I put myself in charge of organising the food options for the group as I’ve decided that I’m the most capable in that department. I went for Sebastião which was offering 30% off food when booking with TheFork, so that’s where we headed on a mild evening. The photo above is from the end of the meal, with Bev clacking down the street with her stick. I didn’t complain.
The surroundings were a little decadent for me, it’s a restaurant attached to a hotel but it’s well reviewed and popular in its own right. My starter was the traditional fried cuttlefish from Setúbal, served with a garlic mayonnaise. It’s rare for me to have the chance to eat cuttlefish, as Greggs don’t currently sell cuttlefish bakes, but it’s one of my favourite menu items when I do see it. Served in a light batter the cuttlefish had a smooth and not rubbery texture along with its usual slightly milky flavour. The mayonnaise added a bit of spice to the whole arrangement, although I noted that Susanna was leaving most of the batter as she didn’t want to eat the calories. I sometimes wish that I was that responsible and self-disciplined, but there we go.
This is the baked cod with roasted potatoes and sautéed greens and it looked an impressive plate of food when it arrived. I had mixed feelings about this dish, the cod was light and flaked away, with the potatoes (which are hidden in the photo as they’re at the back) being firm on the exterior and fluffy on the inside. That was for the positive, but I spent a chunk of time extracting bones from the cod and the vegetables were just bland. I accept vegetables are often bland, that’s indeed arguably a feature that some people seem to crave from them, but there was more flavour that could have been added here. I’m not sure whether that’s a sauce on the plate or just leakage, but it didn’t have any flavour whatever it was.
I’ve never ordered a carpaccio of pineapple which is as it was described on the menu. The slithers of pineapple were rich in flavour, the ice cream was smooth in flavour and the twirly thing added some extra texture. I’m not that big on desserts, but these are my favourite kinds, the ones with sharp contrasting flavours to the previous courses.
The total bill came to £20 each which I thought was very reasonable value for three courses and a drink. I haven’t dwelt for long on the beer option as it was the Super Bock lager which didn’t trouble itself with any richness of flavour or taste. But it was wet, large and vaguely beer flavoured, so it sufficed to go with the meal, with the restaurant far more focused on its wine options. I understand that some restaurants want to focus on their wine menus, but I’m less accepting that they can find the time to list 30 wines with different flavour profiles and then dump on the menu one generic beer.
The service was attentive and polite, the venue was spotlessly clean and I thought the temperature was just right although Susanna complained of some cold chills. Bev hardly complained about the food, so there’s a result in itself. Certainly with the 30% discount on TheFork I thought this was a positive experience, although I found the main course to be slightly harder work than I had anticipated. I think the others were satisfied with their food, or at least I heard no complaints.