Solar Dos Presuntos, Lisbon 05-2019

For the final meal of the trip, we headed to a traditional place that I had read was well known. And the football guernseys, photos of celebrities and the huge number of large lobsters at the front of the shop made for a memorable welcome. When we arrived we were told there would be an hour wait or so. But another person showed up quickly and said no, it would be fine and we were seated on the first floor within 5 minutes. Very lucky!

The service is quite busy with lots of staff running around always active. We were sat near the stairs at the main bar/thoroughfare area so maybe that was why. It wasn't overly attentive service for us though and we often needed to flag someone down to ask for things.

The food is far from cheap, but still seemed reasonable overall. They aren't Cacilhas prices, that's for sure.

A series of starters lie at the table in wait and we chose the Escabeche €6.5 which were small sardines in a cure. Not bad albeit expensive.

- "Acorda" of European lobster (stew made with thin slices of bread, eggs & garlic) €29.5 - I thought the waiter described it as a stew served with bread. Then we thought he meant a sandwich with stew in it. Instead we got a stew thickened with bread topped with delicious morsels of lobster. It had been very very heavily seasoned and salted, a bit too much overall;
- Roast kid Moncao style with roast potatoes & baked rice €23.5 - I can't resist a good roast goat and this was a fine example that didn't have too much bones but simply roasted, seasoned and served with buttery potatoes. It was good.

The meal sizes are decently large and there was enough for takeaway. Part of the oddness is that they show you the meal, then serve portions onto plates for you and keep the rest to the side. You therefore also have to wait until they return to serve some more and also they may serve more than you want to eat at that point. In our case the remainders were next to us on the same table they prepare plates and cutlery and I can only imagine they must get in the way. This was to the point that while waiting for them to pack the rest for takeaway, a flustered waiter took away our remains, much to my ire. Luckily it was retrieved but it was a poor point for service.

I would return (and book in advance) as the food is actually good and there is good atmosphere. Having said that, I'm sure there are many other places in Lisbon who would serve equivalent food.

Solar dos Presuntos Menu Reviews Photos Location and Info - Zomato

Gelato Davvero, Lisbon 05-2019

I had Davvero on my list and my brother had recommended it also. I tried the branch near the Time Out market which during the day was completely quiet. Although they did say they get much busier in the evenings when they can serve their cocktails and alcoholic gelato.

The coconut was outstanding with textured pieces of flesh, the pistachio was good, and the passionfruit (maracuja) had little seeds proving actual fruit was used and a tart flavour to balance.

Overall very good.

Gelato Davvero Menu Reviews Photos Location and Info - Zomato

O Cacilheiro, Lisbon 05-2019

My Portuguese friend from (near) Lisbon recommended many dishes to me, including polvo a lagareiro. I like any/all octopus dishes and I know Portugal does it extraordinarily well with my memories of it in Porto ( He said his favourite was at Solar Beirao in Cacilhas, but that really any of them were good. We weren't planning on stopping in at Cacilhas, but as we had plans to go to Costa de Caparica we had to pass through here anyway to catch the bus.

Solar Beirao isn't open on Mondays but many others are, nor is Cabrinha my other choice from reading online. In the end we settled for O Cachilheiro. Our waiter spoke English and was very friendly and even made jokes. He never asked for tips and certainly deserved one.

The food was also delicious with portions so large we had to get takeaway (for a small €0.4 fee for the boxes which is fair).

- Polvo a lagareiro €11 - beautiful serve of octopus, grilled and with the most tender flesh that required no knife pressure to slice through. Simply wonderful;
- Seafood stew (not the acorda, but can't remember the Portuguese name) - a very strongly flavoured (a bit too much salt in the end) stew rich with tomato rice and full shelled prawns, smaller peeled juicy prawns, pieces of crab, small mussels and more.

A testament to the quality of Portuguese seafood and the simple flavours they cook them with.

