Beyond the tourist image of Portuguese cuisine, beyond the grilled sardines and pastéis de nata, lies an innovative food capital that will blow your mind. As if you need another reason to visit Lisbon, the city is at the forefront of redesigning Portuguese cuisine through a blend of old ingredients, new techniques and presentations.
Examples are everywhere, led by famous Portuguese chefs from José Avillez’s Mini Bar to Kiko Martins’ A Cevicheria. But even before them, Serbian-born Ljubomir Stanisic has been busy changing the face of Portuguese fine dining at his 100 Maneiras restaurant since 2009. Anthony Bourdain approves, need I say more?
100 Maneiras Restaurant is not to be confused with their sister restaurant of a similar name, 100 Maneiras Bistro at nearby Largo de Trindade 9. The main difference is that the Restaurant offers a single tasting menu only and is smaller and more intimate, while the Bistro does a la carte with a cocktail bar and private rooms.
Tucked away on a dark street in Bairro Alto, 100 Maneiras is a small, black and white decked restaurant, catering to 30 diners at a time. It’s €60 a head for their testing menu with two optional wine pairing options, regular €40 and premium €60. These prices are Portuguese fine dining, and although pricey for Portuguese standards, excellent value for money. The restaurant is popular with diners celebrating birthdays or anniversaries, and foodies looking for an unforgettable meal. If you enjoy your wines, we recommend the premium wine pairing to experience the best of Portuguese wines from across the country.
The tasting menu changes every few months, except for one signature dish, the “Codfish Clothesline” entree. Served with a coriander and red pepper dip, the dish is quintessentially Portuguese, taking a traditional ingredient – codfish – and presenting it in a way inspired by the clotheslines you see hanging off the streets of Lisbon. Always pushing the boundaries, next up was a cuttlefish cappuccino. Try not to be intimidated by the squid ink colouring, this was essentially a soup, as delicious as it was creative.
The next dish was the aptly named “Talking Head 2.0,” a red crispy prawn head with curry mayonnaise, followed by “The Famous Four,” trout tartare with tapioca, tomato gazpacho and onion pickle. This was one of our favourite dishes of the night, as the combination of tartare with tapioca was divine.
It was followed by another seafood offering called “Here Comes The Sea,” consisting of European lobster, red mullet, caviar and foie gras. Followed by “Ocean Foam,” a codfish main with fish stew, guacamole, fake tomato and cheese foam. Before the final meat dish, we washed our palates with a granita palate cleanser served in an interesting large white bowl.
Finally, “Belly Dance,” with pork belly, parsnip puree, persimmon, and fake osso bucco, which turned out to be a potato filled with gravy. Before your stomach realises just how much food it’s trying to digest, we recommend getting in the next two desserts quickly! First, an almond praline ice cream called “Long Live the Queen” followed by a delicious coffee and chocolate dessert called the “Jackie Brown”. Always unforgettable, definitely unmissable.