A rush to find a good restaurant close to the hotel where we were staying and open at 3pm, luckily ended up at Ofício. An atypical “tasca” or tavern, as they like to characterize themselves, but which has nothing to do with a tasca, neither in the food nor in the atmosphere or service.

In 2021, the space was completely renovated, maintaining the vaults that characterize the Chiado so much – in fact, it is an excellent tribute to the history written there, whether or not they were installed in an old and historic Convent. It gained new shapes, colors, graphics, and a new menu, now signed by Hugo Candeias.

Just look at Ofício’s social networks to realize that it reflects well a new gastronomic generation, from cooks, to businessmen and, of course, to customers that it intends to attract and treat as faithful, like any good Portuguese tasco.

Hugo Candeias does not appear by chance; he was also leading the fine dining project The Art Gate – now closed – coming from a busy Barcelona where he had worked alongside Albert Adrià in his Mexican restaurants. An evident experience that we can see in the construction of this Office’s menu, the colors, the techniques, the elements… always with a vibrant side, where good products are worked with precision but without anything intending to be taken too seriously, nothing, except the flavor!A long table to bring back the memory of typical a tasca tables

In a late reservation intended to be quick, we shared a series of snacks without going into the more complex menu elements. We started with good natural oysters from Neptun Pearl from Setúbal and a sparkling Blanc de Noirs from Ribeiro Santo.

Neptun Pearl Oysters

 Coastal Mussels in Escabeche
At the first bite, we know we are in the right place, faultless mussels, well cleaned, treated to the point, and with a light and delicate marinade well refreshed by lemon zest. Delicious with Isco’s great mother dough bread. All that was missing was a few Bonilla à la Vista chips to transport me close to the nirvana of our Spanish brothers.

Beef tartar, marrow, and brioche toasted with olive oil
I have been watching this tartar since its first appearance on social media! Roughly cut with a knife, letting the veins of fat in the meat show through, without excessive seasoning, where the mustard seed pickle stands out, and of course, the marrow, which brings it unctuousness and a depth of flavor challenging to match. Certainly one of the best examples in the capital. Also, a positive note for the toasted brioche, although the excess of green oil masked some of its flavors.

“Atypical Portuguese” gizzards
The typical stewed gizzards that characterize us so much gain the refined touch of haute cuisine here. Exemplary point of cooking, and two different sauces combine to give richness and flavor to the offal. A good contrast was provided by the lime zest, which in the right measure, refreshed and elevated the whole set.

Stewed meat, brioche bread
In a self-respecting tavern, you have to put your cutlery aside and get your hands dirty, which is why this sandwich is so well represented by the gluttony of tascas – juicy, crumbling meat, sauce and fresh, crunchy lettuce. Rich, unctuous, and with a je ne sais quoi of refined junk, which is always what you want.Cheesecake
Finally, a Basque cheesecake, or as they call it here – cheesecake by chef Hugo Candeias – a version of the classic pie immortalized by La Viña and whose fashion and madness spread throughout Spain. One of those avid consumers of cheese pie is myself, and with a good dose of ingested calories, I can say that it rivals the best in the neighboring country. In Madrid or Barcelona, Ofício would have to queue at the door just so they could buy this pie.

With this in mind, the chef and the Paradigma Group (restaurant owners) are preparing to open Dona by Hugo Candeias, a space dedicated to this piece of heaven.

By mid-afternoon, we were already alone in the space and entitled to service with an explanation from the chef included, so there is nothing to point out if not the fluidity and relaxation of times and service (especially when we are accompanied by a tiny baby). In the wine list, I felt that there was room for a better match with the space, with fewer classic proposals, but that did not necessarily have to fall exclusively into the natural trend; that said, today, I see that these changes have taken place and that the menu is now much more enjoyable.

Final remarks
I quickly understand who has made Ofício a second home and that their customers, foodies or not, do not stop recommending it. Well-designed space, good music, differentiated dishes in product and technique with fair prices (a rarity in cosmopolitan Portugal). The dynamics of taverns, snacks, and doing it in a modern way without neglecting comfort and respecting the recipes is a difficult balance to achieve and for which this Office is more than to be congratulated.

Now we just have to go back to try more substantial dishes that I’ve been eyeing for months on the oven rice and the ray with herbs sauce, that and one more excuse to bring another whole cheese tart to Porto.

Prices from 30€ – (without wines)
Rua Nova da Trindade, 11k – 1200-301 Lisboa
+351 910 456 440

Versão Portuguesa

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Memmo Príncipe Real

Today, allow me to introduce you to Memmo Príncipe Real, a haven of dreams and experiences, where history mixes with modernity and luxury dances to a cozy rhythm.

In the heights of Lisbon, Memmo Príncipe Real rests hidden, modern, and majestic, gazing at the city with adoring love. His terrace, a belvedere of wonders, envelops us in a sensation of suspension, where, at the top of the hill, we witness a dazzling spectacle over downtown Pombaline.

Since opening at the end of 2016, this hotel has enchanted visitors with its cosmopolitan atmosphere, rooted in historical heritage, and a perfect fusion of authenticity and timelessness. Memmo is a living testimony of a past royalty, which is intertwined with the vibrant energy of a new and bustling Lisbon.

First impression
After an unexpected and almost secret passage, we are received in a simple and elegant lobby, far from the hustle and bustle of the big hotels. The warm smile of the welcoming team while a tempting mint tea does the honors of the moment and helps us to rock a little beast in a moment of agitation!

On one side, the Lounge merges with the restaurant, and on the other, the terrace with the swimming pool and a unique horizon that makes one foresee the incredible sunsets whose memories prevailed in time. And the panoramic view over Lisbon… probably one of the best and most idyllic views in the entire city.

The Memmo is a relatively small hotel with an intimate, cozy, and sophisticated atmosphere.

Memmo is a shelter of intimacy, a cozy and sophisticated refuge that emphasizes the title of Boutique Hotel. Its rooms, 41 in total, are an invitation to tranquility. In our Superior City View Room, on the fourth floor, the highest in the hotel, we were treated to a panoramic view of the entire city. The generous 26m² ornamented with contemporary decor, punctuated by luxurious details that made all the difference.

A Bang & Olufsen television, a Marshall Mini-Station, an extraordinarily comfortable bed with Egyptian cotton sheets, Hermès toiletries, a welcome cocktail service, where we had the pleasure of making our own Port Tonic, as well as different teas and coffee at our disposal.

But a fascinating detail completed the room, a unique accessory – a hat in the style of The Son of Man – that changed places whenever the staff wanted to cheer us up with a message, making our stay and our day even more special.

