This post is going to be all about food. What else to expect when my #1 foodie friend from Singapore, Grace, visits Lisbon? Instead of saving the best for last, I shall begin with our best meal – Dinner at Cantinho Lusitano!
Cantinho Lusitano is a small, cozy restaurant run by a husband-and-wife team. Upon entering, we were charmed by its homely ambience. Grace, Querido and I shared 5 petiscos and I simply have to rave about the Baked Goat Cheese with Honey and Rosemary. I’m not a fan of goat cheese, but this dish proves how a skilful chef can work wonders. The honey sauce is especially awesome and complements the cheese beautifully. It even doubles up as a yummy spread for the side toasts. We also had the pork stew, cod with rice and beans, octopus, and beef with fried sweet potatoes. Save for the beef (which I did not consume due to dietary restriction), all the other dishes were very nicely-done! I could taste the “home-cooked with passion” element in each bite We also had a bottle of alvarinho, which was easy on the palate.
We were also lucky to meet the chef in person and hear him talk about his creations The chef whips up traditional dishes from all regions of Portugal, while injecting his personalized touches at the same time. Overall, it was a lovely night and I’ll definitely be returning!
On the other hand, Grace and I were disappointed by the degustation menu at 100 Maneiras. After reading all the superb reviews on tripadvisor, we unfortunately did not experience the “wow” factor which we expected a degustation menu to deliver. Perhaps the chef happened to be out of form that fateful night? Perhaps we are too critical? Perhaps the menu had too much of an Asian influence, which was run-of-the-mill for us? For instance, the codfish clothesline tasted like fried fish maw and the octopus nuggets tasted like taco balls. When the latter was served, the waitress even wanted to reassure us that the “moving flakes” were safe for consumption. In response, we said that bonito fish flakes are common in Singapore. Ha.
Don’t be mistaken that the dishes at 100 Maneiras were terrible. They were actually decently prepared, but most lacked the oomph. The most noteworthy dish, which both Grace and I enjoyed, was the oyster with kiwi sauce. Interesting combination Although the dishes could have been better, I had a lovely conversation with Grace over our 4-hour dinner! (We missed you, Shylene!)
Last but not the least, Grace and I also tried Café Lisboa by José Avillez for lunch. Unfortunately, I could not try its house specialty, Pastel Lisboa, since it contained beef. Café Lisboa is intended to serve traditional Portuguese cuisines. From the looks of it, the dishes were way more delicately-prepared compared to the traditional eateries’. The vegetable rice was refreshing and not as oily as typical Portuguese rice dishes. My smoked salmon sandwich was also nicely toasted and the spread was not too heavy. My gripe is that Café Lisboa serves many beef dishes and hence, my choices are very limited.
I’m getting hungry from this food blog entry. Going to make myself a cup of hot milo kosong on this cold autumn night. Bye.