Spending more time at home in Algarve has many perks. Countryside – slow – lifestyle, warm weather, vegetable garden and bright light, to name a few. And of course the simple but delicious Portuguese kitchen.
The only thing I crave from the Amsterdam lifestyle now and then, culinary wise, are the numerous Asian restaurants and/or food stores.
Happy as a clam to discover Japanese sushibar Artigo Três in Loulé earlier this year, I now found a superb Asian addition in Lisbon. O Asiático, the latest restaurant by famous Portuguese chef Kiko.
Chef Kiko goes Asiático
Rua de Rosa is a tiny street in my favourite neighbourhood Principe Real. The restaurant is around the corner of Chef Kiko’s first modern little tavern, A Cevicheria. So popular these days that the outside waiting line is an average two hours. But hey, anything for a delicious ceviche.
Young chef Kiko Martins (born in Brasil, ’79 and moved to Portugal at age 11), travelled the world with his wife on a trip he called ‘Eating the World’. This place is inspired by their Asian travels.
The restaurant is surprisingly spacious with high ceilings, large photos of Asian people, black steel and typical portuguese tiles. Modern and classic at the same time in a fusion way. An outside terrace with two small oak trees, where with only the slightest breeze the staff spoils you with soft blankets.
Speaking of staff, this place is very well organised and has a dedicated team. I reminds me of the warm and authentic Asian atmosphere.
The concept is shared dining, 3 to 4 dishes for two. The menu is small and divided into 7 cold dishes, 6 hot and 4 desserts. The couvert is basket with papadum and a slow cooked egg yolk in oyster sauce and wasabi butter.
We share the delicious Laos Ceviche (why stand in line around the corner when it’s on the menu here?), Tom Yam dumplings, Thai rice with suckling pig (for mr. B) and enjoyed a superb desert each: sticky rice Vietnamese and tapioca galangal.
It was an Asian feast and another reason to come back soon to Lisbon. The only not matching thing – for me – is the cutlery. The ones that tilt when resting on the plate and I dunno about steel chopsticks. Actually, I do know: I don’t like that.
Reservations can be made by phone (they speak English) and O Asiático is open for lunch and dinner. I could do both on one day, don’t tempt me.