As a part of our stay at Sheraton Lisboa, we tried out the wonderful Panorama restaurant on the 25th floor. This was the best way to experience dining at height across Lisbon, in one of the tallest buildings. We arrived just in time to watch the sun set over the capital on our first day in Lisbon, which was quite a treat. That was just the start of what was going to be a creative and classic Portuguese tasting menu.
The menu was based around the traditions of the south of Portugal, which is mainly based around seafood. This is due to the fact that it is so readily available, with fishermen out at sea 6 days a week. However, the Portuguese sure know how to put together quite a special menu with the assortments they find out at sea.
We started our meal with an aperitif of champagne, raising a glass with my sister and my travel partner for the week to what was going to be an incredible time in Lisbon.
To start, we were brought over a selection of breads in a lovely woven basket. There was focaccia, olive bread and traditional white loaf bread served with a selection of sea salt, goat milk butter, cows milk butter, olive oil with balsamic vinegar and some seasoning. Lining our stomaches with bread, whilst admiring the beautiful city lit up at night, we waited for the first ‘snack’.
The tomato and chilli pepper represented the the traditional Portuguese salad that is served with salted cod. The concept behind the plant pot and the edible cocoa soil was the growth of these two vegetables. Inside the chilli pepper there was a smooth chickpea paste and inside the tomato was salted codfish – a representation of a popular dish served in a completely unique way. It was a tasty combination and a great way to try a slice of what the dish would taste like.
The second snack was based around a ‘seasonal tree’, across this particular ‘snack’ there were various components to it. Firstly in the cone, there was sea scallop mousse with cured cheese and bee pollen. The scallop mousse was lightly smoked with a mature taste coming from the cheese.
On the other side of the tree, another barren branch held a chocolate and mushroom ‘bonbon’ with Portuguese ‘ILHA’ cheese. This was a very interesting mix of flavours, where we both didn’t quite know what to make of it. The cocoa flavour was quite overpowering with a subtle taste of mushroom following through afterwards.
On the base on the tree, were cubes of meat sauce jelly and codfish fritters, often called “Pasteis Bacalhau”. I wasn’t a fan of the meat sauce jelly, but the codfish fritters were lovely and crisp.
After our snacks were finished, we moved onto the main tasting menu. It started with a light glass of Portuguese white wine, called Monção e Melgaço made with Albariño grapes grown in Galicia (northwest Spain).
Now those that know me well or read my blog posts often, you will know how much I struggle with seafood. However, my sister loves prawns and it being the first dish on the menu I couldn’t ask them to change it – for my sisters sake. I whispered to myself, this trip is all about pushing boundaries and I tried it. I could say it definitely wasn’t for me, but my sister loved it. The tomato and crackers had great flavours and made the dish more bearable for me.
The second dish on the tasting menu was another cod fish dish, which was a specific fish that is found in the Portuguese waters called Zezinha cod fish. It was served with crayfish, fried potato thins, egg yolk, olive puree and coriander sauce.
The fish was perfectly salted and worked perfectly with the array of condiment accompaniments served with it. A simple yet absolutely delicious dish.
The next wine pairing was Morgado de Santa Catherina, from Bucelas wine region. The wine itself had floral and citrus tones that was going to compliment the next fish dish.
The next dish was a fillet of sea bass served with razor clams, green apple and rice. The dish itself was divine, the sea was was flaky and cooked to perfection, whilst the rice had a risotto type consistency with fish stock. It was probably my favourite of the fish dishes.
The next dish was paired with a lovely intense red wine, Quinta de Cidrô which was had blueberry and light but sharp floral notes. Again, Panorama’s sommelier picked out the perfect wine to accompany the dish it was served with.
The loin of veal was the next to be served, which was accompanied with barley in a meat jus and seasonal vegetables. The meat was cooked so well, it just melted in your mouth. The jus provided a lovely extra flavouring and the al dente vegetables offered a nice balance to the dish. It went down a treat and ended up being my favourite overall dish of the night.
Last but not least, we were served up a divine and traditional Pastel Da Nata in a dessert form served with vanilla ice-cream. Crispy filo pastry, filled with creamy custard, with lemon and cinnamon flavours. It was truly delicious!
As a way to finish our meal on an even sweeter note, we were brought out a selection of petit fours from the Panorama kitchen staff as a thank you for dining with them. Complete with little chocolates, squares of fudge and pistachio macarons.
It is a real honour, especially when chefs and hotel staff appreciate what you do and want to personally thank you for tasting their food, that they have spent hours preparing and serving. I honestly had an incredible experience at Panorama Restaurant within the Sheraton Lisboa. I highly recommend it to anyone that wants some fine dining, with impeccable service and views to die for.
Rating for Panorama Restaurant:
Until next time…