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Contemporary Portuguese

Posted: 11/28/14

Contemporary Portuguese

Restaurant: Lisbon Portugal

Nelson: We had been eating a lot of traditional Portuguese food, but on one of our last nights we tried contemporary Portuguese at 1300 Taberna. In the neat district called LX Factory halfway to Belem, we were about an hour late for our reservations, but the host was indifferent and it seemed like a normal occurrence. I don't think the Portuguese are really strict on punctuality.

Let's start with the homemade bread basket (4.5€)with foccacia, stout beer bread served with olive oil and herbed butter. The foccacia (in front) was light and fluffy and went well with the olive oil. The stout beer bread in the back is like a cake. Heavy and dense. Never seen this before so it was interesting. I liked the butter with this one.

The olive oil was great and distinctly fresh tasting. Portugal is famous for olive oil production and this time I tasted a difference.

The butter is light and airy and at first I thought it was cheese, haha.

This is probably the best non-port wine we had on the trip and likely the most expensive one at 17€.
For the starter I tried the Terrina de leitao or suckling pig burger with black pepper and orange mayo, salad pickles (9€). I would be lying if I didn't admit I was thinking of the glorious suckling pig sandwich we tried earlier in Coimbra. This version was good, but not quite as mind-blowing as the previous one.

The fries were extremely stringy and salty - that is they were like chips in the shape of strands. Delicious!

The orange mayo on the bottom is inventive because pork is often served with orange, but it is right there in the mayo in this modern version. Good creativity.
Kitty had the Barriguinha de Porco or Pork tenderloin, belly and cheek with sweet potato puree, seasonal vegetables and mustard sauce (18€). The pork on the right (tenderloin I think) covered in sesame is tender and very moist. In the middle is the belly, which tasted very similar to a Chinese BBQ pork except fattier and more tender. The meat was so very soft. On the left is a loaf with I guess the pork cheek. It too was really soft with a lot of different flavours. I also liked it. The sweet potato interestingly had a hint of lemon.
This cool looking dish is actually a cod dish called Bacalhau a Bras (18€). We ate so much cod on the trip that we were kinda getting sick of it, but thankfully this was the best version yet. This is described as cod fish loin, potato, egg sauce, parsley gel, red peppers, grilled onions, and dried black olives. I tasted cheese and butter in the sauce on top which tied everything together. This is the best cod we had on the trip, but it was still slightly chewy. On top you can see a crisp of cod which was really salty but delicious. The potato is stringy & crispy and created volume and ended up being fun to eat. Great looking dish that was also delicious.
This picture is here just to prove that yes there is cod at the bottom and lots of it.
I'm really glad we had a chance to try a modern take on Portuguese food to show how creative they can be with their native ingredients. Because it was near the end of the trip we had a good idea of the traditional Portuguese cuisine and I felt like we appreciated the twists and ideas of this restaurant more because of that. Great meal!


Categories: Appetizer,  Bread,  Drinks,  Fish,  Pork,  Portuguese,  

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