I wondered for sometime where people who don’t eat pork shop for groceries given that Macau and it’s Portuguese culinary heritage is very heavy on pork.
In fact, it is the backbone of Chinese cuisine from stocks to braises and confectionery, then there is the variety of Portuguese chorizos. On my weekly trips to the wet market for fresh produce, I found that this (non certified Halal) butcher had long queues of Indonesian ladies and then found out he sold only beef and lamb and have indicated in Malay.
It would be inaccurate to say this is the Halal butcher in Macau for fresh meats not frozen, but given his long following for decades, the shy and quiet Mr Hoi is the only choice in the Red Market on the butcher floor.
There is no official halal certification at his stall that he has been operating for over 40 years now, but turns out the first Halal restaurant that was certified (you’d see the logo on the menus or at the restaurant windows) in Macau was in 2012. Here’s a list of Halal (or no pork but no certification) restaurants to eat for staunch Muslims.
There is only one mosque in Macau and the Muslim community has grown from less than 1000 to nearly 10,000 since the handover back to China in 1999.
If you’re look for fresh beef and mutton with no risk of pork contamination Mr Hoi’s butchery at the Red market is the answer. His stall opens at the crack of dawn from 530am he is busy setting up his stall. He pointed out that hygiene is a key focus – most of the other stalls have switched from wooden counters to stainless steel ones given the regulations. He has maintained his wooden board for decades, spotless and never had any trouble with the hygiene laws nor bugs.
“When I am gone this stall will have to close. My children all went to university and have office jobs. It is much better as they don’t need to live the hard life like us, to wake up really early and work through the day. Instead of physical labour, I am happy my children can enjoy an easier life in an air-conditioned office. While I am sad to close my shop someday, it is a sad reality of how the world is progressing today. Nobody wants to do the dirty jobs these days and it’s us old folks carrying on.” Hoi sighs and laments.
“Daging sapi” Means beef in Bahasa Indonesia.
Red Market Level 3 (you won’t miss the huge red brick building)
Avenida do Ouvidor Arriaga, No. 92, R/C, Macau
It meets the Avenida Horta e Costa street, so if you’re on the bus, alight at this stop. In Mandarin it is 红街市