July last year I spent my summer holiday in Portugal. I visited Lagos, Sintra, Lisbon and some little places around. I want to share about food and drank from that holiday. Beware: this post contains a lot of pictures taken by phone. Get ready to scroll.
Bacalhau (salted dried cod) is staple in Portuguese cuisine. It is said that there are 365 ways to cook it. Here are some of my Bacalhau dish favourites.
Pasteís/croquetas de bacalhau. Shredded bacalhau mixed with mashed potato then deepfried at The Garden, Rua Lançarote de Freitas Lagos.
Pasteís/croquetas de bacalhau & deepfried chouriço. Portuguese chouriço tastes somewhat milder than Spanish chorizo. This one is deepfried. One day I had chouriço assado, the grilled one. It was delicious.
This is Bacalhau à Brás (salted cod fish Portuguese style). The salted cod fish, soaked and pulled, cooked with cabbage, mashed potato, garlic, onion & parsley, garnished with olives. It is originally a native dish of Lisbon but now popular all over the country. Part of lunch menu at Bem-Haja Lisboa at Rua Marcos Portugal 3 Lisbon.
Grilled octopus with potato and rapini. I accidentally spilled the rosé on the table hence that wet table cloth.
Grilled sepia with parsley, onion, salt and pepper. It is so simple but delicious.
This is the restaurant where the previous two pictures were taken. It is small and always packed when my family and I passed by. One day we came there but it was full. So we decided to wait outside. The staff offered us tawny port on the house while waiting. For a local Lisbon experience I recommend this restaurant, it is called Tascardoso Rua de O Século 242 Lisbon.
Top: Bacalhau fresco (fresh cod) with rapini, garlic & parsley. Bottom: Bitoque, another Portuguese classic dish, a thin steak with a sunny side up. This one is served with Madeira based sauce. Dinner at Pão de Canela Praça das Flores N.ºs 25 a 29 Lisbon.
Close-up of Bacalhau fresco with rapini, garlic and parsley.
Just like in Spanish big cities, in Lisbon there are quite a fair amount of Hamburger joints. This intrigues me, as to where does this come from? USA-influence? When I was in Porto in 2015 I barely saw hamburger joints, just a handful but not as many as in Lisbon. Needless to say. This was taken in Hamburgueria do Bairro – Príncipe Real where we rented an apartment only a block away. The burgers are succulent and we are fan of their limonada. Hamburgueria do Bairro – Príncipe Real Tv. Abarracamento de Peniche 22 Lisbon.
Chicken Piri-Piri at Churrasqueira Praca D’Armas at Praça das Armas 21 Lagos. I have bought chicken piri-piri, grilled sardinhas, rissois, salad and other super tasty food at this local joint in Lagos. It is not a restaurant although there is a corner to eat, you order the food to go,
Risotto and big tiger prawn at Lisbon biggest food market, Time Out. It was delish. About Time Out (an old big market turned food market) itself, it is big with a mix of locals and tourists. The vibe is good but too big and crowded for me. I was there several times in different moments of a day (lunch, coffee time in the afternoon and in the evening). A tip: when it is crowded, get a table first and order. When you do the other way around, you’d get your food but no table to eat. Time Out Market Av. 24 de Julho 49 Lisbon.
Portuguese classic: grilled sardines and gamba in garlic sauce at another (food) market, Mercado de Campo de Ourique. Both are so fresh. I love them! This is a market in Campo de Ourique quarter. There are vegetable and fruit sellers besides bars and food stalls. It is smaller than Time Out. I prefer this one. This has more local feel and the prices are friendlier. Mercado de Campo de Ourique Rua Coelho da Rocha 104 Lisboa.
In the vicinity of our apartment, my daughter found this hipstery cafe; Copenhagen Coffee Lab at Praça das Flores. Rua Nova da Piedade 10 Lisbon. This clearly scandi inspired cafe offers good coffee and pastries.
One day during the 2 weeks holiday there my tastebuds and those of my husband longed for Asian food. We headed to Boa-Bao, a bar restaurant serving Asian food (Chinese, Thai and Vietnamese). The food is good, not excellent but good. We went there two times. I wonder if this place is new as the times when we were there, it was always a long queue until 11 pm! Boa-Bao is located at Largo Rafael Bordalo Pinheiro 30, Lisbon.
This is their goi cuon, shiu mai and ha kau. We sat at the bar before the open kitchen and chatting to the Chinese-Malaysian chef.
A bao with pork belly. At the background Thai kai sate.
Another non Portuguese dinner, in an Italian restaurant, ZeroZero at Rua da Escola Politécnica 32 Lisbon. The pizza crust was crispy, baked very well and the tagliatelle was perfectly al dente.
Nanarella, Italian gelato chain in Lisbon. This is the branch located at Rua Nova da Piedade 64, the same street as Copenhagen Coffee Lab. I had my all time favourite flavours: giandua and pistacchio and I was not disappointed.
This, this is fig and almond flavour gelato from Cour di Gelato, Rua Silva Lopes 38 in Lagos. It is a local flavour of Algarve coast where good quality fig and almond are abundant there. I love the taste. A note, I had this after dinner at the restaurant next to it Meu Limão. It serves tasty petiscos. Alas it was dark inside, I did not take any pictures from the food.
Two desserts from the dessert buffet at Bem-Haja. Moeulleux aux chocolat gateau & almond-cake with a dash of cinnamon, clove & mace. The latter remind me of Portuguese history of seeking spices in my home country, Indonesia. The cake is excellent, those three spices are subtly dosed in it. It was a sweet & mildly spicey explosion in my mouth.
Besides the wines (red, white, ros’e and green) and the port, when in Lisbon try ginjinha or shorted ginja. This typical Lisboan liquor is made from sour cherry (Kriek in Belgium, Amarena in Italy), alcoholic water (aguardente) and sugar.
Gijinha bars are small. You order a shot or two at the bar and drink it outside. I went to Ginjinha do Carmo at Calçada do Carmo 37 A Lisbon. There are two options to order. A single shot in a small glass or a single shot but served twice in a chocolate cup which you can eat after.
I chose for a glass and paid € 1,20 for this (price July 2018). It was a good shot after dinner. Beware not to take much of it if you are by foot, please mind the hilly and steep stairs there :-).
I sincerely thank you for you have made it till the end of this long post. Should you wonder if I had had the world-famous Portuguese egg custard tart, I did. Read my comparison of three Natas of Lisbon. There are a lot more travel stories coming. Stay tuned!