July 21, 2010

Another free lunch

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I received an email from the people at WOM Guide informing me as the winner in their weekly draw for review submissions.  I have won another free meal, and I now needed to find somewhere to eat within a week and post a review about the meal.  You wanna pay me to eat?!  Oooooohhhhhh yeeeeaaaaaaahhhhh!

A friend had told me about Casa Lisboa, which she preferred over Nino's Cozinha in its current incarnation. Since it's nearby, I thought I'd take my colleague there for lunch.  The place looked pretty nice, with some Portuguese elements such as azulejos.  The owner (who also owns Olé) was in the restaurant along with the very affable manager.

Since I was here to write a review - and with a generous budget for lunch - I decided to forgo the set lunch and order à la carte.  I knew I would have so much food that I'd have to pack it home, but I didn't mind.

Prawns in olive oil with chili and garlic - pretty tasty as this simple dish should be.  The slices of garlic were pan-fried until golden, and I kept munching on slice after slice as I mopped up the olive oil with the bread.  Sure glad I don't have any meetings this afternoon...  My colleague did think that the prawns were not as fresh as they could be, and I nodded in agreement. 

Bacalhao a bras - yes, I do order this dish every time... but it's how I measure the skill of the restaurant.  And today, unfortunately, Casa Lisboa failed the test.  The whole thing was way too soggy, thanks to the wet scrambled eggs.  It was so wet that the thin, crispy strips of potato fries became soggy, and that just ruined the dish for me. 

Arroz de pato - for some reason the rice had the opposite problem of the last dish... it was too dry.  The best duck rice needs to achieve a good balance between being too soggy (where the rice grains become mushy) and too dry (when the rice grains become hard and chewy), and this one was definitely too chewy.  When you dig into it with a spoon, the rice grains fall away from each other and no longer stick together.  Not the right consistency for me.  Otherwise the flavors were good - the bacon and sausage were smoky, and the shredded duck was not bad.

I was too full to have dessert, and enough packed away enough food for dinner...  Thank you, WOM Guide!

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