With a vibrant overseas Filipino community, it’s no surprise that Macau has quickly risen as a popular travel destination among Filipinos — it is only 2 hours away from Manila by plane, after all!
Those who think that Macau’s only draw is its bustling casino scene would be highly mistaken. There are so much more that this charming island can offer its visitors, from its historical sites that mix both Chinese and Portuguese influences. its various cultural attractions, and the one-of-a-kind Macanese cuisine, there is something for every kind of visitor that lands upon this gem of a place.
And speaking of cuisine, it goes without saying that when in Macau, one cannot leave without trying one of Macau’s famed egg tarts.
While we all know about Lord Stow’s Bakery, local bakeries have popped up and claiming that they have the best version of the Macau favorite. So just how do these egg tarts fare against one another? We took a trip to Macau, rode Philippines AirAsia to try three of the most popular egg tart places in Macau just for you. See how they come head to head in this Battle of the Egg Tarts!
Margaret Cafe é Nata
Perhaps aside from Lord Stow himself, Margaret’s Cafe é Nata commands its own cult following — visit their shop near Senado Square on a weekend when it opens at 10AM and try not to gasp at the throngs of tourists patiently waiting their turn for the silky egg tart Margaret’s is known for. Margaret’s claim to fame as Lord Stow’s fiercest competitor also has an interesting story: Margaret is actually Lord Stow’s ex-wife.
Price: 9 MOP (54 php)
Margaret’s egg tart is the kind that gives bang for your buck. It’s 1 MOP (Macanese Pataca, colloquially referred to as “dollar”) cheaper than Lord Stow’s.
Crust: The crust is buttery and flaky all right, great for those who don’t mind indulging, but it could be a little too much for others, the evidence in the form of oil stains from the paper wrapper, as well as on your hands. The flaky crust, on the other hand, can make the egg tart a little difficult to eat properly, easily crumbling into pieces upon the first few bites.
Flavor: The egg tart itself is pretty dense once you get to hold it, indicative of the heavily packed filling inside. It’s glorious, silky on the tongue, with just the right amount of sweetness. It’s the kind of treat you can consume piece after piece, as the flavor never gets too cloying.
Koi Kei Bakery
Whichever corner of Macau you find yourself in, you will always spot a Koi Kei bakery somewhere. While more famous for their almond cookies and jerky (also popular pasalubong choices among tourists), Koi Kei displays their egg tarts at the storefront, luring their patrons in for a bite of their own version of the Macanese favorite.
Price: 54 MOP (324 php) for a box of 6
Crust: The Koi Kei egg tarts are seemingly the kind that have adapted to local sensibilities. A sturdy crust renders it more chewy than flaky, though this means it can hold the custard filling better than Margaret’s can.
Koi Kei’s egg tarts are perfectly adequate, and I might have to add, a decent pasalubong choice for your family before you fly home. Even left after hours, Koi Kei’s egg tarts remain firm instead of soggy, definitely plus points up their alley.
Flavor: The custard, upon appearance, is a little more sunken in, similar to Lord Stow’s, with a sweet yet prominently eggy flavor. It could use a little more browning on top, just to add depth to the egg tart’s sweetness.
Lord Stow’s Bakery
A Lord Stow’s Bakery delivery van parked outside the original location at Coloane Village.
In Macau, Lord Stow’s egg tarts are at your disposal via two locations: an outlet at the popular Shoppes at Venetian along Cotai Strip, and its original location at the old fishing village Coloane just south of Taipa.
Price: At 10 MOP (60 php), Lord Stow’s may be the priciest on the list, but you’re undoubtedly paying for its star power.
Crust: Lord Stow’s tart crust is the “Goldilocks” of the previous two — just flaky and buttery enough without sacrificing the egg tart’s structure.
Flavor: The middle of the egg tart has a sunken look, uniform for all their tarts, perfectly browned on top. One bite in and you get rich, sweet custard, with the caramelized surface lending some complexity in flavor. Is it worth the hype? Decidedly so.
The verdict: It was so close between Margaret’s and Lord Stow’s, as both have their own positive qualities. In terms of flavor, nothing beats the original. While Margaret’s dedication to making the crust flaky and buttery beyond belief is commendable, it’s clear that Lord Stow’s has mastered the recipe that has made the brand so widely popular, always just striking the right balance in sweetness and texture.
It should be noted, however, that each bakery has its own strengths and they’re all delicious in their unique ways. Rest assured that wherever you go to try egg tarts, you will definitely not be disappointed.
Considering of going to Macau? If you want to book a spontaneous trip next weekend, check out the Manila-Macau rates at Philippines AirAsia. You’ll be surprised at the cheap rates and the quick trip — it’s only 2 hours away!
Have you been to Macau? Are you planning on visiting soon? Let’s talk about it!