My obsession with pork is by definition probably an unhealthy one. But when so many cultures around the world prepare pork in a variety of tasty ways, what’s one to do? Well, one goes on a pork pilgrimage to track down the famous Macau pork chop bun.
The Macau pork bun is a sandwich we first tracked down in Malaysia, so finding the best pork chop bun Macau offers was top on our list of things to do in Macau, an easy side trip when traveling to Hong Kong.
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What Is The Macau Pork Bun?
What is a Macau pork chop bun? Picture an oversized bone-in Macau pork chop, marinated to perfection in a combination of five-spice powder, garlic, sugar, salt, soy, white, and black pepper. The pork chop bun is fried to a golden brown and severed on a warm, buttered Portuguese bun. Hungry yet? Want one?
The Macau pork chop bun recipe reminds me of the Portuguese bifana, which is not exactly a pork chop bun but is a similar pork sandwich. The Macau-style pork chop sandwich and the Portuguese bifana are two of my favorite pork sandwiches in the world. That’s saying something.
There is no surprise that both Macau and Portugal have similar and related pork sandwiches. Macau was once a Portuguese colony. Not only are the pork sandwiches similar, but there are many Portuguese restaurants in Macau.
Prior to our visit to Macau, we had only ever seen the Macanese pork chop bun in Kuala Lumpur. I fell in love with the pork chop bun Macau recipe even before stepping foot in Macau. And, after trying it in Macau, I realized the version of the pork chop buns in Kuala Lumpur was pretty spot on.
Where To Find The Pork Chop Bun In Macau
The most famous restaurant, in fact, I believe they are credited with “inventing” the Macanese pork chop bun recipe is Tai Lei Loi Kei Macau. Tai Lei Loi Kei started serving up these tasty Macau style pork chop sandwiches in 1968.
Like many of our food pilgrimages, we were inspired to visit Tai Lei Loi Kei after watching Anthony Bourdain’s pork chop sandwich clip. We watched him dive into his own pork chop bun while mocking fictitious vegetarians who secretly want to eat one of their own (something we’ve also done after eating a Portuguese bifana). Having only eaten at the Tai Lei Loi Kei franchise in Kuala Lumpur, we were excited to head to the source of the Macanese pork chop bun and look for the best pork bun Macau offers.
Macau Pork Chop Bun In Taipa
So where is the best pork bun in Macau? Located in the Taipa Village neighborhood of Macau, Tai Lei Loi Kei is down a nondescript alley only a few doors away from, of all things, Starbucks.
Although not really a Macau restaurant, per se, it’s more of a counter service restaurant. And, this wasn’t the location where Anthony Bourdain visited, which might be the original. It was still exciting to be home to one of my biggest food obsessions.
How Much Does A Pork Chop Bun Cost?
Costing only $48 HKD or approximately $6 USD, it’s more expensive compared to other shops selling their pork chop bun for around $30 HKD. We didn’t sample the competition so we can’t say if paying twice the price means it was twice as good. One thing is for certain, it was pretty damn good.
There’s something to be said about simplicity. Meat and bun served in a brown paper bag. No sauce, no toppings, no china nor cutlery needed. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for some out of this world gastronomic experience where the chef is serving dishes that look like one thing but taste like another. But a simple fried piece of meat on a fresh bun gets me every time.
The bread was so flaky we made a mess. The pork is so tender and juicy. Easily one of the simplest of Macau foods, but certainly on the top of the list of what to eat in Macau.
Tai Lei Loi Kei Macau – The Best Pork Chop Sandwich In Macau
There’s one place that food travelers must head to for the Macau famous pork chop bun – Tai Lei Loi Kei. There are now four Tai Lei Loi Kei locations in Macau making it pretty easy to track down the pork chop bun during a visit to Macau. Rumor has it that the original owner used a secret family marinade to make the Macau pork chop sandwich. It is also rumored that they fly their pork in from Brazil.
The original Tai Lei Loi Kei Macau location is in the Taipa Village Macau, across the bridge from Old Town Macau. There is also a location in the nearby Venetian Hotel. The address in Google Maps is for a former location. Just look for the Starbucks on R. de Clerigos, and look for the signs. It’s the best way to find the famous Macau pork chop bun and at the top of the list of where to eat in Macau.