Another chic, contemporary, author restaurant just opened up in downtown Lisbon. They have a 9-course tasting menu for only 35 euros! Sounds like a good deal. I had to try it...but was I really impressed?
As a typical Gemini who can't decide, I am the biggest supporter for tasting menus. Someone else has already chosen the perfect dishes for you? YES!
The prices are very friendly for the Tasting Menu.
This restaurant offers 3 different types of tasting menus:
6-course menu - €27
9-course menu - €35
Vegetarian menu - €22 (They even have a vegetarian tasting menu. Nice!)
Should I go with the 6-course or 9-course menu? My suggestion will be the 9-course menu. I treated myself with 9 courses, and the food quantity was just perfect for me. However, please note that although I am a tiny human, I do have a giant appetite.
Chic dining space...but maybe a little too cramped?
Before going into the dishes, I want to quickly comment on the restaurant space. I would describe the ambiance as chic and intimate. However, the restaurant is quite small and it's not easy to move around or extend your limbs freely if you are seated on the couch seats. They did put thoughts into the design and created that "spacious" illusion for your eyes, thanks to the open kitchen set up and a full wall of mirrors.
Nobody hates pretty appetizers.
I was serviced two courses immediately after being seated and having ordered. One is a cone with liver & green apple, the other is a sweet potato foam with truffle. Nice color and presentation.
The main: some hits and some misses.
The main course includes 3 seafood dishes and 2 meat dishes.
1. Tinted bun of cuttlefish and mussel.
The burger is very visually satisfying, but for me it lacks some texture in the bites. The bun is soft and the the filling inside has the paste-like texture - also quite soft and mushy. Meh.
2. Shrimp with mango and cashew.
The combo sounds great but in reality, the taste of the "seafood + sweetness from the fruit + nuttiness" do not combine seamlessly in my opinion.
3. Swordfish with carrots and citrus fruit.
It is good (finally). The swordfish is simply grilled and conveys the freshness from the sea to the eater without much further polishing. Sometimes less is more.
❗️Impatient foodies be aware...
After the seafood, I waited for quite a long while for the meat dishes to arrive. It kind of interrupted the flow of the whole dining experience. Two solutions: 1. manage the timing better; 2. pray to whichever god you believe in that all of your customers are patient.
4. Shredded pork neck with chestnuts,
The first meat main course eventually arrived. The taste is decent. No particular points to add to it. I notice that the plating starts to get "lazy", compared to the previous amazing looking dishes.
5. Grilled-fried beef.
The taste is good but nothing special. Again, the plating and garnishes are almost identical to the previous dish. It's difficult to keep consistency when the dishes in the beginning have set the bar very high.
Finally, the desserts saved the day!
To finish the menu, there are two desserts. One is a delightful puff pastry of persimmon and cheese. The other is a chocolate mousse with miso and fennel - it is AMAZING!!! The miso+fennel combo is genius: miso provides saltiness and a fermented aroma, while the fennels bring in a subtle hint of the nature. You can also taste some pleasant chewy bits of dark chocolate in every bite. Without a doubt, the highlight of the whole meal is this chocolate mousse. I loved it also because the mousse tasted "light", compared to traditional chocolate mousse. I enjoyed it very much.
Stay hungry Lisbon! See you next dinner.
Valuable tasting menu but I am missing the "wow" factor - Terroir Restaurante.