O Cacilheiro Menu Reviews Photos Location and Info - Zomato

Marisqueira do Lis, Lisbon 05-2019

There are few food experiences that I dream I could go back to. My tastes have changed over the years, but high quality fresh seafood is one that will always remain, and the general focus of my food adventures through Europe (since London is average and expensive for this). Ramiro in Lisbon ( is certainly the high praise of seafood restaurant I have even known and told anyone who would listen. The world has certainly caught up and now they have a ticketing system to stop them from being bothered by the throngs of tourists waiting outside. A work colleague from (near) Lisbon had given me advice in advance - a restaurant 200m down the road is as good in his opinion.

Of course I wanted to go back to Ramiro preferentially, but with the wait being about 50-100 people (even though the staff member said "it's Sunday. It moves fast. 30mins maximum" - I don't know why tourists would eat faster on a Sunday...), I ended up at Marisqueira do Lis. There's an immediate similarity - large quantities of seafood on display both on the window and in tanks, but a more stark difference - no waits, tables available, locals all around, men drinking beer at the counter watching the football. It's a truly different experience.

I'll assume that the seafood quality is mostly the same. This may not be true (they wouldn't have as much turnover), but hopefully the Portuguese waters are kind to all. MDL is also a bit more expensive overall than Ramiro. Part of it may have been that they marked up the weights of some of the items - I can't prove this but I think it's feasible...

- Percebes 300g €18 - sweet, salty, squirty, delicious fun;
- Giant tiger prawn 400g €25 - the biggest prawn I've ever seen in my life. The texture is quite firm and chewy, maybe because it had been slightly overcooked or maybe that's just what happens with these large versions.
- Carabinero 200g €16- a large prawn with the characteristic red colour, more subtle flavour but sweet and with wonderful soft delicate but biting texture. Was it really 200g?;
- "Big crab" sapateira 1.5kg €40 - I wanted the hairy crab served with hot blended crab goodness. Instead I ended up with the very large crab instead, which to be fair was cold but delicious. The crab meat chunks in the claws and legs were excellent. Not the sweetest (that honour is the Alaskan crabs in Scandanavia) but still good. The middle mess was a bright colour that looked and tasted like egg. I assume it had been mixed with egg yolks/mayonnaise. Not exactly what I hoped for, but it was ok.

A delicious meal and one I've missed for a while. It certainly isn't cheap and works out (when I eat these) to be about €50pp. That's also without lobster which I would really like to splurge on next time. I'll be older and hopefully richer by then...

Marisqueira do Lis Menu Reviews Photos Location and Info - Zomato

Sorbettino, Lisbon 05-2019

Given the unexpected 33C May weather in Lisbon, gelato was always going to be on the agenda.

I liked the look of Sorbettino from the evening before after visiting Manteigaria for pasteis, and so on the hot uphill walk from Time Out market through the streets it was a needed break.

Sorbettino, as the name suggests, specialises in sorbet. The server warned me - do you like strong flavours? Because there is no milk, they use a lot more of the core ingredient. A medium cup for €4.5 for 3 flavours.

The pistachio and guanaja (70% dark chocolate) sorbets were remarkable. No milk but you cannot tell. The flavours were strong, the textures were perfect, they were a marvel. Passionfruit sorbet was selected for contrast, and the sweet/sour fruitiness also had bits of flesh hidden within.

I never thought pistachio sorbet could be so good. A clear victory for vegan "gelato".

Sorbettino Menu Reviews Photos Location and Info - Zomato

Time Out Market, Lisbon 05-2019

Time Out market is a new addition since my last visit to Lisbon. It seems to have really gentrified the area and turned it from what I remember as a scrubby place to catch the tram to a nice area to sit and explore a little. Inside there's a range of stalls to pick from, many of which are offshoots of well known restaurants around town. The prices are seemingly quite high for Lisbon with a plate costing around €10-15.

In the end we tried the mainly seafood cuisine at Marlene Vieira. 8 course tasting menu €25 consisted of all their appetisers and a sandwich.

