After the whole Viajante fiasco, I’d given up on the idea of finding a warm, cosy Portuguese restaurant that would make me feel better whenever I’m homesick. I can’t say I found anything of the sort yet, but a restaurant in Islington has recently given me a bit of hope.
Portal's logo, from the restaurant's website
Unlike Viajante, Portal is a restaurant looking to be considered Portuguese, and what’s great about it is that it doesn’t necessarily mean it has to look like a sloppy tavern and serve “ultra-traditional” dishes – by which I mean food that tastes good to people who are familiar with it but doesn’t exactly attract newcomers because they don’t know what it is and, frankly, have no interest in finding out about it. Continue reading
As the Londoner that I’m (slowly but surely) becoming, I started looking for new restaurants to try out and maybe review in my blog.
I found out about one that really caught my eye; one that has not only caused controversy in England, where it’s based; in Portugal, its chef’s home country; but also, I must admit, in my own head, after having gone there a couple of months ago.
Viajante – which means “traveller” – opened its doors last year and its chef, Nuno Mendes, says his goal is to push boundaries in the culinary world. That, it certainly did. Unless you think eating duck heart and tongue is common.
- Nuno Mendes at his restaurant in London, Viajante
“Pastel de nata”. Those are the first words people throw my way (after “obrigado” and swear words, of course) when people find out I’m Portuguese and they want to show off their Portuguese skills.
Photo: Courtesy of Wikimedia