After the troop of participants for the Feast of the Drunken Dragon went on and peace returned to the rainy morning at Senado Square, I stayed behind and explored the area for a bit!
[Experience Macau May 2013]
17th May 2013 – Day 2
Largo do Senado (Senado Square)
Largo do Senado, or also known as Senado Square, is Macau’s main square where it had been a civic hub for centuries. It is now paved with a wave-patterned Portuguese mosaics and pedestrianized complete with a fountain, landscaping, cafes, shopping streets and space for public events.
And the best thing about Senado Square, it is strategically located among numerous attractions of Macau. From churches with rich history and cultures to UNESCO world heritage sites to great food, you name it all! Here’s introducing to you the bits and pieces around Senado Square that I managed to explore!
Senado Square has been Macau’s urban centre for centuries and is still the most popular venue for public events and celebrations. Today, the square is very affectionately referred to as The Water Fountain by the locals.
Leal Senado (or the Civic and Municipal Affairs Bureau) is built in 1784 and it is the first municipal chamber in a neo-classical architecture. It has retained its function, original master walls and primary layout till today. Inside the building, there is a ceremonial meeting room that opens onto an elaborate carved library styled after the library of Mafra Convent in Portugal and a small chapel.
Holy House of Mercy
The Holy House of Mercy is established by the first Bishop of Macau in 1569 and the institution was modeled after one of the most prominent and oldest charitable organizations in Portugal. They are responsible for founding the first western style medical clinic and several social welfare structures that still function to this day.
St. Dominic’s Church
The church, connected to the Brotherhood of Our Lady of the Rosary, is founded in 1587 and it was here that the first Portuguese newspaper was published on Chinese soil. The bell tower at the back of the building has been modified into a small Museum of Sacred Art exhibiting a collection of around 300 artefacts.
Streets & Alleyways
And if you’re going down Travessa da Sao Domingos, you should not miss this! I cannot really remember the name of the place but it’s actually at the other end from the fountain. And there, you simply pick what you like from the wide variety and they will boil it for you before serving your picks with their specialty sauce!
It’s very much like the lok lok you can get in Malaysia. The sauce is a little between a curry and satay gravy and that is really delish! Besides, this place opens till late! Perfect if you need supper! 😀
The Cathedral was originally constructed with compound materials consisting of soil and straw and it was restored and now the exterior is clad in Shanghai plaster, giving the church a monolithic subdued appearance.
Wong Chi Kei 黃枝記
I was told and reminded countless of times to check out this famous noodle joint in Macau and finally when lunch time came around, I finally got there to find out what’s everyone raving about!
There are two variants of the wonton noodle, one served with soup and the other is a dry version with the noodles tossed in soy sauce. And I jolly well know that the recommended one is the one with the soup but I just had to get the dry version to compare. Of course, everyone is right. The soup variant is better.
I was expecting to see fresh prawn roe and it was a surprise when the prawn roe served together with the noodles is actually the dried, powdered and flavored version. Well, although it lacks the texture I was looking forward to, I was really surprised how it was kept simple yet delectable!
I know that it should be all about their noodles at Wong Chi Kei but I really have to highlight on the crab congee! I loved that the bowl of congee is made up of luscious flavors of the crabs boiled together. It was rich but very palatable that you’ll just keep reaching over for more! Must try!
These are definitely great finger food to order for sharing across the table! And if you’re adventurous enough, give the fermented fish dipping sauce a try! It’s slightly fishy to the taste buds but you’ll be surprised how well it goes with the deep fried fish balls!
Anyway, it’s no doubt the lunch at Wong Chi Kei was hearty. But to be honest, I do feel that it is quite overrated. The place has definitely gotten a lot of attention and surely so well-raved about that I went there expecting so much and got a little disappointed!
Yee Shun Milk Company 義順牛奶公司
The dessert joint serving steam milk pudding is just a short walk from Wong Chi Kei and after being out in the rain all morning and disappointment during lunch, there’s no better way to cheer up than to get myself a hot bowl of steamed milk pudding topped with my favorite Azuki red beans 热红豆双皮炖奶 (MOP 28.00)!
Of course, there’s more to Senado Square and its surroundings than whatever is listed above. And when I thought it was just a square where most festivities in Macau is held, it is actually so much more! Don’t you agree? 🙂
More posts from Experience Macau May 2013 travelogue series:
- 16th May 2013 – City of Dreams & Beijing Kitchen
- 16th May 2013 – The House of Dancing Water 水舞間
- 17th May 2013 – Feast of the Drunken Dragon
- 17th May 2013 – Largo do Senado (Senate Square/ Senado Square)
- 17th May 2013 – Penha Church, Lilau Square, Mandarin’s House & A-Ma Temple
- 17th May 2013 – Carnival 3D Light Show @ The Venetian
- 18th May 2013 – Macau Tower & Bungy Jump
- 18th May 2013 – History, Culture, Art & Food of Macau all in a day!
- 19th May 2013 – Guia Lighthouse, Coloane Village and Taipa Village
- 19th May 2013 – Eats in Coloane Village and Taipa Village