SO, the moment you’ve all been waiting for has arrived.
Time to unveil the most amazing, authentic Portuguese tapas restaurant in all of Lisbon!
However, be warned, you can’t book and the waits are long! But you can go early, note your name and come back at a set time.
Which is exactly what we did.
With time to kill Abi & I strolled the length of Bairro Alto (“pub street”) trying to decide which bar most tickled our fancy, but seeing as it was still so ‘early’ (in Spanish terms… it was past 8 o’ clock!) liveliness was limited and the place that we most liked the look of was a Hawaiian themed beach bar!
In the interests of spontaneity & randomness we went for it, and soon settled in to our sandy, palm-treed surroundings.
Undeniably merry, we ventured up the road to our dining venue and squeezed in behind our tiny table.
The restaurant is small and ‘cosy’ (open to interpretation), but it has a real, passionate, family-feel vibe to it, and the food is so outstanding that you’ll soon forget that you’re practically sharing a table with the diners next to you.
And, in fact, I actually think it adds to the charm.
We ordered an icy cold bottle of white and tucked into the complimentary olives and bread basket, which featured an apparently very traditional and incredibly unique bread, which was so dense (and delicious) that it was almost like eating dough.
Our server recommended that we order 3-4 dishes to share… so naturally we ordered 6. (Damn their mouth-watering menu.)
First was the mackerel tartar, something which I’ve never eaten raw before but was utterly DELICIOUS. The oily fish tasted unbelievably decadent paired with the fresh seaweed and nutty sesame seeds.
Our “squid carbonara” was another big hit, with the ‘pasta’ being made from the tender seafood.
Move over courgetti, squid pasta is definitely the new kid on the block! It was unreal.
On a squid hype, up next was calamari and since one never really knows what they’re going to get when they order this dish, rest assured that Taberna da Rua das Flores’ take was sensational; large chunks of tender squid coated in a crunchy, grease-free batter.
My only minor complaint would be that they serve it with a dipping sauce, though I shan’t grumble too much as my request for mayo was provided in an instant!
The chicken satay was our least favourite dish of all, as it wasn’t really “chicken satay” in any way, shape or form.
For me, chicken satay is succulent chicken paired with a creamy peanut sauce but, instead, we were served what I can only class as fried chicken.
It was by no means bad, albeit a little dry, but it’s more that it really wasn’t what we had wanted or, in my opinion, what we had ordered.
The black pork perked us up again, though I’m not the biggest fan of raw onion so had to do a little digging around.
However, the flavour of the meat itself was amazing.
We ended on a super high with the raw veal with pepper.
Absolute noms, and SO. MUCH. SAUCE! The meat was melt-in-the-mouth worthy and we savoured every last tasty morsel.
We decided to skip dessert in search of gelato instead, but loved every minute of our evening and food at Taberna da Rua das Flores.
The staff, quality and value of the food was second to none and I would go back in a heartbeat, though overall I would say that we enjoyed the fish vs meat dishes more.
So, total bill?
I asked Abi what we owed and she said €70, to which I casually checked “each?”, and she said “no, together”… Sorry, TOGETHER?
I was genuinely gobsmacked. That’s £28 each for a bottle of wine and hella lotta delicious food.
I don’t think I need to tell you to go.
(But seriously, do.)
And please let me know if you loved it as much as us!
For dessert, we chose Amorino, as despite being able to get their goodies back home, we’d both never tried their infamous flower gelato before and decided we needed to #doitfortheinsta (and our bellies, of course).
Two incredibly well-fed bunnies that had ticked the obligatory tanning, walking, wining, sight-seeing and local food boxes of a foreign holiday, we decided to call it a night and turn in in preparation for the ‘big one’ that we had planned the following evening.