Casa Lisboa continues to pull me in from all directions. When the Portuguese restaurant releases its new seasonal dishes, my mind and stomach are ready for indulgence. Now, a festive menu is set for winter, and the eatery’s tables are flooded with fresh seafood and hearty stews.
The marisqueira-inspired seafood platter with seaweed butter, mango shallot and garlic lemon sauces ($600) was the signature dish of the night, incorporating imported Atlantic finds. It’s rare to see platters like this served at restaurants – the only time I’ve cracked my own seafood has been at hotel buffets. Fresh, ocean-smelling seafood combined with a creamy, rich blended seaweed butter and thin, crisp bread was the perfect way to begin the evening.
I didn’t think I could love seafood more than I already do until I tasted the carabineiros escalados a bulhão pato ($95/prawn). The salty, garlicky, buttery prawns were way too delicious not to be memorable.
The Portuguese fisherman-style seafood soup ($200), packed with Alaskan black cod, clams and lobster, was rich and warming.
The short rib jardineira stew ($295) was filled with colourful, crunchy vegetables in a deep-flavoured, hearty sauce.
The cabrito stew ($330) was given a new lease of life, with the whiff of truffle catching my nose in this goat dish.
For something on the traditional side, I recommend the classic slow-cooked Ibérico pork chop with bean stew feijoada ($260). The appeal of this dish was the fatty Ibérico pork, which was sharpened by the salty, spicy chorizo.
The desserts are homestyle favourites, including this sericaia ($85), a light, springy cinnamon sponge cake.
The pastéis de nata ($20/each) featured layers of buttery puff pastry filled with a cinnamon-laced custard.
Four new drinks have been created, named after famous cities or regions in Portugal. For every cocktail ordered, a postcard is given related to the drink, presented as a souvenir. Write the address of your favourite bar mate or your SO on the back and come back to redeem the postcard for a free cocktail when you next visit the restaurant.
From left to right: Barcelos, Sintra, Algarve, Lisbon
For something light, I recommend Sintra ($98) or Barcelos ($98). Sintra is tea based, brewed with butterfly pea flower, giving it a fantasy-like, cloudy purple colour and a lemonade-like flavour, while Barcelos is tropical, made with pandan and passion fruit.
Algarve ($98) is made with egg white for a smooth texture to ease the whisky. It’s sweet and creamy, with the almond liqueur lingering. The strongest drink, Lisbon ($98), is an old-school cocktail with a bit of sweetness, made with whisky, Campari and ginja liqueur. This libation is earthy with a peaty aroma.
The kitchen was a little backed up on the night of our visit, with a 16-person table the priority, but the dishes were masterfully done, each arriving piping hot. Casa Lisboa wins over guests with its delicious simplicity and tasteful plating. The freshness of each ingredient is highlighted rather than being overpowered by a salty sauce. I’ll be back after the holidays to redeem the postcard I wrote to myself, mentally transporting myself to Lisbon. Here’s to sipping on a beautiful cocktail while recovering from jet lag in 2019!
2/F, Parekh House, 63 Wyndham Street, Central, 2905 1168, click here to book now
This write-up is based on a complimentary media tasting provided in exchange for an honest review and no monetary compensation. The opinions expressed here represent the author’s.
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