Lord Stow’s Bakery, which was founded by a British native and serves British style cusine, is arguably the most famous and popular restaurant chain in Macau. This may seem a little odd considering that Macau is a former Portuguese colony, located in the southeast corner of China. However Macau’s unique history helps make sense of all of this.
For hundreds of years Macau was the gateway into Southern China for several European powers. In the case of Great Britain, Macau was a crucial port and place of residence up until the emergence of Hong Kong in the 19th century. Although the British influence has waned greatly, a joint Ango-French laboratory still exists in Macau and that would become the unlikely starting point for the Lord Stow founder, as he first experienced Macau while working there in 1979. Although a pharmacist then he eventually went on to found his now famous cafe ten years later.
Macau in general has become rather famous for its egg tarts or Pasteis de Nata as they are called in Portugal, and Lord Stowe’s is largely responsible for this. It is still one of the most popular places for them, though there are now in fact a number of other excellent places that serve them as well. Lord Stow’s egg tarts have a soft flaky crust with a delicious and only slightly sweet filling. It is by no means overpowering, which is one of the reasons I feel it has gained so much popularity in Asia, where sweets tend to not be as common as in Europe or America.
I did not content myself with just an egg tart however and went for a full course meal on both my visits. The menu is very much true to its roots and the dishes are all British in nature. I have ordered the meat pie on multiple occasions and have always been pleased. The dish isn’t flashy or elegant but its simplicity has its own charm, and it makes for a hearty meal.
I must admit I have been a little disappointed by their drinks as their milk shake could probably be beaten out by most of the ones served up at McDonald’s and couldn’t compare with Carl’s Jr. or Jack in the Box (I could write a whole blog about milk shakes, but haven’t found a colonial or Chinese angle on it yet). Their lemonade wasn’t bad but that came on the heels of learning they didn’t even have water available!
Despite my disappointment about the drinks I must still give this restaurant a 5 out of 5 stars. Their prices are great, their food is hearty and wholesome, and the atmosphere is relaxed and cozy. I have been their multiple times during my time in Macau and hope that I shall return again in the near future.