The hotel has Café Príncipe Real, located behind reception, facing the terrace and pool. An elegant space with the necessary comfort to accompany all the meals of the day and, in the end, become a fantastic rooftop overlooking Lisbon. For guests and visitors, this meeting place features traditional Portuguese cuisine with Mediterranean and international touches, which pretend to take us on an unforgettable sensory journey.

In addition to the usual services of any luxury hotel, Memmo Príncipe Real offers a unique space for events. Armazém M – Memmo Meeting Space, an old warehouse recovered, can accommodate up to 50 guests, providing a privileged view of Lisbon.

However, the hotel’s ex-libris perhaps resides in its terrace (already mentioned here), an authentic viewpoint where the contrasts so characteristic of Lisbon merge at our feet. Drinking a cocktail, enjoying the sunset, and immersing yourself in a cosmopolitan atmosphere, rocked by good music is one of the best feelings we can experience.

In this space, we also find the swimming pool, an invitation to moments of rest and enjoyment, even with less privacy than desired.

The hotel’s team is friendly and attentive, working masterfully to make every moment a memorable experience without letting their presence be imposed, precisely as expected from a luxury hotel.

Memmo Príncipe Real is one of those places that we yearn to return to, either because luxury and comfort merge with excellence or because we experience contemporaneity in one of the most historic areas of Lisbon.

Memmo Príncipe Real
Rooms from 290€
Rua D. Pedro V, 56J – Lisbon

Portuguese Version

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Ministry of crab

Anyone who has visited Singapore and is interested in gastronomy has heard of its famous Chilli Crab, a sumptuous dish of spicy and sweet flavors that quickly takes us to the seafood Olympus when prepared with exceptional products and care. The recipe originated from Malaysia and took Singapore by storm in the 1960s thanks to its strong Malay community; most people need to learn that most of these magnificent mud crabs make their way to the city-state from Sri Lanka.

In the past, the mud crab was a common element of the country’s cuisine. Still, the demand for export crabs, which can cost hundreds of dollars, has made this delicious crustacean practically disappear from Sinhalese homes and restaurants.

On the board, we can see the sizes of crabs available on the day.

That was the premise for creating Ministry of Crab when chef Dharshan Munidasa while recording one of his TV shows, became fully aware that one of his country’s noblest products was more valued outside than inside. Two legends of national cricket joined Dharshan, and in 2011 the “ministry” was born, installed in the historic Dutch Hospital in Colombo, and with the registered intention of serving the best that the country has to offer, be it crabs, prawns -Malay giants or the beautiful spices. Frozen shellfish are not allowed here (there are not even freezers), the minimum caliber is 1/2 kg to ensure the continuity of the species; and the best that their suppliers have is what arrives at the restaurant every day.

The decoration maintains respect for the design of the historic Dutch building, with wood and orange fabrics occupying a large part of the restaurant, the highlight going to the Crabs and Shrimps displayed right in the open kitchen.

A “small” specimen that ended up on the table

“Keep Calm and Crab On” is the motto, and that’s what we followed to the table; we started with good bread and butter and a refreshing Dharshan answer to sugar-laden sodas, Iced Tea Soda, made with peach lime tea and soda.

Local Oysters – Aged Soy, Hot Sauce, and Lime
A good start with oysters raised in Sri Lanka served well chilled with a bit of spice, a great aged soybean, fruit of the chef’s Japanese origins, and lime to refresh the set.

Crab Pâté – melba toasts and palm sugar syrup
This moment was a real snap, an umami bomb that should serve as a lesson to all the mayonnaise-filled “cobbler fillings” we find all over Portugal. The inside of the crab is slow-cooked, reduced, and ground with good seasoning. Delicious on toast and Kade bread, a ubiquitous bread in Sri Lanka.

Giant Freshwater Prawn – Chili Garlic Sauce
Big, with the head filled with flavour and the body cooked to the right point, it went perfectly with the olive oil, garlic, and chili sauce. Spicy enough it was impossible not to lick your fingers every time.

Mud Crab – black pepper sauce
I had already eaten good specimens in Singapore, but this crab took everything to another dimension. Sweet, juicy, buttery, spicy, and rich are some adjectives we can put on the table when enjoying one of these specimens. We can quickly look at this crab and Darshan’s work as we look at Elkano and his Turbot. Unique and unmissable for anyone visiting the country!

Coconut Crème Brûlée
To end a party that had already been going on for a long time, we couldn’t leave without a dessert made with coconut, or this wasn’t the coconut used for everything in Sri Lanka, here the coconut traveled to France to combine with a delicate brûlée that turned out to be soft, creamy and balanced in sweetness. A happy ending!

The service was relaxed and informal, but knowledgeable about the product and room techniques.

Final remarks
Dharshan’s work in preserving, restoring, and paying homage to such a noble product from his country is unique. It reveals his Japanese roots, where perseverance and resilience are more common among cooks. The product that arrives at the table is of rare beauty and quality, and the kitchen knows how to respect it with Japanese precision. Ministry of Crab is indeed one of those restaurants that make the detour and destination worth it while staying in our memory for a long time. Did you come back? I will definitely be back; this crab is one of the most important reasons to return to this enchanting country.

This is what being an ambassador of culture and cuisine is!

Ministry of Crab
Prices from 80€ – (without wines)
Old Dutch Hospital Complex, 04 Hospital St, Colombo – Sri Lanka
+94 77 0024823

Portuguese Version

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SRI LANKA – The fortified city of Galle and the city founded by the Portuguese – Part III

After a few days in the jungle living to the fullest and desperately trying to see leopards, it was time to head to Galle!

The city of Galle and its fortifications are the most vivid proof of the Dutch occupation. The Fort, built in 1663, still has the grandeur of other times. The solid walls along Galle make you travel back in time. The oldest part of the city is surrounded by the walls, where you can get lost and discover typical Dutch houses, little shops, cafes and restaurants, and several museums and churches.

Take your time, and enjoy this piece of history and architecture!

After a beautiful day in Galle, we headed towards the only days of total rest at the new Cinnamon Bentota Beach. A little paradise right on top of Bentota Beach, known as one of the most beautiful beaches in the country. This hotel had just opened, and some work was still ongoing. It’s a beautiful place but with those flaws typical of those just starting out! We had a series of incidents, but they were overcome by the genuine friendliness of the staff.

Bentota Beach

We know that the hotel was closed after the pandemic and is now starting to try to find its place. To understand the authenticity of the staff, during the quarantine, we received messages from the hotel manager asking how we were doing and how things were in our country.

In fact, at one point, we had a whole afternoon talking to the manager during our stay, and we ended up telling him that we write about hotels and in a very relaxed but sincere way, we told him all the handicaps they were committing and what to do to improve!

