Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Alma

Modern Portuguese fine dining


"Cobblestreet" salted cod, onion purée, egg yolk


Alma is one of the handful of Michelin starred restaurants in Lisbon, located in the city centre and headed up by a talented and ambitious chef, Henrique Sá Pessoa. The cooking are playful and forward thinking, with some classic Portuguese elements in the mix. At the same time, there is plenty of global influence, from French to Japanese. There are a few set menus to choose from, as well as an a la carte menu. If you visit in a large group and enjoy tasting a range of dishes, I would suggest the a la carte so that everyone can pick different dishes, just like what I have done on my visit.


Sardine, eggplant, roast peppers, bread crisps
Squid, chickpeas, tomato confit, baby chard, squid broth
Seared foie gras, apple, granola, almond, coffee
Glazed baby carrots, goat cheese, dried fruit bulghur, cumin oil


My starter of seared foie gras showcased some very creative element of combining almond with coffee. The nutty and bitter flavours somehow worked beautifully with the richness of the foie gras, with a little apple to balance off the earthy profile. I was a big fan of the "Cobblestreet" salted cod, a classic Portuguese dish recreated in a modern manner, the mild sharpness and spiciness of the onion purée offset the creamy egg yolk wonderfully. Every mouthful was loaded with sweet and bold flavours. The house special: Confit suckling piglet was the clear winner, it had an incredible melting texture with delightful crispy skin to match, rounded off with a finely executed sweet potato purée.


Red prawn, "açorda"
Monkfish loin, zucchini flower, green curry, coconut milk, shrimp
Confit suckling piglet, sweet potato purée, pak choi, orange jus 
Milk fed veal, parsley root purée, beetroot textures, tarragon jus

The sharing strategy turned out to be a great success, and it left us with no room for desserts. The dinner quality was at Michelin standard for sure. I found the meat dishes stood out, as both the texture and taste were just spot on. What I also really enjoyed is the unexpected element in the dishes, but yet somehow it worked exceptionally well. Such as using coffee bean in a foie gras dish and coconut milk with monkfish. The cost of the meal was also pretty decent value for money if you compared it to the UK standard. The 2 courses with wine came at £60 per person... and it would be even less if it wasn't for Brexit!


Food 4/5

What I paid: 

£60 per head with wine

Average cost without drinks and services:

£53 dinner menu
£87 tasting menu

R. Anchieta 15, 1200-224 Lisboa, Portugal

http://www.almalisboa.pt/en

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