Now we say goodbye to Barcelona and hello to Lisbon! We got to Lisbon in the evening, hopped on an aerobus and hopped off at Marquês de Pombal Square as our hotel was just nearby. We stayed in the Eurostars Hotel Das Letras which has a very convenient location near Marquês de Pombal Square and was accessible by two nearby metro stations: Avenida and Marquês de Pombal.
We were pleasantly surprised upon entering the hotel. The hotel lobby was elegant and oozed luxury. Pictured above is the lounge area in front of the reception for weary travellers to sit and wait during the checking in/out process. Checking in for us was speedy and efficient. The hotel staff were very friendly and gave us a good impression of the quality of the hotel and its staff.
Beside the lounge is the bar and its seating area. We did not sit down for a drink in the hotel the whole time we were there, but it does looks like a great place to sit down with a drink, doesn’t it?
Up we went to our room. The room was big and kept up perfectly with the standard set by everything we saw in the lobby. For the price we paid, this was definitely much more than what we expected. A very good deal indeed! The only drawback was that the bed we had was not a double bed. It was actually two singles pushed together with their respective duvets tucked into each one, which we didn’t quite like. However it isn’t a major point to criticise the hotel on at all, as everything else was excellent.
It was late in the evening when we checked in and settled ourselves in the room. It was also dinner time, so off we went to the restaurant of the night (which just happened to be near the hotel as well, lucky us). This restaurant is ranked 12th (at the time of writing) on Tripadvisor’s list of restaurants in Lisbon and that was how we decided on it. Oh, we also decided on it because it’s an Indian restaurant (I heard that gasp, you’re thinking “Indian food in Lisbon? Really?”, but just bear with us. It was quite good!).
The inside of the restaurant can be a bit compact, but it was hardly uncomfortable. As space can be limited, it is advisable to make a reservation if possible. The restaurant’s owner and waiting staff were really friendly and helpful in describing the menu and the dishes available. We particularly enjoyed chatting to the owner who was even nice enough to recommend another restaurant to us (which we did not have time to try, unfortunately).
Along with the papadums came an assortment of sauces. From top left, going clockwise: mild green chilli paste, mango chutney, onion salad, mint raita, tamarind sauce and hot red chilli paste. We found the mango chutney, mint raita and tamarind sauce to be excellent accompaniments to the papadums.
Next we had the Vegetable Hors D’oeuvres, priced at €8.50 for 2 people. This was a selection of 4 vegetarian starters, from the lowest proceeding upwards: stuffed potato rissole, vegetable pakora, vegetable samosa and onion bhaji. We particularly enjoyed the stuffed potato rissole as it tasted of chilli with a hint of curry. Also worth a mention is the onion bhaji which was crispy and tasted of a pleasant medley of spices whilst retaining the sweetness of the onions.
One of our main dishes included the Rogan Josh, priced at €13.50. We asked for something spicy and we were recommended this lamb dish by the owner as he said that it was a good accompaniment to rice. The recommendation was absolutely top-notch. The lamb pieces were tender and the curry full of flavour. The only downside was that the dish was not actually spicy when we were expecting it to be, but that should not take anything away from what was a really good rogan josh.
We were also recommended the Prawn Malai, priced at €16.00. This dish was absolutely divine! Its coconut milk base had a distinctive taste which was further enhanced by the crushed cashew nuts scattered on top of the curry. It was unlike any other curry we’ve had before and it was an absolute joy to eat.
Last, but not least was dessert. We opted for the Combi-Dessert, priced at €10.50, which was a combination of 4 types of desserts on the menu. From left to right: saffron-spiced rice pudding, mango delight, carrot halwa and kulfi. The mango delight was in a way similar to the mango lassi, but it was lighter and slightly sweeter. It was excellent and also our favourite dessert here! The kulfi (Indian ice-cream) had a mild spice taste and was also really good.
This was definitely one of the best Indian restaurants we’ve ever been to, and in Portugal no less! For more information check out their website (currently under construction) or their blog which has all the necessary contact information, albeit in Portuguese.
So there we have it. A rather short first day in Lisbon (less than half a day, really). We get around to sightseeing and even more excellent food in the next post, so check back soon!
Rua da Glória, 43,
Tel: +351 21 3466080