The hotel is impressive and has everything to become a reference in the country.

After a few days of relaxation, it was time to end our trip to the country’s most important city – Colombo!

In reality, we sacrificed Colombo for the sake of the other sites during this trip. We spent just one day in the city with a specific objective: to have lunch at Ministry of Crab – but João tells you more about that here!

We just took the opportunity to walk through the chaotic streets and get a small glimpse of the madness in this city.

We were also lucky to have Parveen with us, who gave us a guided tour by car of the most important places to let us with a more accurate idea about the city.
Colombo is the country’s commercial capital, and the political capital is Sri Jayawardenapura-Kotte

The red Mosque, also known as Jami ul-Alfar Mosque

But, if you can, avoid making the same mistake as us and explore the city! This port city has much to offer and shows a lot of local culture in its markets and architecture, whose influence goes back to a true crossroads of different cultures.

The heart of ancient Colombo is the Fort, built by us! We arrived in Sri Lanka in 1505 and made a treaty with the King of Kotte to trade cinnamon (this spice has always been of extreme importance; hence the name cinnamon is everywhere in the country!).

Of course, once we were allowed to stay in the city, it was only a matter of time before we drove out the locals and managed to take over the kingdom. To this day, that part of the city started by Portuguese hands is known as Fort.

Presidential Palace

The Presidential Palace and many of the city’s hotels are located in this area, which was heavily affected by the Civil War and remains heavily policed today.

Although I haven’t been able to visit yet, from my research and what Parveen has shown us, there are certain places in Colombo that are highly recommended to visit:

Clocktower Lighthouse – from 1987 it was intended to be the highest point in the city.
Old Galle Buch Lighthouse – from 1954 that has a naval base.
Dutch Hospital – former hospital but now full of bars and restaurants
Sri Kailawasanathar Swami Devasthanam – beautiful Hindu temple.

Acabamos por passear bastante a pé pela área de Pettah, que fica fora do Forte, com as suas ruelas e mais ruelas de tudo o que é local e artesanal, o caos completo! Aqui ainda tentamos visitar a Mesquita Jami ul-Alfar, mas estava encerrada, pelo que pudemos apenas vislumbrar a sua fachada vermelha e branca.
Para quem quiser explorar os templos, tem também:
Templo Budista de Gangaramaya – um dos mais antigos da cidade.
Templo Seema Malaka – no lago Beira já do século XX, do renomado arquiteto Geoffrey Bawa.
Templo de Kelaniya Raja Maha Vihara – templo mais importante de Colombo.

We spent some time walking around the Pettah area, which is located outside the Fort. It was a maze of local and artisanal shops, with alleys leading to more alleys. Despite the chaos, we attempted to visit the Jami ul-Alfar Mosque, but unfortunately, it was closed. We only got a glimpse of its impressive red and white facade. For those interested in exploring temples, there are several options, including:

Gangaramaya Buddhist Temple – one of the oldest in the city;
Seema Malaka Temple – located on Lake Beira, designed by renowned architect Geoffrey Bawa in the 20th century.
Kelaniya Raja Maha Vihara Temple – considered the most important temple in Colombo.

Also unmissable:
Independence Memorial – built in 1948 when Sri Lanka gained independence from England.
Vihara Mahadevi Gardens – with its Buddhist statue in front of the Town Hall building and the National Museum.
The city deserves two days! But with a shorter journey, options had to be made!

Now we can only go back to Sri Lanka to do everything that remains to be done!
When we left the country, we didn’t know that this would be our last trip for a long time, nor did we know that we had to keep this trip very well in our minds because it would be the last one before what came to change our world for the longest time. More Than we would imagine!

We are grateful for Sri Lanka’s warm hospitality.

We promise to come back!

Versão Portuguesa

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Leopard Safaris

Sri Lanka was to be one of the trips of our lifetime. Culture, nature, and adventure were this trip’s motto; therefore, we needed to stay in the middle of the jungle to fulfill it!
The choice fell on Leopard Safaris; with this name, the stay promised!

Leopard Safaris is located practically in the Yala National Park, and as we really wanted to visit this park, this would be the ideal place to stay.
We spent two nights in the middle of the jungle and total communion with nature. It is not a hotel but a luxury tented camp in the middle of nature.

If you know me, you know that the name “Leopard” caught my attention instantly; remember my passion for Kruger Park at &Beyond Ngala. Here’s the article you must read about that trip.

The Camp is divided into a common area, a living room, a bar and a library, whose decoration involves the colors of nature and the textures of the jungle, next to this area we have a pleasant swimming pool and relaxation area, and next to it, a kind of tree house subtly involved in the natural environment of green that reigns throughout the space.

Rooms and small family houses are distributed throughout the complex. Speaking of families, the staff only recommends staying with children over five years old.

We stayed in a tent consisting of a bedroom and an incredible bathroom. “A tent” isn’t exactly the best name for what you can see in the picture, and the truth is that I’ve seen much less attractive hotel rooms! The entrance to the tent had a swing and some carved wooden chairs that made the honors of my late afternoon rest.

Inside, all the comfort expected of a good hotel room was waiting for us, the bed was great, and the sounds of nature we heard throughout the night were both frightening and exciting.

At Leopard Safaris, activities always come down to something related to nature, whether through walks around the complex, safaris to the Yala National Park, or gatherings in places meticulously chosen by the team.

We had the opportunity to do two Safaris to Yala; unfortunately, we didn’t see leopards! The jungle is very different from the savannah; the vegetation is very dense, so we can only see the animals when they move along the paths traced by man throughout the park.

The park has vast areas one can’t visit, limiting what you can see. But we saw crocodiles! They could be more pretty, but they’re quite exciting too! We also had the opportunity to see several species of monkeys, different birds, and elephants.

The colors of Yala are unique, and the sunset, when it happens, blends with nature in such a unique way that I had never seen it before. It’s stunningly beautiful!

One of the most positive points of this stay was the gastronomy. The local food they serve at Leopards Safaris was some of the best we ate during our trip to Sri Lanka. Local cuisine, local products, and dishes made by people with good souls!

Leopard Safaris has a constant concern for the environment. Therefore, all its conduct is to work most sustainably. The complex is perfectly framed in nature; the colors and materials were used and combined so that they also seem like part of the jungle. They also tried to ban plastic almost entirely from the property, and no trees were destroyed during the complex construction.

Considering that, they also invite each guest to plant a tree! Therefore, I can now cross off my life list: “Plant a tree”!

It was an experience that only sinned for the lack of Leopards, but that is something we can’t control because, in the jungle, our species does not rule absolutely anything!

