3 years ago, Querido and I met. As cliché as this may sound, life has never been the same again. Woes of a long distance relationship. Ongoing struggle with the immigration authorities (yes, it’s still not completely resolved). Appreciation of cross-cultural differences. Language barriers with the families. These issues have become part and parcel of our life. That said, the comforting thing is.. We’re tackling them together as one
To celebrate this milestone, Querido planned a dinner at Madragoa Cafe. This was a surprise dinner venue – I was kept in suspense and only knew about it when we arrived! I’ve always liked 2 kinds of restaurants, namely (i) those which surprise you with their presentations and fusions and (ii) those which exude a cozy and homely feeling. Madragoa Cafe belongs to the latter. Cristina & António (the husband and wife owners) are really personable and chatty. They clearly take pride in their food and enjoy checking out other noteworthy restaurants in town. When you love what you’re doing, it shows and it’s infectious! In fact, Querido and I think that Madragoa Cafe’s current #3 ranking on tripadvisor is largely attributable to the warm personality of its owners
For our mains, Querido and I ordered Cataplana for 2. The sauce was perfect! Unlike most other restaurants in Portugal, its saltiness index hit the right spot. António shared with us that the secret was to add a sprinkle of sugar. Perhaps we were hungrier than usual, or perhaps we were simply greedy, but Querido and I still felt a tad bit hungry after our mains. Hence, we had a legitimate reason to indulge in desserts As usual, the bolacha cake was my pick. However, I regretted this choice immediately after tasting Querido’s dessert – his chocolate and fig cake was awesome! Appropriately moist with the right proportion of chocolate and figs.
Apart from the lovely owners and home-cooked cuisines, I also liked the huge Café Terrace at Night by Van Gogh (1888) which adorned one of its wall. This is apparently the first painting by Van Gogh which depicted starry backgrounds. His famous Starry Night was painted only a year later.
Overall, an enjoyable dinner to end the work week and unwind with Querido. Just before we left, I asked Cristina for her personal recommendation. It seems like we’ll be back again to try their black pasta with prawns
By the way, Querido and I just had another gourmet weekend with our lovely friends from Brazil. In particular, we finally dined at Clube de Jornalistas. Shall blog about our tummies-filled weekend in my next post. I seriously need to recharge now for the work week ahead! Good night…