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Located on the ground floor of Rua da Erva, Fai Seng Restaurant settled in an extremely inconspicuous, local, old street blocks. One day noon time while the temperature stayed low around six degrees, struggling from the outside coldness; we noticed the shop was so busy and yet filled with great warmth. The strong scent of cooking lamb flanks filled up the entire street blocks; Just about on the right spot saw two people paying off their bill, and at the entrance immediately give a big wave to one of the attendant asking to reserve departing seats; after managed ordering a pot of lamb casseroles just in time.

After seated saw in the middle of the table, a charcoal-burning stove, with a funny cracking sound; My goodness! In Macau nowadays can still see charcoal stoves nearby, specially for chinese steam boating use; Indeed, is quite hard to find in Macau nowadays (as far as i know, another store named Keung Kei at Rua dos Ervanarios, still use such old stoves). The front and rear door access remained open all the time; whilst the indoor ventilation is well circulated and after all set, I’m not afraid under the cold breezes anymore. Together with the charcoal stove, we all get warm very quickly after seated.

Winter Lamb in Casserole

I like this old store so much, especially for those who have difficulty choosing food items off the menu like me. In winter days, they only sell lamb in clay pot; Versus during summer times, they sell Sarsaparilla with pigeon in clay pot. Kan Kei’s permanent menu item pork bone pot, is one of the best sellers throughout; Unexpectedly, the pork bone pot all sold out so early today, and notably a pot reserve is required a day prior. For side dishes, can pick either homemade (hand-made) prawn balls, sliced raw fish cuts, seasonal vegetables, fried yuba, etc. Udon and instant noodles are also indispensable items, accompanied with their claypots.

Eating more lamb in winter can replenish body’s deficiencies, resistant to cold, nourishing body heat and blood circulation, warmup the kidneys, and invigorate the spleen and stomach; In long term can keep warmth and add nourishments to all internal parts. By add bamboo cane, horseshoe, lemongrass, etc. helps to remove the lamb’s mutton smell and reduce excessive internal heat creations.

The indispensable fermented bean curd paste

The fermented bean curd paste, an indispensable item pairing with lamb pieces, is mixed with tiny strips of shredded lemongrass and homemade sauce; The overall taste is not that spicy, and the herbal flavor is so refreshing and appetizing; especially if you eat too much lamb, lemongrass will help start to wake up and refreshes each eater’s stomach. I personally didn’t pick their XO sauces today; instead, have given a try on their orginal meat flavors; most importantly is to try their soup base checking out whats all that about.

Lamb pieces exudes a unique fragrance

After waiting for about twenty minutes, the lamb pot finally ready! The thick tangy sauce were boiled and popping in the pot slowly; The surface is covered with fluffy fried yuba and huge pieces of chopped fresh green onion, which; Trying the first bite, the meat with bones, with thin lamb skin layer attached, fibre felt so elastic and bouncy with a strong taste of thick sliced layer. The thick fatty meat soaked with gravy is so refreshing and sweet; The fat versus lean portion are just right; If stayed in the pot longer, ideally better. The continued stewing process makes the texture better.

The long waited cooking hours allow the bone spread out with collagen slowly, permeated into thick sauce. I don’t know if that was influenced by the smell of charcoal burning, the smell exudes a unique cooking fragrance into the lamb pieces; it really make people went crazy for it, eating non-stop. Coupled with soft bouncy yuba and watercress, the side dish absorbs all the true essence. The more you eat, the more deliciously yummy it turned up.

Home made prawns

We waited home made shrimp minced balls so long as if it would never came; The attendant claimed its a “order made fresh, hand made” item. Right after we finished nagging for this side dish, a plate of twelve shrimp balls finally arrived; We placed them all in the pot in one go, waiting to cook till ready; When tempting the first bite, we didn’t expect the prawns were so bouncy; They were all hand-made, along with uses of high-quality, fresh prawns. Unexpectedly yet, the entire restaurant’s menu only sell six to seven items only, and each dish did really surprised me, pleasantly in a way.

Let’s Beer

Noticing all customers majority are gentlemens; where, the guy sitting next to us, were drinking strong brandy at noon time already! Gradually then looking the rests of the tables, all kept on ordering Tsingtao Beer; Well, guessing everyone’s getting warm after the food and warming stoves, why all still kept on ordering beers non-stop? Under such atmospheric influences, I immediately ordered some beer too; My goddness! Thats a perfect match from the heavens! Under the lamb pot magical temptations, we both took two bottles of Tsingtao just like the rests, spending the whole afternoon there.

After two hours eating time, the crowd gradually slowed down from three onwards. While asking for the bill, we had a small chat with the lady and claimed normally all patrons need to wait in long queues every day. Right after the clock strike at six onwards, the crowd formed again filled up with people; and that just happen every day. The pork bone pot is always the first recommendations, which it all sold out fairly easy. Followed next would be the lamb pieces in clear broth, which also needs to reserve prior reaching them. This heavenly delicacy is definetely worth the wait, especially under cold weather, a wise choice try their lamb casseroles.

Angela Fung