The connection to nature in its purest form and the constant friendliness of all the staff made this stay memorable!

See you soon Leopard Safaris!

Leopard Safaris Yala by KK Collection
Rooms from 450€ per person (all inclusive)
ld Katagamuwa Road Kochipatana, 01234 Yala – Sri Lanka

English Version

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SRI LANKA – Religion, Teas, and Jungle – Part II

Dalada Maligawa

Kandy – the religious heart of Sri Lanka!

Kandy is known as the capital of mountains. The city stands out for its beauty and for being the heart of the country in terms of religion. This is where we can find the Dalada Maligawa – an architectural complex made of pink pavilions with red roofs where the Temple of the Tooth of Buddha is located, the most important place of worship for Buddhists.

In addition, we can also find other religious buildings that stand out, such as the Temple of Kataragama, the Temple of Vishnu, the Temple of Pattini, the Temple of Natha Devala, as well as the Monastery of Asigiriya with a huge library and the Monastery of Malwata.

But let’s focus on the most important temple in the country: The Temple of Sacred Tooth Buda Relic.
The Sacred Tooth Relic is (supposedly) the right canine tooth of Gautama Buddha, the 28th Buddha, cremated in India around the 5th century BC, and brought to Sri Lanka

The Temple complex is imposing but is loaded with tourists as it is the most visited site in the country. It is a real bustle of local people, tourists, and monks! This temple was built in 1592 by King Vimaladharmasooriya I, having already been renovated, restored, and expanded.

On the shores of Lake Kandy, this complex comprises the Royal Palace of Kandy, which currently operates as a museum, the courtroom of the court of Sri Lanka, where they still held official ceremonies today, the National Museum of Kandy, the Buddhist Museum, and an octagonal area that is currently a library.

Right at the entrance is a corridor flanked by gardens and statues, and from here, it is possible to admire all the beauty of the complex.
The main attraction – the Sacred Tooth – is found inside seven bell-shaped objects used to store essential artifacts that we can find in the Handun Kunama shrine. This shrine is in a courtyard surrounded by the accommodation buildings of the resident monks and decorated with a golden roof.

Supposedly somebody took this relic from the remains of the Buddha after he was cremated around the 5th century BC. Centuries later, they brought it to Sri Lanka. The Sacred Tooth is worshiped three times a day by several monks – morning, midday, and evening.

After seeing the most significant relic of the country, it was time to stop for lunch. And for that, nothing better than local food in a market for locals and not for tourists!

Very close to the temple complex, there is a small market with various specialties from the country, very traditional and very authentic. Parveen recommended it to us, even though we had already read about it.

Obviously, as soon as they arrive at the place, they think: “Hmmm, this is going to be a mess, but well, let’s try it!”.


Anyone who knows me and reads our articles already knows that I love to try everything and that, unfortunately, I always get sick, but I keep doing the same, and in fact, I think I will do it forever! João and I shared a series of dishes, and it felt like life. Friendly and genuine people, low prices, good food, and an authentic experience!
Needless to say, four hours later, I was vomiting my soul (but I assure you that if I could go back, I would try everything again!).

After the market, we spent the afternoon learning about Tea at one of the biggest producers in Sri Lanka – Blue Field Tea Factory, located between Kandy and Nuwara Eliya.

Blue Field Tea Factory

This place is one of the most popular tea factories in the country, controlling a large property around it and producing high-quality tea that is appreciated all over the world. When visiting the Bluefield Tea Factory, it is possible to walk along some of the plantations and visit the factory itself, following the entire tea manufacturing process. Ending the visit at the shop where we not only taste the tea but also buy it. Which, of course, we did!

Não percam uma visita a uma das plantações de chá e provem sempre que puderem! Digamos que o chá e as suas plantações estão para o Sri Lanka como o douro e o vinho está para Portugal!

Dia preenchido merecia um hotel histórico – escolhemos o Heritance Tea Factory com um autêntico cenário de fábrica antiga, que quase nos remeteu para a
mágica e excêntrica fábrica de chocolate de Willy Wonka! O cenário já era perfeito mas foi levado ao expoente máximo quando no dia a seguir acordamos
acima das nuvens (o hotel fica no alto de Nuwara Eliya) com o mais belo nascer do sol de sempre!

The most exciting sunrise I’ve ever experienced.

Field workers at Heritance Tea Factory

Having the privilege of witnessing the best sunrises and sunsets ever in just one trip is to be commended!

I’ve been in Sri Lanka for four days, and I’m falling more and more in love with this country and its people. Today was the day to take what is considered the most scenic train trip in the world (forgive me who said this, but I’ve never taken a train trip through the Douro, that’s for sure!). We took the train from Nuwara Eliya to Ella, believing that this was going to be one of the highlights of our trip. But honestly, it wasn’t.

Train station at Nuwara Eliya

I love trains, it’s probably my favorite means of transport, so when we decided to include this trip in our itinerary, my expectations skyrocketed. What did I already tell you about expectations?! Then! Control them, always!!!

Tickets must be bought in advance; they have second and first class and all the articles on the internet advise you to choose the second class because the first one has air conditioning and supposedly afterward they won’t let you open the windows or go to the doors to better see the landscape! Forget it!

First class

Buy first! Which, in reality, is not first-class seats; it is equal to the second! The only difference is that they have a place for you where you can put your stuff and sit down whenever you want to sit down! In the second class, it’s basically chaos!

Yes, you can open the windows (because the air conditioning is a poorly functioning fan hanging from the ceiling!), you can get up and go to the door to see the landscape, you can do anything, in fact! The journey on a normal train would take about 45 minutes, but on this one, as we are going at 10km/h, it takes about 3.5 hours! When I say 10km/h, I’m not exaggerating; in some areas, you can go out with it in motion, photograph places, and get back in!

As for the landscape, as I tell you, I much prefer my Douro! I don’t think we had the opportunity to see the best landscapes in Sri Lanka. I expected much more. I thought we were going to contemplate that incredible image of the Bridge of Nine Arches, but no. Perhaps our mistake in choosing the route; we should have taken the trip from Kandy to Ella and not from Nuwara Elyia to Ella. But honestly, 3h30min already reached me; the longest is about 7h!

Waterfall in Ella

Well, with this adventure over, it was time to head to the jungle! Yes, true to the jungle! In the amazing Leopard’s Safari!
Anyone who reads my articles knows my passion for safaris and especially for Leopards; if you don’t know, run and read this article. (&beyond Ngala).

