November 23, 2012

Lisboa tour 2012: Guincho a Galera

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A mere 3 hours after lunch ended, the bunch of us gathered again and headed to the Hotel Lisboa across the street.  The venue for dinner was Guincho a Galera, the Portuguese restaurant occupying the former home of Robuchon a Galera.  This is the international outpost of Fortaleza do Guincho, a restaurant outside Lisbon with a Michelin star.

I wasn't the least bit hungry, and sat at the dinner table with a blank and defeated look for about the first hour while the rest of the gang discussed what to order.  I had just about managed to get rid of enough alcohol from my system as we were being served our complimentary wines…  In short, I was a party-pooper most of the evening...

2010 Bacalhôa Chardonnay Cova da Ursa - big nose of toasty oak, mineral, lemon, ripe, a little sweet with a hint of vanilla.  Not bad at all.

We decided to order a set dinner to share, and a number of other dishes were recommended to us.  There was always gonna be too much food…

Bolinhos de bacalhau - beautiful, crispy layers on the outside.  Served with tomato confit/salsa that was a little spicy, and a lemony yolk sauce.

The interiors were drier than I expected, and actually a little under-seasoned.

Salada do lavagante com cenouras estufadas, tâmaras e vinagrete de citrinos - a nice lobster salad, with the lobster meat firm, chewy, springy and bouncy.  There was a very big lobster here… The use of citrus fruits like grapefruit was nice.

Abalone e frutos do mar marinado com ervas aromáticas servidos com legumes e puré de coentros - with pieces of baby abalone.

Robalinho com crosta de bacalhau numa gelata de gaspacho - interesting pairing of seabass with cod, in a gazpacho "jelly"…which had liquefied by the time I got to it.  Part of the set.

Tarte de figado do ganso e trufa servida com maçã glaceada - country liver pâté with chunks of black truffle baked inside pastry.  Served with figs and grapes on the side.

Da Nazaré - sopa de peixe - the seafood soup was pretty decent.

Das Beiras - um caldo da carnes e enchides DOP - decent consommé with slices of Portuguese ham.  Part of the set.

Das Lisboa antiga - caldo verde - with chunks of potato and potato mash, along with both thick and thin shreds of spinach, deep-fried till crisp.

Arroz de marisco da nossa nobreza, lavagante, caranguejo, camarão selvagem amêijoas - this seafood rice was OK.  The Boston lobster claw was pretty big…  Part of the set.

Cataplana de marisco - more seafood, cooked in copper pots which were specially ordered from Portugal.

Carne de porco do Montado com amêijoas - the pork was pretty tasty with lots of flavor, and slow-cooked so it was pretty tender and juicy.  Not sure why it was paired with clams, though…

Leitão assado com puré de batata e legumes - would I ever say no to suckling pig, even when I'm stuffed and in no mood to eat?  Hell, no!  This was very awesome…especially the crispy crackling.  If only I weren't in such bad shape…  The set portion is half the amount shown in the picture.

Galinha Africana com milho e legumes salteados - OK, so this ain't exactly Portuguese cuisine, but African chicken is a classic Macanese dish and we're in Macau…  Flavors in the sauce included lime.

Arroz de pato de Lisboa - very different from the typical versions I'm used to having.  The duck here was not shredded meat from the leg, but duck breast.

2008 De Pancas Touriga Nacional Reserva - our complimentary red was sweet, ripe, plummy, forest, dried herbs, pine and cedar.  A little sharp and alcoholic.

I was too full and did not participate in the round of dessert, and sat around while the gang sampled a variety of items...

This was way, way too much food, especially for someone who wasn't in any shape to eat in the first place.  I really wish I were in better condition tonight, instead of feeling (and looking) defeated...

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