I’ve by no means met the 42-year-old chef Olivier da Costa, however I hear he’s a bon vivant, a little bit of a celebration animal, and a bigger than life persona. And a salubrious celeb chef in Portugal.
What I can say for certain is that this serial restaurateur has managed to stamp his persona with a quartet of eating places in Lisbon, the nation’s capital. So, hoping a little bit of his exuberance would rub off, I made a decision to go on an expedition of his a lot talked about gastronomy whereas I used to be on the town.
I acquired the chance to dine at three of his 4 eating places over an extended weekend. Yakuza First Ground, Avenida and Responsible.
He additionally has Okay.O.B. Steakhouse however that was was totally booked throughout my go to. Frustratingly, no string pulling may get me a desk at this cosy, dimly-lit meat restaurant that, Olivier says, serves “the most effective mature meat on this planet” – in case you get to dine there do let me know.
Out of the 4 choices, Responsible is probably the most informal and a pleasantly relaxed affair “with a twist” – so says the tag line on the brand of the restaurant door.
Leather-based sofas, easy wooden tables, open brick partitions, tanned flooring tiles, all of it units the scene for a lavish quantity of meals however not essentially lavish meals. That’s obtainable in one other of his eating places.
Right here it’s about burgers (round 10 together with a French one which is a fois gras escalope), pizzas, pastas, salads milkshakes and cocktails.
In case you have an enormous urge for food it’s possible you’ll just like the tremendous dimension burger with 500 grams of meat and a facet order. It prices 50 euros, however in case you can eat it inside 60 minutes, you don’t need to pay.
Certain, I used to be hungry however as a substitute began with beef carpaccio (Octopus Carpaccio is out there too) adopted by the American (200gr) burger which comes with lettuce, tomato, pickles, confit onion, cheddar cheese and cocktail sauce burger and chips. It was a sublimely juicy burger and cooked medium uncommon as requested with all of the trimmings.
I went all the way in which with a milkshake and a glass of his home white wine. For desert it was a chocolate cake and ice cream. My companion opted for prawn pasta, a pizza (that’s baked in an open fireplace) which had a divinely skinny crust Blanco truffle pizza. Adopted by a nuttela pizza – sure actually.
Is that one thing we should always really feel responsible about? Nicely maybe only a bit.
Tip: In case you are on a stags and hen do ask for a cocktail to share. It’s served in an enormous cocktail glass and comes with a number of straws.
Yakuza First flooring
It’s all in regards to the sushi at Yakuza First Ground and boy is it good. It’s situated in Rato on the primary flooring of the Fabrica das Sedas constructing – a former Royal Silk Manufacturing facility – and sprawls out into three rooms with very completely different environments from sedate to get together.
It’s the identical menu in all three – a inventive tackle Japanese fusion delicacies. However the most effective vibe, fingers down, is the one the place the sushi bar is the central hub surrounded by tables. There’s a beautiful Japanese themed mural on the ceiling impressed by the Japanese mafia and a Japanese backyard that leads off it – with a quaint oriental bridge.
There’s tempura, pasta, salads and robata, beef and octopus carpaccio, however better of all that is the right surroundings for the superbly adorned sushi and sashimi dishes. And the odd flourish of theatre.
Tip: In case you are feeling extravagant go for the €80 menu. Certain it sounds quite a bit till you see what it consists of – Yellowtail Hiramasa and truffled ponzu, sashimi choice (see above), tuna roes and so forth: put together to be dazzled by looking on the menu [PDF].
Avenida is a cultured joint, a spot the place diners chat in discrete tones, costume to impress simply to mix in properly with a finessed but relaxed surroundings. Blue velvet curved couch/seating, leather-based sofas, ceiling chandeliers and mirrors and creamy partitions set the scene.
The delicacies is a twist on Mediterranean gastronomy. Olivier have to be an enormous fan of his octopus and beef carpaccio as each these dishes turned up right here but once more. However earlier than delicacies boredom may set within the Alheira de Caca om ova estrelado de codorniz (chew sizes sausage topped with fried quail eggs) or the hen and cheese catupiry (a type of pie) served to create some style bud tittilation turned up.
Different must-trys are the tuffed mushrooms that are teamed with inexperienced asparagus and gorgonzola, and the tender, juicy Wagyu Picanha which is seasoned to perfection with tiny rocks of salt to make sure optimum style oozed from the succulent meat.
Get there on a Sunday for brunch lunch buffet. This can be a lazy all-you-can-eat afternoon affair. Tables are strewn with all you possibly can eat pastries, sushi, meat and fish.
This gourmand munch is great worth at simply €25 (£20) per particular person.
Tip: Go together with a posse, refill your plates (a number of occasions in case you like) and down all of the beautiful flavours with some bubbly and have your self a enjoyable celebration in pretty environment.
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