We wanted to visit Yala National Park, and for that, there was no better place than Leopard’s Safari, which is very close to the park. We arrived in the afternoon, and I felt so at home that I didn’t want to do anything else that day but explore this little luxury retreat right in the middle of the jungle!

But for that, you better read the whole article about this magical place (here).

Versão Portuguesa

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SRI LANKA – The Millennial History – Part I

Now that you know what you need to travel to Sri Lanka, let’s travel around this incredible country!

Sri Lanka is a country with an infinite cultural diversity.
The different ethnicities and immense history make Sri Lanka a very, very special place.
It is the birthplace of one of the oldest and purest strains of Buddhism – which makes it even more special to me, as I am so sympathetic to this religion.

Colombo, the ancient cities of Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa and Sigiriya – the country’s golden age – Kandy with its tea plantations, the Yala National Park, the fortified city of Galle and the beaches are more than enough reasons to fall in love with this country!

There were places I had put on the “not to be missed” list – the ancient cities of Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa and Sigiriya, the Kandy region, and a safari in Yala.

A walk in the historic ruins of Polonnaruwa

We divided our trip by regions.
We flew to Colombo (which is in the west) but from there we went straight to Dambulla which is in the central region near Sigiriya – a trip we already made with Parveen who had picked us up at Colombo airport, and which lasted about 4 hours .

Let’s start with the first three days, which were the hardest to discover the oldest and most historic cities in the country!

Dambulla Golden Temple
World Heritage since 1991, this site consisting of five caves with Buddhist temples forces you to climb huge steps (or so I thought, until I climbed Sigiriya and Pirudangala!) in rock to contemplate its beauty.
The most imposing image is the 15-meter reclining Buddha. The caves are imposingly decorated with gold and colorful frescoes with religious images.

This temple had its history marked by the refuge of King Valagam when he was expelled from Anuradhapura. Upon his return to the throne he had the site transformed into a sacred temple of worship.

Os main inhabitants of the temple

The stunning view of the Golden Temple was a small omen of what would turn out to be the rest of the trip

From here, and quite exhausted from the trip, we decided to head to the hotel where we would stay for the first few nights, the Jetwing Lake Dambulla Sri Lanka.

Sunset at the Jetwing pool

The following day we started very early on the adventure of visiting the two ancient cities – Sigiriya and Pollonnaruwa.

Starting the day climbing about 700 steps is just sick, right? But that’s precisely what we did!

Lion’s Rock in Sigiriya
The ruins of Sigiriya Palace, at the top of Lion’s Rock, are the country’s biggest attraction. Walking through gardens that were once an immense water distribution complex and an authentic city, the palace is only accessible to those willing to climb more than 700 steps.
This kingdom emerged in the 5th century, on top of a rock 375 meters high.

The king at his castle

The terrible Kassyapa killed his father to seize power. He ruled the kingdom for 18 years, but obviously, he had to take refuge in a place of difficult access in order not to be captured and killed. And so he decided to make a palace almost touching the sky! This historic and incredible complex is shaped like a lion, hence the name.
Right at the entrance we can see the gigantic paws of the lion.

Mas depois do desafio de chegar ao topo da rocha por umas escadas íngremes e rudimentares ficamos em modo perplexo tamanha é a beleza.
Na realidade, o Sri Lanka é de todos os países que já visitei o que tem as vistas mais impressionantes.
Como é possível há 2500 anos atrás terem a capacidade de construir um complexo no topo duma montanha com aquela grandeza e imponência?

But after the challenge of reaching the top of the rock by some steep and rudimentary stairs, we were in perplexed mode, such is the beauty.
In fact, Sri Lanka has the most impressive views of all the countries I’ve visited.
How is it possible 2500 years ago to have the ability to build a complex on top of a mountain with that grandiosity and lordliness?

Even before we reach the top, we have a plain as far as the eye can see, adorned with statues among the vegetation.
At the top of the rock, only the remains of what was once a grandiose and insane complex with gardens, fountains, royal pools, palace and temples remain. Obviously this complex is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

From here we head to Pollonnaruwa.

Pollonaruva is an architectural complex filled with palaces, bridges, meeting rooms, royal baths, monasteries, various temples and numerous Buddha statues.
It has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1982.

Tip: take flip flops, espadrilles or flat sandals that are easy to remove. Whenever you enter sacred ground, you have to take off your shoes.
Also take shoulders and legs covered. As on the trip to Bali we had bought some beautiful Sarongs, we put them in our backpack and we use them all the time.

This complex is huge, consisting essentially of ruins, but which is perfectly perceived as an imposing and highly organized city from other times.

The ideal way to visit Pollonnaruwa is by bicycle or, as we did, with a driver. Why? Because the complex is gigantic and even the ticket office is extremely far from the complex itself!

We visit the Palace of King Nishshanka Malla which is located by Lake Bendiwewa, surrounded by lush gardens, but outside the archaeological complex of Polonnaruwa.

King Nishshanka Malla Palace
We also visit the Royal Palace, at the southern end of the ruins and its incredible friezes carved in stone with magnificent reliefs of elephants.
What I liked the most, and don’t ask me why, was the Sacred Quadrangle of Polonnaruwa. It is a compact group of ruins located on a small elevation of land, surrounded by a wall.

Sacred Quadrangle of Polonnaruwa


This complex is huge and takes a good two hours to visit.

Despite the craziness of the day, and the tiredness, and how funny we thought it was to start the day climbing 700 steps, we decided to end it the same way and went to what was one of our biggest surprises and challenges on this trip.
The mountain of Pidurangala!


It’s not part of the usual Sri Lankan itineraries, but in addition to having read about the breathtaking views over Sigiriya, Parveen told us it was a must-see for the best sunset of our lives.

The easy part of the climb

Not being the usual stopping point, there are very few tourists visiting, which is great, as it becomes a unique experience.

There is a symbolic price to pay at the entrance, as in reality, in addition to this rock formation, the site is home to a temple with a reclining Buddha statue. The focus was not on the temple at all but on the top of the mountain and what would be the best sunset of my life.

Parveen accompanied us all the way, which gave us some confidence, since I didn’t know that, in reality, the journey was quite complicated!
The first part consists of very irregular stairs, rocky and clearly made by secular use. They are no longer easy stairs but they are easily climbable!

We couldn’t make it easier because the time of sunset was approaching and the mountain still takes a while to be traversed, especially if other people are coming down (there’s only one path and it’s not that spacious).

It was an incredible feeling, diving into the dense forest without knowing very well what was waiting for us. It’s just that it doesn’t really have a script. As I told you, it is not a place that is part of the usual places to visit, which is why nothing is organized in that sense. It is done under the responsibility of each one. I believe that the fact that I turned 36 that day enhanced the experience!

