Wednesday, 28 November 2018

Food tour in Lisbon - review of Treasures of Lisboa

While in Lisbon, we booked a couple of last minute tours, one of which was a food tour with Treasures of Lisboa.  If you're in Lisbon for a short break (or a longer one) we would highly recommend this tour near the start to get a real taste of Lisbon and find out some amazing places to eat for the rest of your trip.

When Ruthy turned up at the meeting point, we knew this would be fun.  She's so vivacious and immediately put us at ease as we hovered in the rain, explaining the area we were about to explore and guiding us first to a view point overlooking Alfama.

We made our way down into the old town, through alleys large and small and super tight!  Our first foodie stop was a cute little place called Manjerico Alegre.

Here we had our "starter" tasting olive oil, sardine on toast, sardine pate, Pasteis de Bacalhau, cured Iberico pork, and the most delicious local vinho verde (green wine).

It was proper, simple but authentic local cuisine and we loved it.  The olive oil is made by a family who produce just 500 bottles per year in Portugal and the sardines were huge, I preferred the sardine pate to the sardine on toast but Nik was the opposite.  The pork is fed only on acorns which gives it a distinctive flavour and the salt cod croquettes were amazing!

After another quick local lesson en route with a few more gorgeous buildings to admire, our next stop was O Cantinho da Rute for our "main course".  The owners here are husband and wife and awesome characters.  As soon as we arrived we found the boss man grilling Portuguese smoked sausage on a ceramic grill filled with grappa on fire!

We had local cheese and breads already on our tables, served with local chutney and honey which was actually really good, I'd never thought of having honey with cheese before.  We received a jug of red wine and some ice cold water and were soon served with a hot potato rosti type thing which we loved.

When the sausages were well flamed, we got to sample that as well and it worked so well with the jam it came with, the sweet berry flavour against the smokey fatty meat was fab.  My favourite was the little shot of Ginja (sour cherry liqueur) at the end!  I had already tried it elsewhere but this stuff was so lush, we bought the same bottle on our way home in the airport and have already tried sourcing it here for the future!

Pudding was at Fabrico pastel Feijao where we tasted a bean cake - I loved it!  The layers outside were so crispy and I'd never have guessed the filling was made of beans.  They were like nothing I've had before - very different and pretty sweet, they went down well with a dessert wine, Bonifacio.

We thought that was the end but we had one more treat in store.  A good old Pastel de Nata with a coffee!  We walked past a beautifully refurbished tiled water fountain en route, recently done by some old ladies.  The tiles everywhere in Lisbon are just beautiful, so many colours and patterns wherever you go!

Our pastries were lovely.  Ruthy explained that many places put different things in them to have their own unique taste, these ones being slightly lemony and others having more vanilla or cinnamon in the custard.  These were homemade by two ladies who run a bakery and cost cents and just as good, if not better, than the fancy ones you get in more famous pastry shops.

We'd definitely recommend a food tour with Treasures of Lisboa.  Ruthy and her husband are a well oiled machine who are always looking for new places they might include so it doesn't stay the same.  The tour cost around £50 which initially might seem expensive but it includes all the food and wine so it's actually a pretty good deal for a 3+ hour tour which left us pretty satisfied.  The whole tour is fun and interesting and the food we had was delicious and varied and the drinks too!  We're so glad we booked it and big thanks to Ruthy for some great recommendations of places to eat on our final two days, I'll be reviewing those soon too.

1 comment:

Lynky said...

All sounds wonderful. Certainly a great introduction to the local foods.

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