[Macau] Breakfast like a local at the "cha chaan tengs"

The most common breakfast spots in HK, Macau and Chinese cities near HK like Shenzhen and Dongguan have to be the cha chaan tengs, or HK-style cafes that offer an eclectic menu of Chinese noodles and Western-inflected breakfast plates & sandwiches. 150 years of British rule has had quite an impact on HK cuisine, with sometimes unusual combinations - thick French toasts topped with butter and drenched in syrup, macaroni soup with fried eggs and ham or sausages submerged at the bottom of the bowl, boiled Coke served hot in a teacup with a slice of lemon, etc.

As recent as the 1990s, we didn’t have cha chaan tengs in Singapore or Malaysia, so we were practically bewildered to encounter occidental cha chaan teng fare when we were in HK or Macau. My fave cha chaan teng item then as now had always been fried egg sandwiches - fat, moist, densely-packed fried eggs between two slices of buttered white bread with the crusts trimmed off.

Chinese tea in traditional Chinese teapots & teacups are not to be found in cha chaan tengs, but are replaced by “Western”-style tea and/or coffee, and also a combination of both called yin-yeung, a mixed beverage of 3 parts coffee and 7 parts milk tea.

Macanese cha chaan tengs are carbon copies of HK ones, but with some inevitable Portuguese influences here & there, such as chouriço in crusty Portuguese pão buns.

Some of the Macanese cha chaan teng fare we had during our visit to Macau last week:

  1. Macanese pork-chop in a bun - we ordered both with and without fried egg versions.

  2. The buns are hard-crusted Portugese-style pão. The version we had here at Cafe Rosa on the corner of Avenida de Sidonio Pais and Rua de Antonio Basto.

  3. Iced milk coffee, Cafe Rosa.

  4. Cafe Rosa’s spartan interior, typical of cha chaan tengs.

  5. Macanese pork chop bun from Jiajue Cafe (佳爵食坊)

  6. Beef noodles, from Jiajue Cafe (佳爵食坊)

  7. Stewed beef tendon from the beef noodle bowl at Jiajue Cafe (佳爵食坊).

  8. Iced coffee, from Jiajue Cafe (佳爵食坊).

  9. Jiajue Cafe (佳爵食坊).

  10. Rice vermicelli soup with pork & salted vegetables, Estabelecimento de Comidas Floresta Vermelha, Rua Nova Guia.

  11. Instant noodles with fried egg & Spam, Estabelecimento de Comidas Floresta Vermelha.

  12. Corned beef and fried egg sandwich, Estabelecimento de Comidas Floresta Vermelha.

  13. Corned beef and fried egg sandwich, Estabelecimento de Comidas Floresta Vermelha.

  14. Instant noodles with curried beef, Veng Son Cafe.

  15. Scrambled eggs with ham & toast, Veng Son Cafe.

  16. Ham and egg sandwich, Veng Son Cafe.

  17. Veng Son Cafe, Rua de Henrique de Macedo.


I’m normally a great fan of the food you find, Peter. But that ham looks seriously cheap and nasty.

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And the Spam or instant noodles were top of the line? :wink:
Everything in moderation, including moderation.

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It IS the cheap sort. Also the cheese if we’d ordered any: those single-wrapped Kraft slices. Cha chaan tengs were born to serve the masses, the HK working classes at their inception. Along the way, the characteristics and form which the food takes became de rigeur - you cannot upgrade it, else it’s no longer cha chaan teng. :grin:


Reviewing your post and pics again and working up a raging appetite for breakfast. Finding many of those items should not be difficult around here.

Only dilemma, which one(s)?!?! Definitely a fried egg sandwich!


Thanks for the inspiration. Scratched the itch this morning.

Watching the news on the telly in the restaurant. Looks like the unrest in HK is getting more unrestful. We may have to exercise the Macao Option . Have you, or anyone, taken the ferry directly from Macao to Hong Kong International ferry terminal?

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Note if you are in SZ, your reality shown will probably be distorted.

I have, many years ago, it was the classic and only option.


Are you suggesting that the China media are less than 100% unbiased? Heavens!

Hope I’m not here when the tanks rumble down Nathan Road. Now THAT would make a memorable selfie. :frowning:

I’d taken a ferry directly from the HK International Airport to Macau - that was way back in 2010. Piece of cake, even then - they are very efficient.

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Quick better use google to look up info in China >_>

To be on topic, I’m curious to know if the Cha chaan tengs soup broth still tastes like Campbells Chicken Noodle Soup in Macau? Or if the macaroni is still weirdly soft and not al dente?

[quote=“Night07, post:10, topic:18860”]
Quick better use google to look up info in China >_>

C’mon, you know Google is verboten in China. :wink:

I didn’t order any of the “thick” soups (borscht, tomato) at the 4 cha chaan tengs we visited this time round - the noodles in clear soups which we had all tasted pretty okay, perhaps made using simple vegetable or chicken stock.

Macaroni at the cha chaan tengs are, as always, soft, and never al dente. :joy::joy:

If one wants al dente, go to an Italian restaurant. Don’t forget that Cha Chaan Tengs is a Hong Kong’s vision of Western food, Chinese prefers their macaroni soft. It’s not supposingly to be great western food, just HK style food. Like it or hate it (I’m not a big fan).

The odd part is most of the SF bay area places that I go to have the macaroni at a harder more al dente style. Always threw me off when I was back in HK.

Especially when people there complain bout wonton noodles not firm enough. Bah hypocrites…

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I think in Asia, the Chinese attach different expectations to different types of noodles. Wantan noodles = springy, macaroni = soft.

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Bah is all I can say. I still think the overly soft and expanded macaroni is terrible. It should not be 5x the size!