Along the way we found a small cave where another reclining Buddha, made of brick, rested.

Only at the end of the climb I realized that I did not know what I was going to do, definitely! Yes, it’s one thing to climb meander and difficult steps, another very different is to climb granite rocks!!!
I’m even a person who goes to the gym with a certain regularity, but that was quite exaggerated, besides being a bit the dangerous! The fact that Parveen was climbing with us has made a big difference.

Tip: wear sneakers and comfortable clothes on this day! You’re going to need it!


 The view from Sigiriya

Mas, na realidade, viam-se crianças a acompanhar os pais, por isso, se elas conseguiam eu também conseguia! Assumo que na última rocha a coisa não foi fácil, mas tive a ajuda doutros turistas que já se encontravam no topo e me puxaram.

Mas… mal percebi a dimensão do que se via do cimo de Pidurangala, todo aquele esforço se desvaneceu num ápice. Dum lado Sigiriya, e a toda a volta apenas verde, muito verde, muita floresta, muita natureza. O céu estava perfeito, o sol estava quase a pôr-se, e aquele momento foi, indubitavelmente, um dos mais perfeitos da minha vida.

But in reality, there were children accompanying their parents, so if they could, I could, too! I must say that in the last rock, things were not that easy, but I had the help of other tourists who were already at the top and pulled me.

But… As soon as I realized the dimension of what we could see from the top of Pidurangala, all that effort faded at a glance. On one side Sigiriya, and all around just green, very green, lots of forest, lots of nature. The sky was perfect, the sun was about to set, and that moment was undoubtedly one of the most perfect moments of my life.

A unique moment!

That day ended in an exemacity! It was time to rest because the next day the time would also be filled!
We stayed only 10 days in Sri Lanka, if we could have stayed much longer? We could, but like I told you, we have a clinic to run, and that limits us on time.

But these  10 days were immensely taken advantage of. It always makes me a bit crazy when I hear some people saying,
“oh, just for 8 days it’s not even worth going that far, these trips are three weeks at least. That’s why I’ve never been to these kind of countries!”

Convince yourself of one thing: time is the least of your problems! If I have the chance to travel and be happy for 10 days, I’m not going to do it because I should go three weeks?

Anyone who uses this as an argument does not like to travel or will never do so, but loves to issue their opinion on the subject!

With the ancient and historical region of the country seen it was time to lighten the trip and go to Kandy!

Versão Portuguesa

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Sri Lanka – everything you need to know before you travel


This article will have a very special place in my world, in this new post Covid-19 era. Our last adventure, or rather, the last adventure in travel format!

Sri Lanka has always been one of those dream destinations. It’s been part of my travel plans to Asia for as long as I can remember (thankfully, I’m only missing Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar, Japan, Philippines… ok, let’s stop!).

We started preparing this trip towards the end of 2019, at a time when we were traveling through Paris and Istanbul (I have this sick habit of preparing the next destinations while still making the previous trip!). And we were thinking about March to do it, but at that time the clinic already has an unmanageable schedule (yes, our life is not just travelling, we have a medical clinic that gives us both, love and hard work). So, and thankfully, we decided to travel at the end of January around my birthday.

In March, chaos was already installed all over the world… and the rest of the story is already known!

But let’s focus on Sri Lanka and forget about this Pandemic that changed our lives, we are in 2022 and the world is now starting to show signs of a modest return to normality – it would be better if someone hadn’t decided to start a war now.. .

The breathtaking view of Nuwara-Eliya

Brief History

Sri Lanka’s history is at least 3000 years old, with evidence of prehistoric settlements dating back 125,000 years. The excellent geographical location and its ports made Sri Lanka a very important strategic point from the ancient Silk Road until the Second World War. Records say that in the 6th century BC, the Sinhalese people (or Sinhala) migrated to the island from India. Before that the island would have been occupied by Malays.

Vijaya is said to have been the first Sinhalese king, in 543 BC. and the first kingdom of Sri Lanka will have had its capital in Anuradhapura. In the 3rd century BC, the Sinhalese converted to Buddhism and the island became a center for Buddhist studies and missionary work. This religious conversion would have been the main cause of separation between Sri Lanka and the culture of South India.

Anuradhapura remained the capital of the Sinhalese kingdom until the 8th century, when it was replaced by Polonnaruwa.

  Some of Polonnaruwa ruins

From the south of India, the Tamils arrived on the island, starting intense conflicts with the Sinhalese people from the 3rd century onwards. For much of the first millennium, the island was controlled by several princes of Tamil origin. But in the 12th century one of the most important Sinhalese kings, Prakrama Bahu, defeated the Tamils, unifying the island under his rule.

In the 15th century, the island was attacked by China, and for thirty years, local kings paid tribute to the Chinese emperor.

The Portuguese, as always, played a leading role in the creation and development of this country, and much of our history is still felt in some areas of Sri Lanka as well as in their language.

We were the first Europeans to arrive there, in 1505 and we founded the city of Columbus in 1517, we took Christianity with us but from 1600 onwards we ended up being defeated by the Dutch who joined the local Buddhist people who hated us! However, as early as 1800 the British occupied Sri Lanka and introduced the cultivation of tea, coffee and rubber. This English occupation continued until 1948, when Sri Lanka became independent, leaving its mark on the people’s daily lives as well as on their culture.

A Civil War ensued again from 1983 to 2009 between Tamil guerrillas and the Sinhalese army.

Currently the country is going through a good period of development and peace (at least until it was devastated by this Pandemic).

the streets of Kandy

How to get to Sri Lanka, what to pack, and how to get there:

For Portuguese travelers know that there is no mandatory vaccine, obviously having already taken the Hepatitis A, B, Rabies, Typhoid Fever and Japanese Encephalitis can be interesting. We’ve traveled around Asia quite a bit so we already had most of them. For travelers from places with risk of transmission of Yellow Fever, it is mandatory to take this vaccine.

As for Malaria, the risk of contracting it is extremely low.

But, I advise you to do the Traveler’s Consultation about a month and a half before the trip (if you are in Portugal look for Dr. Sandra Xará at the Uffizi Clinic).

the most famous habitants in Sigiriya

Do not forget under any circumstances:

  • Repellent – for those who like us did Safaris and walked through the tea plantations, its use is extremely important.
  • Sunscreen – use and abuse even if you don’t walk on the beach, because the climate is quite different from our own!

Speaking of climate, Sri Lanka has two types of monsoons, one that hits the north and east of the country from the northeast between October and January and another coming from the southwest that hits the country between May and August along the south and west coast.

Therefore, the best time to travel is from mid-January to mid-April.

