After a sumptuous light meal in Pastéis de Belém, we hopped back on the Hop On Hop Off bus and made our way from Belém back towards the city centre.
On the way to the square, one can see the Estação de Caminhos de Ferro do Rossio (Rossio Railway Station). This railway station has a grandiose design on the outside which looks stunning when lit up at night as one can observe from the picture above.
Nearby, we saw the Elevador de Santa Justa (Santa Justa Lift). This impressive structure functions as both a tourist attraction with a viewing deck for people to take in the view of the city and also simply as an elevator that connects the lower part of the city with the higher areas.
Walking down the street, we eventually arrived at the Praça do Comércio (Commerce Square). This square is home to the statue of King José I, which is located right in the middle of the square. In the background of the above picture, part of the very magnificent Rua Augusta Arch is visible. On the right of the picture, white tents are visible. That was because the Lisbon Gay Pride was being held at the time and many temporary stalls were set up in the area. It made the square very lively and exciting!
As the day went by, we got hungry again (no surprise there, eh?). We navigated our way through the streets of Lisbon and up a steep hill to our restaurant. That might sound a bit intimidating, but it was actually quite near Praça do Comércio and easy enough to find.
The interior of the restaurant was elegant and classy. Even so, the restaurant staff were very friendly and made us feel very welcomed. Located on high ground, the restaurant has an amazing view of the city.
This table (not ours, unfortunately) might be one of the best tables from which to admire the view. We did not make a reservation prior to showing up at the restaurant, but it is advisable to do so as the restaurant can be quite full.
The balcony behind the aforementioned table overlooks Lisbon and provides diners with a breathtaking view. The Castelo de São Jorge (Castle of São Jorge), located where the trees are at the back of the picture, can be seen from the restaurant.
Upon sitting down, some Couvert (meal starters in Portuguese culture) were brought to our table in the form an assortment of bread, olives, butter, extra virgin olive oil, cheese and an amuse bouche (literally translated as mouth amuser). Do take note that the Couvert will be brought to the table without asking for it and if consumed, it will be charged at €3.80 per person. Those who do not wish to have it can request for it to be taken away as long as it remains untouched. That being said, we thought the selection of bread was excellent. Each bread was distinct and had its own unique taste and were so good, we could even eat it on its own (no points to anyone who can guess where that line is from, it’s easy)!
The starter we ordered was the pan seared fresh foie gras with lentils and morel mushrooms (escalope de foie gras salteado sobre lentilhas com morilles), priced at €15.50. The foie gras was rich and creamy and seemed to simply melt in our mouth. The mushrooms and lentils lent a light salty flavour that went well with the pleasantly savoury foie gras. This starter was worth every penny!
Moving on to the mains then. Up first is the Roasted Codfish à la Tágide (Bacalhau Assado à Tágide), priced at €21.00. This was a codfish fillet served with smoked ham, spinach and a chickpea purée. We were recommended this dish by our waiter who also said that it is a Portuguese national dish. The natural flavour of the fish was complemented really well by the salty taste of the ham and the nutty element of the chickpea purée. The fish fillet was rather big and combined with the chickpea purée, it does well to fill you up!
We also had the beef fillet with foie gras, potato rosti and oven roasted vegetables (tornedó de vitela com foie gras, batata gratinade e legumes no forno), priced at €26.00. The beef was perfectly nice and pink on the inside and tender. It went down well without being chewy at all. Without trying to raise expectations too high, I must say that this was the best steak/beef fillet I’ve ever had so far (up until this point of life, that is). The foie gras was top notch as per the starter and everything was rounded up by the excellent sauce which had a hint of herb in it.
We were really quite full by the end of all of that, but there’s always room for dessert! We had the Poached Pear (in Port wine) Tiramisu (Tiramise de pêra bêbada em vinho do Porto), priced at €7.50. The tiramisu was mildly sweet and creamy with a strong alcohol scent. There were pieces of pear in it as well which added a hint of sourness to the overall flavour. The tiramisu was not bad at all, we would say.
It was a very satisfying meal with excellent food as a whole. It was a little on the pricey side, but we found the food to be absolutely worth it! The restaurant has its own website where the menu and more pictures can be found, do check it out!
That completes our second day in Lisbon. I wonder what we got up to the next day and what food we ate, don’t you? Check back soon!
Largo da Academia Nacional de Belas Artes 18 – 20,
Tel: +351 213 404 010