Restaurant Design

Restaurants in Lisbon 

I don't usually write extensively about food on this blog, but since I found that the food in Lisbon and Sintra was a hit and miss, I thought I will share the hits. In the six days I was there, I got a couple of mouth watering meals and a couple of really bad meals that I couldn't even finish. Be warned this post will make you hungry! I am already craving them.  

Few pointers about eating in Lisbon: 

- I know Cod fish is very popular in Portugal, but unfortunately all the Cods I tried were very poor and came from the bottom of the freezer. I would advice you to get sea bass or sea bream instead since all the ones I had were VERY good! 

- All bread and little plates of cheese, cold meat, olives, butter and other things that come to your table when you sit down are NOT FREE! Thankfully, I knew that before visiting from the blogs I read.

- It's very difficult to find decent lunch/dinner from 3pm to 6pm. The only places open are fast food or just below average food. So make sure you eat lunch before 3pm and just wait for after 6 or even 7 for dinner to get better options. 

Breakfast in Lisbon: 

Fábrica Lisboa

We stumbled across this gem by chance. It's small and it doesn't seat more than 20 I don't think, but it's cozy and very quirky. Plus, the croissants, which is their specialty is really fresh and just yummy. I had an egg, cheese and tomato croissant that was just YUM! They have a few other options too. 

Breakfast in Lisbon

Gelato in Lisbon: 

Fiori Gelateria
Cais Do Sodré, 1200 Lisbon

I know not a meal, BUT I really liked this little place and ended up going twice! 

Dinner in Lisbon:

Sea Food dinner in Lisbon: Valbom
Avenida Conde de Valbom 104 112, Lisbon 1050-070, Portugal

Freshest sea food I have ever eaten! SO good that the fish melts in your mouth. They are such pros and you can tell from the fish on ice at the entrance and the special fish knives. The atmosphere was nice, but the interior is very basic. We went late at 10pm, so it wasn't too busy. This was out of the toursity area and had mostly locals. 

Fresh Fish in Lisbon

Fancy Dinner in Lisbon:

Bistro 100 Maneiras

Be aware this is not an affordable option, but well worth the money! It was a birthday treat for my partner and he loved it!! So if you are looking for a very special place to celebrate a birthday or an anniversary this is it! We were very lucky that we got a table without a prior reservation. They even have a list of delicious mocktails that are made to perfection. I got to try Dragonfly while waiting. You should say yes to their bread! It's so fresh and yummy. The starters and dessert were my favourite. I almost made a dance eating them! We tried the egg, mushroom and asparagus starter that came in a jar and the shrimp mini sandwiches without the ham. The mains we tried were very good. We had the vegetarian pasta and the shrimp risotto, but I would love to try something else if I ever go back. The dessert was the chocolate mouse with mint and berries in a jar. That was an epic finale! Their portions were really good and we were super stuffed by the end. By the way, the decor is also lovely! Their bar area and ground floor dinning hall are creative. The upstairs one is nice but not as gorgeous as the downstairs. 

Oh yes! And of course the Pastel De Nata was my addiction that whole week. I think I had two a day, which I thought was quiet good considering that I wanted two each time I have one... I confess, I didn't even make it to Belem and I didn't try them in the most pastry in Portugal, BUT I had one from almost every shop that sold them that I saw on my way! The only thing you need to look for is that they are fresh and warm. They were all so yummy and custard-y! Would love to learn the secret to learning how to make the prefect one. 

Pastel De Nata

Hope you find these recommendations useful and I really hope they remain as good by the time you try them! 

Over to you: What were your favourite places that you have tried and absolutely loved in Lisbon and the areas around? 

Afternoon Tea in Sketch, London

Happy September everyone! 

During the long bank holiday weekend, I got to try Sketch, one of the nicest afternoon tea experiences in London! I have been wanting to go for the longest time and I am so glad I finally did. I had afternoon tea at the gallery. The space was mostly pink with pink chairs and pink walls. It was so girly and dreamy. I liked that they covered the walls with sketches. Some were funny and others were a bit strange. 

The afternoon tea was unlimited, which was something I did not expect and really loved! I was full from the first serving, but had a bit more because they kept offering so nicely. It was pure indulgence. It included a choice of tea, vegetarian finger sandwiches, traditional scones, pastries. There were two choices for pastries ones with beef gelatine and vegan ones. I went with the vegan ones and was pleasantly surprised of how yummy they were. I liked that we were able to try more than one kind of tea. I tried the oolong and the rose teas. Overall, the food was nice but nothing out of the extraordinary. The lovely tea selection, the interiors and the amazing service made it all so worth it. To top it off, they had MAD bathrooms that looked like they landed right out of space. It just added a fun twist to the space.