Comfortable and fresh. Don’t take too many clothes, organize yourself for days and repeat some pieces combined in a different way, it’s very tiring to carry a full suitcase from one side to the other – yes, because if you go to Sri Lanka don’t just stay in one area or one hotel.

Regarding the places to visit in Sri Lanka, namely the temples, they require clothing that respects the customs and traditions, that is, to be able to enter the religious places, they must wear long pants or skirts, at least that cover the knees, and in the case also long pants or shorts for men. With regard to sweaters, they must cover the shoulders and the belly, both for women and men.

As for footwear, the ideal is also to be comfortable, sneakers are still the most suitable option. In temples you have to take off your shoes before entering, so, on those days, wear something more practical, sandals, flip-flops, or espadrilles, for example.

Gastric protectors and drugs for diarrhea. The cuisine is quite spicy and spicy, which can change your entire gastrointestinal function.
Antihistamines, anti-inflammatories or even a broad spectrum antibiotic (yes, I’m a bit paranoid, that’s what makes being a healthcare professional!).

And finally, Guronsan and Chollagut – to cure hangovers!

First aid:
It costs nothing to be forewarned!
Take curitas, for the blisters that will appear from walking a lot, take saline solution, some compresses and adhesive, so, any small wound you make, you can wash it and apply a small bandage.


From Portugal we flew with Qatar Airlines, stopping in Madrid and Doha, arriving later in Colombo, the flight took about 11 hours in total. For travelers from Brazil, Emirates is one of the best options, making a stopover in Dubai. But from different parts of the globe, the most varied companies fly to Columbus.

Don’t forget – passport valid for 6 months.

You can apply for a Visa online at www.eta.gov.lk, at the time we went the country was offering a visa free of charge in order to promote tourism.

One of the celebrities we met during a Safari

Transport in Sri Lanka:

Do yourself a favor and hire a driver!

Sri Lanka is not big, but everything is immensely far away when the roads suck! A journey that would easily take 30min now takes 3 hours or more!

We hired Mr. Parveen Mendis (yes, it comes from the Portuguese name Mendes) which was amazing. He has kind of a travel company with several drivers/guides and a small fleet of cars – www.tourguideinsrilanka.com . Parveen is also a tour guide and helped us to organize and structure our entire trip. He stayed with us for 10 days and slept in the accommodations provided for drivers close to the hotels where we were staying. It helped us with what to do and what to experience while traveling, what made sense and demystified what didn’t. He did most of the more adventurous trips with us so that we could do them more safely and so that we could understand the details that only the locals know.

At the time, we paid a total of €500 for the 10-day trip, which, on balance, was super affordable, taking into account that it included the car, the spent gasoline, and all the guiding. He was with us from the moment we landed in Colombo until the moment we said goodbye to Sri Lanka.


But now let’s get down to business: what to visit in Sri Lanka?

We only went for 10 days, many more we would need to see everything we wanted. Our friends Eshan and Anika that we met in 2018 in South Africa are from Sri Lanka and have already told us: “you have to come back, there was so much to see and do!”

We will certainly be back! But now read our next article and see how we organized our 10 days in Sri Lanka.

Portuguese Version

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Osteria Gucci

Color and centuries of history on the walls of Osteria Gucci*

Imagine a place where gastronomes, historians and fashionistas can meet in the same room… that place is Osteria Gucci! The restaurant that was born from the combination of the Florentine brand with the highest name in Italian gastronomy, Massimo Bottura, is located in the middle of Plaza della Signoria, in the Gucci Gardens.

The supposed garden is nothing more than the brand’s museum and a dip into the genius of Alessandro Michele, the company’s creative director, where there is no shortage of plants, animals, patterns, a lot of charm and a lot of madness, which is also joined by a signature restaurant that lives and breathes from the same creative trait.

There is not much to say about the decoration, everything is placed in the right measure, in the right place and in the right dose. Of note are the sculpted coats of arms that are part of the city’s history and the private room where we had the privilege of dining. As you would expect, no detail is left to chance, from the menus to the tableware created specifically for the restaurant – my desire is to bring all the service home.

At the helm of the restaurant we found Karime Lopez, a Mexican woman with qualities that assure us that here we won’t be in a restaurant without a chef or soul. Her career has taken her around the world, from working alongside Santi Santamaria to Noma, passing through Mugaritz, Ryugin, Pujol and, of course, Osteria Francesca, and this is a little of what we will find in her Tuscan-influenced menu, where there is no shortage of space for some of her creations.


Already installed whe started with some great gougères to whet the appetite, where the umami notes from the tomato dust made a big upgrade to this small delicacy.

Salumi – Culatello, spalla cotta, mortadella, stroighino
One of those cured meat selections which are impossible to resist. Product carefully selected, well cuted, at room temperature and accompanied by a great choice of breads, especially the long and addictive grissinos. A start without creativity as expected, but with a lot of flavor and demonstrating very well what osteria is all about.

Pollockricotta, chard, tomato and pepper
The technique that immortalized Pollock and the combinations of colors and arrangements that have always been surprising in Bottura’s dishes, here in a ricotta and chard ravioli topped with sauces from the remaining vegetables and a little bechamel to connect all the elements. Beautiful and tasty.

Tortellini in parmigiano reggiano cream
A chef’s signature classic, and perhaps the most traditional of the dishes on the menu. Perfect pasta, good filling and rich sauce, sumptuous but at the same time delicate. One of those dishes that we can simply eat every day without getting tired.

Vieni in Sicilia con Me – risotto, tomato and red prawn
Probably the best and most well-executed dish of the night on par with the tortellinis. Impeccable risotto, creamy and al dente without excesses, good quality prawns, served raw, as required by the rules. All enhanced with the notes of tomato and herbs powder.

Can they make all the risottos around the world like this one?

Emilia Burger – chianina, cotechino, parmigiano reggiano, salsa verde and balsamic mayo
Burger made by combining chianina with cotechino sausage, accompanied by different sauces and brioche bread. Good and delicate burger, but it still doesn’t bring us the happiness of a simple burger like Curb’s (those who follow us on instagram know what I mean).

Purple rain
Desserts bring maximum elegance to the table, or  weren’t we in a haute couture house. Lavender mousse and ice cream combined with different coconut textures. Fresh, light, delicate and flavored as you would expect from a good dessert.

Charley’s Sandwich
A dessert created for Charley, Massimo’s son, that changes with the seasons. Here in a typical ice cream sandwich, elevated to stardom. Hazelnut and chocolate in different textures, a hint of gold and voila. It was enough to eat…

Installed with a small group of friends in the private room, the service was exemplary, always present when necessary and with the professionalism expected from the connection of “two luxury brands”.

