Due to its location Porto is heaven for pescetarians. My family and I ate so much fish there. The fish was fresh and tasted good.
This is sardine. There are 6 pieces one portion.
Braised Octopus (Polvo in Portuguese) which was succulent and tender.
The fish and octopus were grilled. The seasoning was simple: garlic, salt, pepper and abundant olive oil. On the side as you see: cooked potato, salad, paprika and salad. Despite the big portion, it felt light in my stomach.
Catch of the day: Sardines and Mackerel at Bolhao market.
Plenty of garlic on cord at Bolhao market.
As mediterranean country, Portugal has a long history of wine and wineries. Port wine comes from Porto. Port wine and wine are everywhere in the city. The wine tourism is promoted very well. In front of Ribeira, across the Douro river there is Gaia, a part of Porto municipality. At the side of the river there are wine houses producing Port wines from generation to generation.
These boats carry flags of wine houses in Gaia. This area is very touristic but I gave it a try. I was in Porto anyway. The wine tasting was ok. I didn’t shoot any pic as it was too dark.
The wine is cheap there. The price for 1/4 liter in Porto is the same as the price of one glass here in The Netherlands. I drank red and white most of the time and only a few times Port. Port wine is sweet and normally consumed as aperitif or to accompany dessert at the end of a meal. Port consists of 18% – 20% alcohol while in wine it fluctuates between 8,5% to 15% it depends on the sort and origin. Should you come to Porto and interested in wine tasting, here is the list of Porto wine houses. FYI, according to EU regulation, only Port wine produced in Porto, Portugal is entitled to be called Port. This is a protected quality control.
Grilled Dorade (gilthead bream) and white wine.
I deliberately passed Porto’s specialty: Francesinha but didn’t miss Pasteis de Nata (Portuguese egg tart or custard tart). This pastry is so delicious; creamy custard combined with the flaky, crispy outer shell. I had this every day when I was there.
The surface is dark because the sugar in the custard caramelized under the hot grill.
To hold on to this culinary experience, I did an attempt to bake Nata at home, with success. Now I have baked Nata three times in 10 days. I shared my Nata recipe on my foodblog, LoFoodie. It is in Bahasa Indonesia. If you are interested in my recipe, give me a shout, I will translate it for you.
Mercado do Bom Sucesso
During my stay in Porto I had a bite regularly at Bom Sucesso Market. It is a foodie heaven. There are stalls selling food and drink. The price is reasonable. I saw some tourists here and there but the place is not touristy. It is frequented by the locals; business people and families from the neighbourhood.
It is a big food court offering local delicacies (Francesinha, Nata, Rissois), pintxos, suckling pig pizza, risotto even sushi! I highly recommend Bom Sucesso market for the food enthousiasts.
My culinary experience in Porto ended very well. Avoiding the tourist traps at Ribeira, my family and I explored the narrow streets in that quarter. We accidentally found this fine dining restaurant. It is situated in a former wine cellar. The pics were taken with iPhone.
The entrance descends to the cellar.
The restaurant is tiny. It has only 8 tables.
I took two courses dinner.
L’amuse-bouche was Bacalhau (Cod, local specialty) on toast, rocket and clear vinaigrette.
Main: seared tuna with mashed sweet potato, salad and pesto dressing.
Dessert: banana parfait, vanila ice cream on figs, nuts and berries base drizzled with warm caramel sauce.
Next time when I am back, I will explore more culinary spots in Porto.