In February I spent a long weekend feasting on fresh seafood and custard tarts in Lisbon. Our first stop after dumping our bags was lunch at A Cevicheria under a giant octopus. We ate incredible ceviche with sweet potato, onions, seaweed, and tiger milk. Followed by BBQ octopus causa with dark mashed potato & pork rind and a un-photographed and unexpectedly special pork belly confit & shrimp steak sandwich on sweet potato bread. We finished our first meal with the simply titled—though anything but simple—chocolate, peanut, and banana dessert.
We spent the next morning at Pastéis de Belém eating as many of the famous pastel de nata (a traditional Portuguese egg pastry) as we physically could, and the hype did not disappoint. A little tip: skip the long queues outside and order your pastel de nata to enjoy in one of the beautifully tiled rooms inside.
After walking off the custard tarts at the Jeronimos Monastery and exploring the LX Factory area we had worked up an appetite, and stopped by the foodie heaven of Mercado da Ribeira. It’s a must visit as its a chance to try out multiple dishes from Lisbon’s best restaurants and chefs. We started with some classic cured meats and cheeses from Manteigaria Silva and padron peppers. Followed by Asian beef tartare from the Tartar-ia stall and coconut-spiced chicken dishes by Miguel Laffan. I recommend you finish your visit like we did with some ice cream from the Santini stall.
Dinner was at SeaMe, a delicious evening of fresh Portuguese fish with a Japanese twist. Of what we ate the standouts were: the almond-encrusted prawn tempura, the cod, coriander, and almond nigiri, and the interesting king crab, sea bass, and pineapple uramaki.
We spent a rainy Sunday afternoon at another Lisbon institution, the famous Cervejaria Ramiro. A simple, scruffy neighbourhood restaurant nicknamed “the temple” of seafood, it is bursting with locals and tourists alike. We indulged in a truly incredible meal of garlic prawns, clams, langoustines and a fantastic whole crab. Mopping it all up with towers of garlic buttered bread that were delivered to our table again and again. It was an afternoon well spent.
Somehow after our feast of seafood we managed to fit in a few more pastel de natas at the more modern Manteigaria, where you can watch the talented bakers work their magic. By this point we had lost count of our tart consumption.
After a day spent in Sintra climbing what felt like a mountain up to the magical and stunning Palacio National de Pena (well worth a visit!!) we rewarded ourselves with dinner at Jose Avillez’s Mini Bar. We had a tasting menu of unusual dishes like exploding El Bulli olives, Fois gras ‘Ferrero Rochers’, and Algarve prawn ceviche (Eaten like an oyster, and served on top of half a lime). We finished by going off the tasting menu with a yuzo & lime curd frozen sphere. We got jealous when we saw it whizzing past us to another table.
Our last morning—albeit a little hungover—was spent mesmerised by the bakers at Manteigaria again, eating tart after tart. We then headed to cute Taberna Da Rua Das Flores for a final lunch of yet more seafood and wine.