I will definitely be going there again. Keep in mind you need to reserve a table in advance because it gets booked up really fast.  

Japanese in Zurich

Happy Monday, 

In the middle of a quiet neighbourhood in Zurich, there is a little Japanese joint tucked away called, Ikoo. When my friend and I got there around 7pm on a Sunday evening. It was super packed, so we made a reservation and they promised to call back as soon as there are two empty seats. Thankfully, it was not a long wait and we got a place in 20 minutes. Of course we had to share a table, but that is considered very normal. The interior of the place was minimal and basic, but the seating arrangement gave it a cosy atmosphere. The asymmetric wall paint was cool. We had the vegetarian dumplings and the vegetarian ramen noodles. The noodles was spicy, but very yummy. It the perfect kind of dinner on a Sunday or Monday evenings if you find a seat that is.   

Moroccan in Zurich

Happy Saturday! 

It seems like Zurich got it all. There is at least one restaurant from every nationality. There is a lovely Moroccan restaurant there called Maison Blunt. It is a cozy restaurant with some geometric and colourful tiled floor. It was the perfect brunch/lunch choice. It was not halal, but they had a big range of vegetarian choices (cold and warm) that were all super filling and delicious. They suggested that each person gets three plates of mezzas, but two is plenty for each. Worth trying if you are there.  

The Floating Restaurant on the Lake

Happy Friday! 

Last week when I visited Zurich, I went on a very interesting eating adventure that I will cherish for days to come. It was in a place called Herzbaracke, which happened to be a floating, moving restaurant in a little boat on the side of Lake Zurich. My friend had to book us in and tell them from the start that we wanted vegetarian options. The boat was located at the start of the lake and was really convenient to get to. The exterior was adorable and felt like a castle (first and second photos). The interior was really cozy and beautiful with red lights and wooden furniture (fifth, sixth and seventh photos). The red lights were great for the atmosphere, but not for the food photos (you can see my failed attempts below). 

The waitresses were dressed in fancy costumes. It felt like I entered another era. The tables were shared and the other people we shared the table with were really sweet. When my friend and I arrived, we were welcomed warmly and given beverage options. They instantly gave me a list of nonalcoholic choices. I thought that was really sweet and considerate of them. They served the food first and to everyone at the same time. It was a four course dinner. We started with a delicious and warming soup then it was followed by a tasty salad with the best dressing. After the filling starters, we got our mains. The vegetarian option was really nicer than I expected. Few minutes after everyone finished their meal, they started the charming live performance. They have changing performances and the one we attended was really nice. The energy of the performers was fun and enjoyable. 

The owner of the place, Federico Pfaffen (third photo), was very charming, attentive and so kind. Through out the evening, he was doing some entertaining bits and fun introductions. All were in German, but it still made me smile even though I didn't understand any of it. As I was standing by the counter getting ready to leave, he opened a box and told me to take a coin and keep it. He said the coin will bring me happiness. I completely loved that! I am such a fairy tales believer.      

Worth a visit for sure, but check their website for their times and shows. 

Pancakes in Zurich

Good morning!

I was waking up today with some serious pancake craving thanks to the lovely pancake/breakfast cafe that I tried in Zurich *yumz*. Just a short walk from where I was staying, there it was, Zum Guten Glück. A lovely local eatery where they specialised in different pancake types from savoury to sweet plus other breakfast choices. The interior was really light and felt effortless. Part of the floor was tiled in interesting patterns and that added richness to the design. My friend and I got the ricotta and almond pancakes that were covered in maple syrup. That combination was heavenly and surprisingly filling. The place is popular and it was busy and we had to share the table with complete strangers, but that's totally fine there. 

Organic Shop in Zurich

Happy Wednesday world! 

When I travel, it's not always easy to find halal** options, so I usually stay in the safe side and become a vegetarian, which is a wonderful thing to try at least for few days every once in a while. I went to a local organic store and café called Justus. It sold the most delicious vegetarian lunch. It was not strictly vegetarian, but they still cater well to vegetarians. The fact that everything they cook and sell in there is organic was a major plus. They have seatings outside for lovely sunny days and inside for a cosier atmosphere. The interior or the place was simple and basic. I liked the table by the window with all the organic goodies. Their menu is always changing. My friend and I had the salad and the pasta, which were very delicious, light and filling. If you are in Zurich, Justus is worth a visit! 

Visit Time: March 2015. 

** Halal is the way chicken and other animals (cows, goats & sheep) are killed according to the Islamic ruling. The animal has to be given water and placed in the direction of Mecca before the jugular vein is slit for the quickest way to drain the blood, so the animal is clean inside and better for us to eat.