Tagide Restaurant, Lisbon, Portugal.

My parents wanted to book us into a nice restaurant to celebrate the start of our holiday and our first night in Lisbon and after a lot of googling (and tears upon learning that famed seafood restaurant “Ramiro” was closed for the month of August) I happened upon Tagide restaurant http://www.restaurantetagide.com/ in the heart of Chiado, an easy 15 minute walk or so from our hotel which looked pretty special and happily my parents agreed.

Housed in a beautiful 18th century building, the restaurant offers some of the best views of the City and we were delighted to be seated in front of the large open windows at what was undoubtedly the best table in the house!

The menu is described as “Portuguese with International Influences” and is certainly a lot more refined than you will find in many restaurants in the city but still very much recognisable as Portuguese with local delicacies like Porco Preto (local black pork) and Bacalhau (salt cod) featuring alongside foie gras or pan seared scallops.

My sister and I started with Creme de Santola a Tagide; a beautiful soup made from local Spider Crab, so rich and intensely flavoured it put every lobster bisque I’ve tried to shame. My father chose the Vieiras Salteadas Com Salicornia e Lima ; a pair of perfectly cooked, sweet, plump scallops with samphire and a lime dressing which he also enjoyed, whilst my mother went for the Terrina de Foie Gras Grelhado com Pera Rocha e Porto; a grilled terrine of foie gras with pear and a sweet port reduction which was certainly more interesting than the classic version, with big lobes of foie gras set tight into the terrine.

I decided I wanted to stay as local as possible with my main course and as I was really stuck as to what to order, so my sister and I decided to share our main courses of  Lombo de Bacalhau A Tagide com Presunto, Espinafres e Pure de Grao de Bico; Loin of salt cod with smoked ham, spinach and chickpea puree and Lombinho de Porco Preto Com Ameijoas, Coentros, Arroz; a really unusual sounding dish of black pork tenderloin with clams, coriander and wild rice which was to be one of the best dishes of our holiday. The pork was so succulent and tender that it came apart with just the touch of a spoon, no need for a knife at all and the saltiness of the clams and astringency of the fresh coriander added layer upon layer of flavour. I also enjoyed the salt cod, especially the velvety chickpea puree but it couldn’t really compete with the beautiful pork.

The last of our main courses was Camarao de Mocambique Salteado, Crème de Coco e Pimientos; monster sized Tiger Prawns with a fiery coconut and red pepper sauce which was beautiful not only for its relative simplicity but also the juicy prawns which could not have been any fresher.

I would hazard a guess and say that Tagide is probably one of Lisbon’s more expensive restaurants, although they do have a neighbouring tapas bar of the same name which does fantastically priced set lunches from just 12 EUR, but it was definitely worth splashing out on. The combination of beautiful food and that incredible view makes it a really special restaurant and we were impressed with the high standard of service as well, it was a great start to what was to be a wonderful holiday!

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