Casa Lisboa | New seafood and stews at my favourite Portuguese restaurant in Hong Kong
If you’re a regular reader of this blog (hi mom!), you’ll know that I’m a big fan of Casa Lisboa. With its honest, hearty cooking, it feels so different from the highly produced, concept-based restaurants that are so common in Hong Kong. I mean, I like those too, but it feels refreshing to visit a restaurant that is pared down. Casa Lisboa, with its modern Portuguese dishes, feels like a hidden gem.
The location remains on Wyndham and it’s a gorgeous, comfortable space with lots of blue and white accented by colourful Portuguese tiles. I like that they have white tablecloths and proper cloth napkins to go with the hearty food.
So what does Chef Fabio Pompo have for you this season? There are six new savoury dishes: three seafood dishes and three winter stews.
We started with this Marisqueira-style Seafood Platter ($600) that was loaded with shrimps, crab legs, an incredibly tasty cab dip, and a bowl of fresh clams in garlic and white wine sauce (served separately, and delicious as clams at the restaurant always are). As Portugal is a coastal country, there are loads of casual seafood restaurants where guests often enjoy seafood platters and beer. Casa Lisboa wanted to share this vibe in Hong Kong but elevate it with three new sauces instead of the traditional lemon sauce. There’s an incredible seaweed brown butter, a garlic butter, and a mango chutney. The seaweed brown butter - with kombu, nori, and salicornia - is truly stunning in taste though it had a sandy texture that I didn’t love with the seafood.
The Red Prawns in “Bulhao Pato” style ($95 per piece) means the prawns were cooked in a garlic and white wine sauce usually reserved for clams. I really enjoyed this. The sweetness and stickiness of the prawn was still present through the rich sauce.
There was something about the Fisherman-style Seafood Soup ($200) that seemed so homey. A lobster head and fish bones broth was poured over a piece of lobster, black cod, and clams. It tasted like the kind of soup my mom would make, just good ingredients and a simple broth. And it came with a big piece of toast slathered in the aforementioned seaweed brown butter. Drool.
It’s winter, so ‘tis the season for stew! I haven’t seen many stews on menus lately so it was a treat to try three of them at Casa Lisboa. My favourite of the three was the Slow-cooked Iberico Pork Chop with Bean Stew Feijoada ($260). Maybe because it was so meaty… The stew was heavily chorizo-based; the beans and veggies are cooked in chorizo oil and there are many chorizo slices. And then slow-cooked Iberico pork is served on the side. A tender, fatty, delicious dish.
The Cabrito Stew ($330) with goat meat, chestnuts, and mushrooms was tender and flavourful though personally I would have preferred a thicker sauce. The addition of truffles went really well with this dish though...my first time having goat and truffles!
Lastly, the Jardineira ($295) is a stew made from short ribs. This is more like a standard stew with onions, potatoes, and green beans though it’s elevated with the quality of the meat and some white wine and red and white pepper.
Casa Lisboa has created some lovely, warming dishes for Hong Kongers this winter season that are worth your time and dollars. Fresh seafood (with butter) and hearty stews, what’s not to like?
Also, they have a cute promotion going on right now. Try one of their new cocktails (I tried the Sintra), all named after places in Portugal, and then send a postcard to someone of your choice (the restaurant will mail it for you). Then the receiver can come to Casa Lisboa with the postcard and enjoy the same cocktail!
2/F Parekh House, 63 Wyndham Street, Central, 2905 1168