Contemporary cuisine has been taking storm in Europe for years but Portuguese cuisine is late to party but it’s better to be late than never. When I was approached by the restaurant representative, he promised me that it’s completely different from other Portuguese cuisine that I have ever tried in Hong Kong or even Macau, so I was so looking forward to try it and my wish came true when they invited me for tasting on last Thursday.
Firstly, we started with Portuguese Brown Crab "Sapateira" Marinated and Stuffed ($155) which is a very traditional summer dish with poached crab meat removed from the shell and mixed with mayonnaise, onion and celery, the crab meat goes really well with bread and it’s perfect snack for summer. Then, we had Stuffed Baby Squid in Beer & Tomato Sauce on the Lisboa Way ($120), the stuffing is prepared for this Baby Squid dish with a mixture of stir-fried ingredients, including diced chorizo made with Portuguese Iberian pork, rice, onion, garlic, white wine and fennel.
After the starters, the mains include Algrave Red Prawn with Tomato, Chilli, Garlic & Coriander ($280), a dish inspired by a traditional fisherman’s dish from the southern port city Algarve and as an upgrade of the original dish, this signature dish of Casa Lisboa is made with premium ingredients from southern Portugal, including red prawns, chilli, white wine, garlic, tomato and coriander. To follow, Piri-Piri Quail with Fresh Tomato, Galic & Olive Oil Molho ($180) is a reinvention – aftering seasoned for 48 hours, the rosemary underneath the quail is lit with a torch to give the quail a smoky rosemary flavour with the rising fume for an aromatic pleasing sensation. Then it comes to my favourite one called Portuguese Octopus Confit in Moscatel Wine and Grilled Kale and Smashed Potatoes ($280) In traditional Portuguese cuisine, octopus is often prepared by poaching and grilling. However, this octopus dish at Casa Lisboa is handled differently with boiling Moscatel (a sweet wine) in a skillet pan first, followed by the octopus. The octopus is steamed and flavoured by the boiling steam of Moscatel. Once cooked, the octopus is then grilled for a crispy texture. This is the most tendered octopus I have ever have and I almost mistaken the sweetness in it is from the honey and I was very impressed when I was told the flavour is actually from wine. It’s unforgettable and a must-try if you ask me.
We wrapped up with Duck Rice Lisboa Style with Chorizo & Slow Roasted Pork Belly ($180), it uses duck bone broth to stew and added with pulled duck meat before baking. The rice is surprising not too salty and has slightly crispy texture. It reminds me of the Cantonese dish called clay pot rice that we usually eat in winter which is quite interesting since Portuguese and Cantonese food are considered not to have a lot in common.
A good meal is never completed with desserts so we’re also served Pineapple, Vanilla Ice-cream & Pistachio Sponge Raviolis ($75). This is inspired by a renowned local dish from the Azores Islands, known as “Pineapple Carpaccio with Sponge Cake”. To prepare this dessert, pineapple chucks are extracted and sliced before they are seasoned in a syrup consisting of sugar and spices for 30 minutes to achieve a tender and smooth texture. The pineapple slices are then used as toppings over a scoop of ice-cream with the homemade pistachio sponge cake infused with Port wine. First of all, it’s so pretty that I hesitated to take a bite but it’s even prettier in taste – so refreshing and fruity. We also tried the Chocolates with Bread" and Olive Oil Caviar ($80) - made with extra virgin olive oil caviar, homemade crisps, homemade chocolate mousse and caramel chocolate with fresh fruits as toppings, simple but addictive that I couldn’t stop after first bite even though I was already fairly full.
In conclusion, the experience is truly amazing and I cannot wait to come back with my friends who are also seafood lovers. The service is equally impressive and I find the atmosphere very cozy yet elegant that you don’t have dress up for it and but you also can if you fancy for fine dining which make it perfect for occasions.
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