Dubbed as the Las Vegas of Asia, Macau is a very common day trip destination from Hong Kong. It is only about an hour ferry ride away with a regular schedule available daily. Quite likely, you’d be starting your journey around the Macau Peninsula once you hop off the ferry and cross the customs. After/before a visit to the famous ruins of St. Paul or a stroll around the historic centre, I’d highly recommend you stop by Loulan Islam Restaurant to grab a meal there. It’s nearby and just a very short walk away from Senado Square, and your palate will be absolutely spoiled there.
Loulan Islam Restaurant: Macau Halal Food
Loulan Islam Restaurant specialises in Xinjiang/Xian cuisine, which is a northwestern variety of Chinese cuisine and is also commonly known as Uyghur cuisine. I’m a huge fan of the cuisine as it is a flavour party that highlights the marriage of Chinese and flavours from its surrounding countries on the west side such as Pakistan, Kazakstan, etc., as well as Turkish roots from the Uyghur ethnic group. Plus it’s halal!
The restaurant is relatively small and quiet, but it offers a great contrast to the bustling touristy historic centre. It is well air-conditioned (very important during the hot summer days!), with a homely vibe at the family-run restaurant. There are plenty of options on the menu to choose from, with lamb being quite heavily featured. Loulan Islam Restaurant is a fully halal restaurant, no pork and alcohol served.
The Food: What We Ordered
Nnan (MOP $20)
To start, we got some nnan. As you can judge by its name, it’s Uyghur bread, just as naan is Indian bread. The bread is served round and flat, with toasted sesame sprinkled all over. It’s almost like a cross-over between Middle Eastern flatbread and Chinese scallion pancakes but with sesame. Albeit sharing a similar name to Indian naan, the Uyghur nnan carried a chewier and more bread-like texture. The bread was, overall, pretty fragrant to taste and got a mild savoury touch to it. It would be especially nice if you pair it with a saucy dish!
Pan-fried Lamb Dumplings (MOP $80)
I’ve immediately set eyes on the dumplings as soon as we opened the menu. They are freshly hand-wrapped and cooked upon order. It might be a short wait but it’s one hundred per cent worth it as you really get the freshest flavours from them!
The dumplings come in 10 per serving, pan-fried to an extremely crispy bottom and were not too greasy to taste. Each dumpling carried a generous amount of meat filling, mixed with various aromatics such as the likes of onions and chives, etc. They were incredibly fragrant, to say the least, ultra juicy and were complemented with a very tasty peppery touch of flavours. Having had a fair amount of dumplings my whole life, these were easily some of the very best I’ve ever had.
Shanxi Shaved Noodles & Beef Soup (MOP $60 regular / $80 large)
For mains, I had the Shanxi Beef Noodle Soup which really left an impression. Having their noodles freshly hand-pulled and shaved, you can expect a very al dente and bouncy texture, as well as a refreshing taste and flavour on the noodles themselves.
As for the beef broth, it was incredibly clean to taste but there was certainly no shortage of fireworks to the palate either! It really gave an umami oomph, spiked with a little peppery touch, and showcased plenty of flavour depth and dimensions. The beef slices in the broth were incredibly tender and succulent. Pickled cabbage was also incorporated to balance out the savouriness. All in all, I absolutely loved it and felt like I couldn’t get enough of it!
Restaurant Review Summary
Loulan Islam Restaurant is one that should totally be at the top of your list when visiting Macau. It’s an easy stop to include in your itinerary with plenty of sights nearby for you to explore. The prices were fairly reasonable, especially for the great quality and authenticity of the food you get. Those dumplings will forever be imprinted in my head and I already dream of my next visit to get my hands on them again!
All meats served at Loulan Islam Restaurant are halal.
How to get to Macau from Hong Kong:
- Regular ferries are operated by both TurboJet and The Cotai Water Jet service, leaving most frequently from the Hong Kong Macau Ferry Terminal in Sheung Wan to Macau
Tel: +853 2853 0264