This legendary Macanese bakery, so famous that every traveller to Macau would want to make a pilgrimage to its original bakery in Coloane Square, has a surprisingly short history. It was founded by Englishman, Andrew Stow, who’d first came to Macau in 1979 to work as an industrial pharmacist. 5 years later, he went on to work as a corporate trainee at the Hyatt Regency Macau where he managed Afonso’s, Macau’s leading Portuguese restaurant at the time. It was at Afonso’s that Andrew Stow got his nickname, Lord Stow, from the local Portuguese there for “lording it” over them.
It was also at Afonso’s that Andrew Stow first came to experience and enjoy the Portuguese pastel de nata, made with egg yolks and dusted with cinnamon.
Andrew Stow married his long-time girlfriend, Margaret Wong, in 1988, and together, a year later, they opened Lord Stow’s Bakery in Coloane Village, Macau. Andrew Stow’s egg tarts were based upon the Portuguese pastel de nata, but he substituted the flour-and-water thickener used in the Portuguese recipe with cream, coming up with an “Anglicised” hybrid. His egg tarts took Macau by storm and the little bakery has never looked back since.
Andrew Stow himself passed away suddenly in 2006 from an asthma attack (at a young age of 51), but Lord Stow’s Bakery has continued under the management of his sister, Eileen, and his daughter, Audrey.
In the old days, the pastel de nata came about as the monasteries used egg whites to starch the monks and nuns’ robes, leaving the yolks to be used to produce baked goods. These days, where the yolks were the mainstay in a bakery, Lord Stow’s Bakery have come up with new ways to use the eggs, like these egg-white cakes here:
We made the obligatory pilgrimage of sorts to Lord Stow’s original bakery a fortnight ago when we were in Macau. snarfed down a few egg tarts before doing a bit of walking about sleepy Coloane Village, far from the hustle and bustle of Macau’s busy downtown and the Vegas-style glitz on the Cotai Strip.
I was particularly taken in by this little alleyway’s name: Travessa do Balichão, named after the balichão, the Macanese cousin of Malaccan “belachan”. Balichão is made from fermented krill, whereas belacan is made from fermented shrimps. But both have Portuguese origins - the Portuguese colonised Macau from 1557 and Malacca from 1511.
Lord Stow’s Bakery
1 Rua do Tassara, Coloane Village, Macau
Tel: +853 2888 2534/+853 2888 1066
Openinhg hours: 7am to 10pm daily