As promised, more yummy cuisines from Lisbon and Cascais in this post! Instead of saving the best for last, let me begin with the gastronomical highlight – 1 Michelin-starred Belcanto in the heart of Lisbon! Weiyi and I both opted for the degustation menu, aka the Uneasiness Menu. Why Uneasiness? Apparently, head chef José Avillez is an ardent fan of Fernando Pessoa, the greatest Portuguese poet ever. Hence, the menu and decor of Belcanto are largely inspired by Pessoa and Pessoa’s signature book is Livro do Desassossego, or Book of Uneasiness. (By the way, pardon the sub-standard photos as I’ve never managed to take nice food pictures in a dimly-lit setting.)
Loved all the fish dishes, be it sardines, mackerel or mullet. They were cooked to perfection and “revived my faith” in Portuguese fish dishes!!! I’m not kidding!!! That said, what impressed me most was the “hen which laid the golden egg” (top left photo) – very telling of a chef’s culinary skill to have transformed a basic egg into a visual and tasteful delight Two thumbs up!!! Complimentary apéritifs were generous and I enjoyed their corn bread with smoked butter.
Just when we thought that the dining experience couldn’t get any better, we were offered the chance to steal a glimpse of the kitchen and an autographed menu by chef José Avillez for keepsake! Sweet We were there on a Wednesday night and the restaurant was packed, so remember to make reservations early. We made ours 3 weeks in advance.
We also found a hidden gem near Bairro Alto – Restaurante Adega de Sao Roque. Not highly-rated based on web reviews, but it whipped up delicious seafood rice. I loved its authentic, unpretentious, homely atmosphere The waiters were old Portuguese men, who were also clearly football fans! While having dinner, we watched Ronaldo score the winning goal against Sweden. Now, Portugal has secured its place in the World Cup 2014 in Brazil!
After dinner, we crossed the street to Bairro Alto to soak in the nightlife of Lisbon. Unlike in Singapore, the bars in Portugal are generally generous with their alcohol content in cocktails. Before calling it a night, we also checked out Pensão Amor in Cais do Sodré. Very interesting interior decor, with strong reminders of its history as a brothel. Alternative, exotic and definitely worth a visit!
And our feasting continued in Cascais. 5entidos (yes, it begins with 5, not S) is the place to go for great Sangria! The “5” symbolises the restaurant’s desire to cater to the diner’s 5 senses. Reservation is a must, as Querido and I had been turned away at the door in the past. We had tasty mussels and octopus, though their house specialty is in fact hot goat cheese (which we didn’t try).
To end off, some photos with my 2 best friends in Cabo da Roca (Click here to revisit my earlier post on Cabo da Roca.)
Thanks for visiting, Weiyi. Hope to see you again soon!