Final Remarks

Unlike many restaurants with the signature of star chefs that limit themselves to giving the face and signing of the menu, almost always lacking the soul and pulse, here you can breathe the world of Bottura and some of his most classic recipes such as tortellinis, but the The kitchen is from Karime Lopez, who, with her peculiar way of combining textures and giving elegance to culinary traditions that are not hers, makes this Osteria Gucci much more than a branch. It is a valid restaurant in its own right, so valid that in just over a year it won its first Michelin star and spread around the world with new restaurants in the USA and Japan.

Obviously the combination of Bottura and Gucci comes at a price, so you can’t expect a cheap meal like in many of the great Florentine classics, but it’s far from just another space to see and be seen. Here the gastronomic combination and the fashionista side are made in harmony, satisfying everyone equally, even the gastronome with the soul of Anton Ego.


Osteria Gucci
Prices from 75€ – (whitout wines)
P.za della Signoria, 10 – Firenze
+39 055 062 1744

Versão Portuguesa

Photos: Flavors & Senses and *D.R.

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Casa Marcelo

When speaking about Haute Galician cuisine there are a few names that come to mind, but rarely do we hear  Marcelo Tejedor, even if he probably is the “godfather” of an entire generation of chefs and restaurants with a refined gastronomic predicament.

Graduated alongside Juan Maria Arzak, Jacques Maximin, Paul Bocuse and Alain Ducasse, in 1999 he return to Santiago and started the first of his revolutions. Let’s see, on his first drapery, Casa Marcelo appeared as a gastronomic restaurant, with an open kitchen, where the cooks were many times the elements in the room, and to that he added a single option, a tasting menu – to the reader it may look simple, and you see that everywhere, but in 1999 it was very disruptive.

History, the crises, and a restless brain made Marcelo start another revolution with his project in 2013, the restaurant was then a gastro bar, ending its gastronomic phase based on critics and Michelin stars; being more informal, client-centred and with an offer of modern Galician cuisine all about tapas!

The quick success and the sensitive cuisine of Marcelo and his right hand Martín Vásquez made the Red Guide forget of all its demands (at least in the Portuguese version…) and give it back its Michelin star, keeping it since then.

But on to the night of our visit, installed in the kitchen (the entire restaurant is an open space so we can stay in the red shared table or in different sections of the space) and honoured to have Martín as our cicerone, we chose to put ourselves in their hands and go ahead with our diner.

There’s no better way to start than bread, and what a bread! It’s produced daily at the kitchen of Casa Marcelo and it’s perfect in every way, worth a visit by itself – I would be happy to leave with a basket of it.

Black pearl oyster, padrón pepper
A very delicate oyster paired with a padrón pepper sauce and a spice oil, showcasing the fusion of cultures and flavours the cuisine at Marcelo’s is known for.

Bass “tiradito”, Aji Amarillo
Galician product, Peruvian influence, an amazing tiradito very well balanced in terms of acidity and spicy notes.

Cherry tomato salad, cucumber
A classic at the restaurant, with several versions over the years, and although simple looking, it’s not. Skinless tomato, cucumber granita and a secret sauce that binds all the elements in a beautiful combination of sweetness and acidity. Perfect!

Al ajillo shrimp Har-Gao
Here we start noticing the Asian influence, so well-accomplished experiences that lead to the opening of his recent restaurant Mr Chu. Back to our Har-Gao, the first one was slightly stuck to the plate, losing some of the dough, and its full sensation on the mouth. Having realized that, another one quickly came to the table, brilliantly made! Perfectly cooked shrimp, strong Spanish cuisine notes and a dim sum dough I never found in a non-Asian restaurant.

Grilled sardines, ratatouille
Another house classic that we could eat by the dozen. We could have it like these in our popular festivals, perfect texture, enrichened by the vegetables and a crunchy base to grab, have a bit and feel. Is it asking too much?

Cuttlefish poke
Slightly cooked cuttlefish on its own ink, and sushi rice. Good quality rice, a tasty combo, but the texture of the cuttlefish was not the best. Despite having absolutely nothing wrong with it, it was the least interesting dish of the evening.

Grilled bream, pak choi
Another perfect combination of Galician products with an Asian flavour, with a masterfully use of the grill, the fish was tender and delicate, with an amazing sauce.

Tartar steak
Those who don’t like tartar steak for sure never tried this one, and those who did won’t find enough adjectives for it. It’s got all you could ask of it, and those of you who know me, know who much I like a good tartar steak!

 Spicy Toro poke
Opposite to the cuttlefish poke, this one was perfect – the amazing tuna belly with all its fatness, nicely paired with the spicy notes of the seasoning. One of those dishes you can’t stop eating…

Leak-potato, egg yolk and Iberian bacon 
On the menu since the first version of the restaurant, the potato is cut and pressed to look like a leak, very crunchy, with lots of nuances and gourmand contrasts with the adding of the bacon and the yolk. One of those good sins!

Stewed cherries, mascarpone
It could be a tiramisù, but it was more interesting… The slightly cooked cherry melted perfectly with the delicate mascarpone cream and the sour notes of the cocoa. Very good!

Avocado, pineapple and coconut
Freshness, freshness, freshness, that’s how I like to end my long meals and that’s how we ended a memorable dinner at Casa Marcelo. Flawless textures, acidity, sweetness and fatness in the right proportions. Balance is the name for this dessert!

The wine list is not long, but it has handpicked options, where obviously the Galician wines have the spotlight and the prices are fair. We drank a La Pola 2016, from Ribeira Sacra, made from godello, albariño and dona branca, a wine that went well with the entire meal with its nuances and structure, not being tiring.

The service is frantic and at the same time super professional, leading us into a working scenario where everyone is surrounding the table, preparing the delicacies to be served.

Final Remarks
Thankfully there are people like Marcelo Tejedor, free people willing to take risks, without the fear of others opinions or distinctions. That rare personality, talent, and gastronomic sensitivity make Marcelo such a special chef, probably the most special in all the Galician region. Showing us distant flavours mixed with Galician ones, and also proving that haute cuisine doesn’t need to be still, or have certain service standards or even decoration. It has yes, to show us new paths, open our horizons and surprise us at every bite, and most of all respect the product.

We need more people like Marcelo and more trips like this one we went on as soon as entering the door. I’ll be missing this place and promise a soon return. Lots of returns!

Casa Marcelo
Prices from 45€ – (without wines)
Rua das Hortas, 1, 15705 – Santiago de Compostela – Spain
+34 981 55 85 80

Versão Portuguesa

Photos: Flavors & Senses

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