- Portuguese octopus salad - dressed in a vinegar oil and nicely refreshing;
- Crab & guacamole - topped with egg with some avocado at the bottom. The crab was a paste form and ok;
- Mussels & tomato sauce - very nice and hidden mussels underneath the sauce (probably about 8 altogether);
- Codfish salad with chickpeas - never thought they'd pair these together. The cod had good firm flesh, the chickpeas were a bit bland;
- Codfish fritters, red pepper aioli - thin, warm fried fish fritter;
- Crispy wrapped shrimp, basil, curry mayonnaise - not a big fan of the curry mayo but the shrimp was
- Stuffed mushrooms, iberico ham, quail egg - a little bundle of flavour;
- Mini roast beef sandwiches, rocket, beetroot mayonnaise, crispy onion - cold beef in soft bread. The crispy onions added good contrast of flavour and texture.

It was actually quite filling with the added bread. Overall it was nice but I wouldn't go for the platter again. There's plenty of other things at the market to try.

Pastel de Nata, Lisbon 05-2019

Over the 4 days in Lisbon, there were many pasteis (pastel for singular) de nata devoured. The goal was to see if I could really tell the difference between all the places and pick a favourite. There are subtle differences but really I think all are good in their own right. Manteigaria, Santo Antonio and Belem were the ones to go back for.

- Manteigaria €1 - slightly less sweet filling, crust very thin but crisp and perfect, perhaps the cream:crust ratio is a bit high;
- Fabrica da Nata €1 - much sweeter filling, decent crust;
- Nata Fina €1.1 - sweeter filling, crust more flaky and drier;
- Santo Antonio €1 -  I wasn't planning to try this but after wandering around the Alfama region I saw this one advertising their victory as the best pastel in Lisbon 2019. I had to try. Thicker crust that was rich with butter flavour. Filling more runny and sweet. Very good;
- Pasteis de Belem €1.15 - Saved the most famous one for last. The queue extended well outside but now they have two queues rather than one. It also moves very very quickly like a factory. Good thicker egg-y filling that was on the lesser sweet side. Thicker crust that was burnt. Made the flavour have a strong burnt butter component (not bad but unsure if intentional).

I don't understand why there is a need to add sugar and cinnamon on top. I think the subtle sweetness of the custard is best unadulterated.

PS. the crust doesn't keep well after about 12 hours...

Bonjardim, Lisbon 05-2019

Just as I had spoken about last time in Lisbon, Bonjardim was on my list for piri piri ( It was the first evening in Lisbon and the atmosphere along the al fresco street was made more lovely by 26C weather and buskers filling the air.

Cod croquettes were actually delicious and notably part of the Portugeuse restaurant manner of serving entrees and hoping to see which ones you decide to eat.

Frango assado (roast chicken on the spit) £7.6 for 1/2 (the picture shows 2 serves) was a tender charcoal chicken with excellent skin that was crisp and seasoned. The piri piri was once again a chilli oil to smear on the chicken. It doesn't have much of its own flavour, needing the salt from the chicken, but it did have a gradual slow burn that really built up mouthful after mouthful.

In the end it was definitely a good, expertly cooked chicken but having had it twice now, I don't think I can say the chicken or the piri piri is particularly unique and worth seeking out.

Bonjardim Menu Reviews Photos Location and Info - Zomato

Amorino Gelato, Lisbon 10-2013

I didn't realise Amorino was a worldwide chain (until just now). I happened to stumble across this gelataria in the middle of Lisbon's pedestrian street - which made the quality of this even more exciting given the convenience. I went twice in 2 days and even considered a third had I not been leaving town.

The process is simple - you pay for a cup, they fill it with as many flavours as you like. That's right - as many as you like. The other thing that hooked me was the presence of two different types of thick light brown pistachio flavours, one sweet and one more nutty. They are both good and I recommend them, amongst everything else. The nutty one is very intense and probably only can be eaten in small amounts, so much to my surprise I liked the sweet version more overall.

Sit outside, eat the gelato, watch people and the world walk by.