you about the ferry service. The ferry runs quite regularly and the ferry from Macau back to TST runs until 10:30 at night. When I was researching the trip, it looked like we would have to take the ferry from Macau back to Sheung Wan instead of TST. I reserved two meals in Macau, one at Antonio’s and one at Mizumi. Antonio’s is Michelin rated and Mizumi has a Michelin Star. It’s possible to get to Antonio’s via the shuttle from the ferry to the Venetian casino. That was my original plan. However, as we walked through the Venetian, I got disoriented with directions and decided to take a taxi to the restaurant instead. A couple of interesting side bars here, I asked one of the hotel workers how to exit the casino. His response to me was which exit. Some common sense here, I’m lost, if I knew which exit why would I ask? Since we were traveling in Macau with Kaela, we were not allowed to walk into the casino. We had to take the long way around. While walking around the casino we found two places that I had intend to look for in Macau. One was Lord Stow’s bakery, known for their Portuguese egg tarts. The other was a beef and pork jerky place.
When we finally found a taxi, the taxi driver had no idea what restaurant we wanted to go to. It took a few minutes for me to pull out the menu that I had printed out from home and show him the address before he finally figured out where we wanted to go. He dropped us off and pointed straight so we figured we were close. The place that he pointed to was a Buddhist temple, so surely that was not the right place. Our phone service did not work in Macau, so google maps wasn’t an option. And of course I didn’t have a paper map of Macau. I learned in Hong Kong to get a paper map, that way there was some sort of a back up in the event google maps didn’t get you to where you wanted. I walked down a few streets but couldn’t find the place, finally Peggy asked someone. The good thing about Macau is that a good majority of people speak Cantonese. In Hong Kong, there are a lot of mandarin speaking people. My guess is people from mainland China came over to Hong Kong when Hong Kong was handed back to China by Britain.
Eventually we found Antonio’s and there was a woman waiting for the restaurant to open. Turned out she was American and did exactly what we did, took a day trip from Hong Kong to Macau. Somehow she had walked over to the restaurant from the Venetian. Antonio’s is known for Portuguese food, so sausage and seafood would definitely make the menu selection. Kaela selected grilled pork, remember when I mentioned pork bun sandwiches? I can’t say that I am versed in Portuguese food but they definitely do pork well. I opted for smashed bread with seafood and Peggy decided on rabbit. Rabbit is an odd meat, it sort of tastes like chicken, but I only say that for a lack of a better way to describe it. The portions were huge, the American woman and her husband tried to order the seafood paella but were told that even though the menu says the portion is for two, it’s really four servings. Our three items could have been condensed down to two and it would have been plenty of food. Another side bar here, in my opinion, travel should require gluttonus eating. There is plenty of time to diet when you go home and unless you travel a lot, you need to experience the food and culture as much as possible. The food at Antonio’s was fantastic.
Since we were beyond stuffed from lunch, we decided to walk around a bit. The taxi driver had driven us past a bunch of eateries and I wanted to check them out. To our surprise there were a lot of choices, there was a restaurant that served shark fin for approximately $10USD. Yes, I know shark fin is banned. There were plenty of fresh seafood restaurants as well. From the street we were walking on you could clearly see one of the large casinos, we decided to walk there and take a little rest before dinner. Turns out the casino was the Galaxy. I’ve never heard of it before and don’t know if there is an equivalent casino in Las Vegas. I decided to try my luck and do some gambling. Most of the tables featured baccarat. My preferred game is black jack. I was hard pressed to find tables with the games you typically find in Vegas. After walking around for quite a while, I found 2 black jack tables, the lowest one having a $300HKD minimum. I was hoping for something along the lines of $100HKD. Reluctantly, I went to the cashier so I could play a few hands. Now I did not know this, but the exchange rate at casinos are quite good. The only thing is that they only wanted clean bills, nothing with stamps or markings.
After a short time at the table, we decided to walk around a bit more. The Galaxy had a nice free water show and an outside food court with a lot of interesting places to grab a snack/light meal. Our next meal reservation was at the Wynn and it was nowhere in sight. We grabbed a cab again. This time the cab driver asked us which Wynn casino? I was beginning to think something is surely wrong with the people in Macau. Why would there be two Wynn casinos? He then started to explain there is the old Wynn located in the old part of Macau and the new Wynn closer to where we were presently at. Finally dinner time rolled around and we went to Mizumi only to discover they were closed. How could that be? They had confirmed my reservation. We asked the neighboring restaurant and sure enough, they close on Wednesdays. We asked the same restaurant if we could eat there and were told they were fully booked. So here comes my rant again...
I’m rather convinced that the Michelin thing is full of shit in Hong Kong/Macau. Ah Yat, no reservations. Shang Palace, no where close to the service/quality of food in the US. Mizumi took reservations but we couldn’t dine there due it being closed. Bad luck? Now I know back in the good ole US, what to expect from a Michelin Star restaurant. I know what to expect from a Michelin guide/bib gourmand restaurant. The standards aren’t even remotely the same between the US and Hong Kong/Macau. So what gives? Can someone explain it to me?
Disgusted with the whole Wynn/Mizumi ordeal, we decided to cut the trip short and return to Hong Kong. The nonsense also ruined our appetite that evening. We decided to skip dinner and eat the fruit we had bought, the egg tarts from a couple days earlier (kept in refridgerator, egg tarts are good for a few days when kept in refridgerator and can be eaten cold), and the pork jerky we had just bought.