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Egg tarts and intrigues at Cafe e Nata

It's flaky, tasty and unforgettable

It’s flaky, tasty and unforgettable. Melts in your mouth goodness the way egg tarts should be. But it’s not from Lord Stow’s Bakery but from arch competitor and ex-wife’s Margaret’s Cafe e Nata (translates to coffee and cream). It’s dessert with its share of intrigues.

I was invited by the Macau Government Tourism Office-Philippines (MGTO) together with other travel writers and bloggers for a familiarization tour to this interesting place last May and it was a beautiful experience with its cuisine, glitz and old world charm. It might have been a union that’s for the books. Lord Stow opened his bakery with his wife Margaret (nee Wong) in 1989 and since then, they have popularized the egg tart craze that has expanded way beyond Macau’s borders even reaching the Philippines.

Egg tarts are rather ubiquitous. Other than the rather pricey cost, it is actually a custard ala crème brûlée but instead of the regular tart shell, it is inside a puff pastry shell, small and round and just enough for a few bites. Its also creamy and with crunch that once inside the mouth, the different contrasts of textures and tastes come into full being that it really is one of the best gustatory experience. That is if you know where to get the best ones.

An overcrowded Cafe e Nata. CLICK TO ENLARGE

But unions are not always meant to last. The couple divorced in 1997 and Margaret got the branch that was put up in the business district of Macau (Andrew’s Lord Stow’s Bakery is in Coloane Island) and affixed her name.

Finding the Cafe e Nata [tel. (853) 710 032] at Ma Tung Ling Lane in central Macau is an adventure in itself. Tucked outside of the main road, in an alley that is dominated by dilapidated buildings near Av. do Infante D. Henrique and Av. de Joao IV with a small sign. Another alternative is to look for Hotel Sintra and just ask around for directions.

Margaret’s version is lighter. Less sweet but the puff pastry more flaky. Some afficionados swear that this is better than Lord Stow’s which is sweeter and with a pastry shell that is doughy.

When at the cafe, it can be overwhelming as it is indeed crowded with people spilling out and all tables taken. Sometimes, perhaps because of the tense atmosphere, the owner and attendants can get strict and snap but its all part of the Cafe e Nata experience.

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Estan Cabigas is freelance photographer, blogger and writer based in Makati City, the Philippines. A true blue Cebuano, he makes stunning images and meaningful photo stories. His work has been published in local and international publications including National Geographic Magazine, Geo (Germany), Sunday Times Magazine (London) and other publications. He is also a peripatetic traveler and has traveled to all 81 Philippines provinces. I'm open for work, collaborations and inquiries, including hotel, restaurant and site features and reviews.

7 Comments

  1. Aileen
    March 18, 2011 @ 19:02

    Love this entry not only because I love egg tarts, but also because I am going to Macau in July! I will definitely check this out! 🙂

  2. Pinoy Adventurista
    March 19, 2011 @ 17:05

    looks delicious…. thanks for sharing…

  3. estan
    March 23, 2011 @ 8:00

    @aileen, be prepared for Macau. You’ll be overwhelmed with good food 🙂
    @pinoy adventurista, yup! it not only looks delicious but tastes heavenly 🙂

  4. » Markets and delicious Chinese cuisine in Macau | Langyaw: Sojourns and Off-the-Beaten Path Travels
    May 6, 2011 @ 14:13

    […] I was invited by the Macau Government Tourism Office-Philippines (MGTO) together with other travel writers and bloggers for a familiarization tour to this interesting place last May and it was a beautiful experience with its cuisine, glitz and old world charm. You will better know a country and its people through their food and Macau is one destination that a gourmand should never miss. Like Filipino cuisine, it’s good fusion food, a beautiful marriage of the orient and the occident plus modern international dishes. And its not only about egg tarts. […]

  5. » Good Portuguese and Macanese food in Macau | Langyaw: Sojourns and Off-the-Beaten Path Travels
    May 11, 2011 @ 9:51

    […] cantonese dishes wowed us when we tried it. But discovering other aspects of Macau cuisine, beyond egg tarts and international fare, was a pleasant discovery that have parallels with our own Filipino cooking. […]

  6. » The Wow Macau roundup! | Langyaw: Sojourns and Off-the-Beaten Path Travels
    February 7, 2012 @ 9:45

    […] memorable things to do in Macau is just to eat. There’s lots of good food from the ubiquitous egg tart, to streetside pastelerias. It has interesting cuisine like Chinese which is predominantly […]

  7. Micole l Philippine Traveler
    November 26, 2013 @ 21:48

    I miss this! When we visited, I always insist in buying this, there are known to be the original makers of this, I love it when I see it made right then and there.!

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