March began on a really great note! Cristina and Jacques visited us all the way from Brazil and it meant a long weekend of double-dating Querido and I don’t really have couple friends (without kids) to hang out with and hence, this was a really nice change. Although I cherish time alone with Querido, having another couple around once in a while make conversations more interesting.
Lisbon is typically a sunny and warm city. Unfortunately, it was occasionally wet and windy when Cristina and Jacques were here. That said, it made indoor dining all the more cozy and enjoyable. Our first meal was lunch at Café Lisboa. It was my second time at Café Lisboa and its dishes were better than I remembered them to be. Although I could not try their house specialty (pastel de lisboa com arroz de grelhos) because it contained beef, I was very satisfied with my choice of foie gras and truffle sauce. I am indeed a fan of José Avillez, the talented Portuguese chef!
After lunch, we took the famous Tram 28 through Alfama and all the way to Estrela. I’m not really a huge fan of Tram 28 and as usual, I dozed off under the influence of “its rhythmic spell”. As the rain continued throughout the afternoon, we had afternoon tea at Jardim da Estrela. We were unimpressed with their crepes, but it was a quaint cafe and ideal for idle chats.
Dinner was at Clube de Jornalistas, a restaurant with many raving reviews. My verdict: Definitely in my list of Top 10 restaurants in Lisbon! The restaurant had a very intimate setting, ideal for a first date. Querido and I had chestnut soup with cheese, prawn risotto and black pork. We enjoyed the simple goodness of our dishes and felt full after our mains.
That said, our “separate stomach space for desserts” prompted us to try their dessert platter and chocolate with passion fruit daiquiri mousse. The former was a work of art (see picture in above collage) and tasted as good as it looked! Overall, it was a memorable night – lovely friends, 2 bottles of reds, rich mains, sweet endings and a cozy environment
The next day greeted us with breakfast at Estoril Mandarim! I love how Querido and Jacques were grinning so widely when the dim sums were served Also, we finally managed to try the Peking Duck! Querido and I had always wanted to try the Peking Duck, but the restaurant does not offer a half duck option (just whole duck). Hence, we were glad that Cristina and Jacques were around to enjoy the dish with us. In my opinion, the duck wasn’t as great as Four Season’s London, but then again, Four Season’s is in a league of its own. That said, Estoril Mandarim has the best duck in Lisbon and it was a delectable treat. Querido, with his Asianised tastebuds, had nothing but praises for the duck.
Just realised that I’m only halfway through. Going to save the rest for my next post – Gourmet weekend with Cristina & Jacques (Part 2)!