4.24.2016

THE BEST AND THE WORST RESTAURANTS IN LISBON

The last two months I've spent most of my weekends away from London and hence the same time away from my blog and my laptop! I spent some time in my hometown in France: Toulouse, a weekend in Paris with my friends to celebrate my birthday around a Provencale dinner at Chez Janou and some days in Lisbon and Sintra in Portugal.
My boyfriend and I spent four days in Portugal walking around everywhere, trying out some great places but also one of the worst places ever.... 

On our first day we walked around Alfama, Baixa and Barrio Alto. Lisbon is such a beautiful city, I fell in love with the architecture of this town with all the azulejos (painted tin-glazed ceramic tile work).
We ended our day with a dinner in the area we were staying : Alfama. We walked past a cute little restaurant which seemed to be a traditional Portuguese places: Taberna A Baiuca.
We were seated on a very narrow table just right next to some other people despite the fact there was three empty tables around, my boyfriend and I thought this was a bit weird and impersonal. Without ordering anything we were offered some chorizo, olives, beans salad and some sheep's milk cheese. The waitress dropped everything on our table without saying any words, we didn't have time to stop her to order some drinks.

Once we managed to catch her attention we discovered this was not on the house and each little plate was price 9 euros. we only had the olives and the very fatty tasteless chorizo. She tried to sell us a bottle of Porto while she was starting to open it without our agreement at the same time. We managed after 15 minutes to negotiate with our waitress what we really wanted and not what she wanted to gave us and we placed our order. I was very annoyed by the attitude of this waitress, which happened to be the owner of the restaurant at the same time.
And then the nightmare started...we were in a traditional Portuguese place which had Fado music, from the moment we ordered our mains  (19 euros each) and finally had the mains in front of us we listened to one hour of horrible Fado music where we were not allowed to speak or stand up. I am usually the first person to enjoy discovering new culture and traditional things but these singers were just terrible and we were starving.

The food arrived and looked horrendous. I know we should not judge a book by its cover but in this case...the food tasted terrible too. I had the octopus dish and my boyfriend had the bacalhau. My dish was cold and served with uncooked fries. I am sure the octopus was not even fresh as after few bites I started feeling awful and sick. My neighbour on the next table, who didn't have their food still after an hour wait like us where not feeling confident about the food... they could tell by the look on my face!
As it was a mission to catch the attention of the waitress, my boyfriend stood up in the middle of the fado to pay at the counter. At this step he discovered there was a minimum charge to pay per person 25 euros. As they noticed I felt sick I think we were very lucky to only pay 51 euros for the two awful plates of food we didn't even touch, two beers each and a plate of olives.
This place is without any doubt the worst place I have even been: horrible music, pushy and annoying waitress, long waiting time, poor quality, overpriced and awful food. On the other side, this place is the best in one category - the best tourist trap ever.

0/10 - I was very tempted to rate this place with a negative figure.
A Baiuca
Rua de São Miguel, 20, Alfama
1100-544 Lisboa, Portugal
A Baiuca Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

We started one of our days in Bélem at the most famous and old pasteleria: Pastéis de BelémThe baking of the Pastéis de Belém started in 1837 in the buildings attached to the sugar cane refinery next to the Mosteiro dos Jeronimos. Passed on and known exclusively to the master confectioners who hand-crafted the pastries in a secret room, the recipe of the past remained unchanged to the present day. 
It was so delicious to start the day with this exquisite sweet, slightly warm tart. The best advice I can give you if to enter by the door on the left side and find a place to sit within the seating area (300 seats available) behind the counter. Once you are seated, you can order take away pastéis too and you avoid the queue.
Pastéis de Belém
Rua de Belém 84 a 92
1300 - 085 Liboa, Portugal

After our delicious breakfast we walked around Belém and came back to Lisbon to have lunch. We went to the famous Mercado di Riberia. Since 2014, Time Out has turned this historical market into a foodie court with 35 kiosks of the city's favourite chefs and restaurants. 
We tried one of the country's most high-profile chefs stand: Henrique Sá Pessoa. Everything on the menu was very tempting, but I heard Henrique Sá Pessoa was the best place to get some pork dishes, so we ordered the crispy skin suckling pig sandwich with homemade pickles and the 24h confit suckling pig with sweet potato purée. We were not disappointed by any of our dishes. The pig was cooked perfectly. I really enjoyed the 24h confit, which was very moist and the crackling thin and crispy. The sweet potato purée was nice and smooth with a hint of orange which gave a bit of acidity to the dish. 
The only thing I didn't like about this market was the lack of space to sit down at rush hour. People were taking their seat before ordering their food, which was a issue when you had your food and couldn't find a seat to eat it.  
7/10
Crispy skin suckling pig sandwich with homemade pickle
24h confit suckling pig with sweet potato purée

Time out Mercado da Ribeira - Henrique Sa Pessoa
Avenida 24 de Julho, Cais de Sodré, Lisboa


One of the best meals we had in Lisbon was at Cervejaria Ramiro. Opened since 1956, this place is a seafood institution. We were recommended to go early if we wanted to avoid the queue. We went there at 7pm and we queued for 30 minutes, but the wait was totally worth it. 
We started our meal with toasted bread dripping in garlic butter given by our waiters and we ordered some pata negra, Manchebo cheese and shrimps in garlic sauce to start our meal. The pata negra ham was delicious but this was nothing compared to the shrimps in the garlic sauce. We requested more pieces of bread to dip in this amazing garlic sauce. 
As a main I had some giant tiger prawns and prawns. Again all dishes were fantastic, the prawns were cooked directly from the tank, the quality of their product was so good I could have eaten prawns all night! With our meal we had a bottle of Alvarinho Solar de Serrade which went perfectly with our food. 
This is definitely a place I will go back in Lisbon as I am a fan of seafood but I am always scared of ordering some in London as you can never guarantee the freshness of the products. 
When we left the restaurant there was a massive queue (probably 2 hour wait), so don't be scared to have an early-bird dinner for once if it means you will avoid to queue. 

10/10
 Pata negra
Manchego cheese
 Shrimps in garlic sauce
Giant tigers prawns with butter sauce
Prawns 

Cervejaria Ramiro
Avenida Almirante Reis, 
1H, Mouraria, Lisboa

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