• Jenni Lien

Casa Lisboa | A wonderful Portuguese brunch experience


Casa Lisboa, the newest, coolest Portuguese restaurant in town (IMHO), just launched their brunch menu on October 7. It’s an eight course affair, with six appetizers and a choice of main course and dessert. While it’s not a semi-buffet or buffet extravaganza, guests leave more than full. In fact, this may be a plus point because guests get their fill of delicious and well-curated food at the reasonable price of $350; $100 to $200 less than their semi-buffet/buffet competitors. The brunch is offered on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays.


So, what was served?

Starters

Guests are brought each of the starters below:

  1. Garlic octopus

  2. “Sapateira” Portuguese cold crab salad

  3. “Aletejo Gazpacho” cold soup

  4. Clams Casa Lisboa

  5. Codfish cakes

  6. “Algarvia Tartare” beetroot and goat cheese salad





Of the starters, the garlic octopus and clams Casa Lisboa were my favourite. The octopus stoot out for the quality of the flesh, which was enhanced with soft, tender cloves cooked in olive oil. An absolute must eat for fans of sweet garlic flesh. It was also a tad spicy. The clams were incredibly fresh and large, with a moreish dressing. Clams are first pan-fried in olive oil before white wine, butter, lemon juice and coriander are added.

Main course

Guests choose one of the six options below:

  1. Casa Lisboa “Francesinha” sandwich

  2. Bacalhau a Bras

  3. “Arroz de Pato” Portuguese duck rice

  4. Codfish in “Caldeirada” sauce

  5. Portuguese seafood rice

  6. “Leitao a Bairrada” Portuguese suckling pig

We chose the sandwich and the bacalhau. Just reading the description for the sandwich made me salivate. Beef tenderloin, pork belly, chorizo, cheese and an egg with a seafood dressing? Yes, please! It was a hearty, calorific choice for brunch. This is a luxe twist on a traditional dish from the Northern Portuguese city of Porto. The fat fries were also worth mentioning for being crispy, soft, and naked (aka without batter).


I’m a fan of bacalhau (dried salted cod) though sometimes it can be too salty. No issue with this version though. It was beautifully presented with the main ingredients being shredded onion, potato, and bacalhau. The dish was then drizzled with a half-cooked egg batter. It was an interesting mix of crispy and soft, savoury and slightly sweet, hearty yet delicate.

Though too full for dessert, we still indulged in the “Pera Bebeda” pear poached in port and the “Bolo de Bolacha biscuit cake. The pear was poached perfectly, soft yet firm with the port evenly fused throughout. The biscuit cake was half cream, and a caramel-y without being too sweet.



Drinks

There are three free flow options available:

  1. $88 for two hours of juice, soft drinks and fresh lime soda

  2. $150 for the above plus red sangria and vinho verde

  3. $188 for the above plus red, white, and sparkling wines

Or opt for one of the Portuguese-themed cocktails or mocktails. The Casa Lisboa breeze (mocktail) is my pick for being fresh, fizzy, and juicy without feeling too sweet.


Verdict

The new Casa Lisboa is delivering fresh, contemporary Portuguese food very well. Hong Kong’s brunch scene is crowded, but I think Casa Lisboa will attract those looking for a unique, high quality option. Also, they are not stingy with their main courses. With semi-buffets, sometimes the main is underwhelming rather than the standout. The idea is that guests fill up on the appetizers. However, here’s it’s tastiness all the way. I’m not sure whether I enjoyed it more for dinner or brunch, but I suppose the latter is better value and means guests can experience the restaurant in it’s naturally well-lit glory.

2/F Parekh House, 63 Wyndham Street, Central, 2905 1168

Thanks to Casa Lisboa's PR for inviting me to review.

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