26 August 2013

Return to Viajante

Viajante is now closed.

We returned to Viajante for a long anniversary lunch a few Sundays ago. Although Nuno Mendes was not present, the quality and consistency of the dishes were very high. We were sat next to the kitchen and pass and we were able to watch the team in action. Excellent amuse bouches to be had, a mouthful of warm clam soup based on a Portuguese dish called Ameijoa builhao pato, amaranth popcorn, a salmon crisp, a lovely yeast potato and Iberico ham morsel, the olive soup as good as ever. Bread was as good as our previous visit, I have to say the crisp pointed ends of the potato bread baguette combined with their whipped butter make for the most perfect mouthful of bread I've had anywhere.

The meal provided some quality dishes, including a fermented scallop dish was unusual, a meaty texture unlike any scallop I've had before. A lovely crab in milk skin followed,  with my wife having the leek and milk skin variation from before. An excellent carrot dish followed for my wife, with  a sea bream with fermented carrot and gooseberries and a tart gel of sorts for me. There was also a fantastic flavour packed potato and onion concoction topped with a lush nugget of cod cheek and a stunning cod skin wrap, with daikon replacing the cod for my wife, a real stand out dish. The celeriac, truffle and potato sauce dish was similar to the salsify dish previously. The main courses were variation of iberico, a gorgeous hunk of presa with a vegetable crepinette to start for me with a lovely fresh pea, asparagus and custard dish for my wife, and a knockout square of pork belly with the almond, parsley and garlic picada and some fabulous baby beetroot, which my wife had as the main ingredient.

The cucumber and milk ice cream dish followed, this is one of my favourite desserts, and was just as good as I remembered. Strawberries came with an unusual buckwheat thing, which resembled liquid gel but could be picked up with a fork, delicious though. The milk dessert finished the meal, and was as good as before. Certainly a dessert that can be loved by those who don't have a sweet tooth too. Accompanying coffee were mushroom chocolates and those liquid nitrogen olive and basil gummys, a delicious and certainly one of the more unusual petit fours we've had on our travels.

Again another really excellent meal was had at Viajante, I love the blend of innovative and experimental dishes to be had and the menu format, with every course both a surprise and in some cases, sampling methods, tastes and ingredients I've not had before. The bill came to 270 or so, with non alcoholic lychee cocktails to start, a glass of Sadi-Malot Rose champagne, Monte Cruz Antao Vaz 2011 with the meal, and a really fine Meulenhof Spatlese Riseling 2010 to accompany dessert. We'll go back in the autumn.

Ameijoa bulhao pato.

Enoki mushrooms with green tea and dill.

Salmon with green tea and dill.

Yeast, potato and Iberico ham.

Yeast and potato.

Gordal Olive Soup.


Scallop with parsnips and watercress.

Parsnips and watercress.

Crab with milk skin and peas.

Charred leek with milk skin.

Sea bream, sea purslane, fermented carrot and gooseberries.

Carrots and horseradish.

Cod cheek with potato and onion.

Potato, Onion and Daikon.

Celeriac with roasted potato and mushrooms.

Iberico presa with vegetable crepinette

Green peas, asparagus and custard.

Baby beets, sorrel and picada.

Iberico belly with baby beets and picada.

Cucumber and reduced milk.

Strawberrys, buckwheat and melliot.


Petit Fours.


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