“Thank you so much for your kind words! We feel it is really our privilege to welcome people like you in our restaurant, to provide them a great experience and it’s wonderful to know you’ve enjoyed it as much as we do! I’ll make sure the entire team gets to know how much you loved their work.“
Carla Lopes, Restaurante 100 Maneiras – http://www.restaurante100maneiras.com
This was an email from Carla after we sent her a couple of pictures of the staff and a few kind words, saying what a wonderful evening we had while dining at 100 Maneiras. This 11 year old restaurant, located in a small narrow cobblestoned street in Lisbon’s trendy Principe Real district, is simply sensational.
We could not get a table before 10:30pm but this proved to be an advantage as we then were able to take our time, and we did! We left the restaurant at 1:30am which is nothing unusual for Lisbon. This eatery is quite small (seats 30) and decorated in all white with heavy dark timber tables and chairs. The glassware on the white tablecloths was dazzling and the open kitchen along one side of the restaurant hid the culinary treasures. We were offered a free glass of Portuguese bubbles as we were asked to wait 10 minutes while our table was reset.
At 100 Maneiras you can only have the exciting degustation tasting menu and you can elect to match wines, as we did, for 85€ per person. It may sound a little expensive for Lisbon but we certainly made the right choice.Our first course was dehydrated codfish chips with coriander aioli and red pepper oil. The cod resembled potato crisps held by tiny pegs, beautifully presented, on strings of wire, a little like a mini clothesline. The taste of the salty crisp cod was sensational, complimented by an excellent fresh, citrus and aromatic Portuguese white, Ameal Loureio 2013.
Next came one of our favourite dishes of all the ten courses, the fresh oyster, prawn and sea urchin in a rocket chlorophyll and oyster foam, served in a glass tumbler. The clean fresh taste of the seafood was amazing.
Although all the courses were delicious there are two other courses which deserve a special mention. Lisbon is famous for its sardines and the ones we had did not disappoint. They were served with smoked cheese, corn bread crumble, shallots in balsamic vinegar and fried coriander. These little fishes had been beautifully grilled and their fresh sardine taste was not too overpowering or oily. The menu left the best until almost last. The ‘Final Tropical’, pina-colada cheese cake truly was an outstanding dessert and demonstrated the special skills of Chef Ljubomir Stanisic and his team. The desserts were also complimented by an outstanding Portuguese white port, Doña Ermelond Colheits.
The menu overall was stunning with plenty of surprises. However, if degustation is not to your liking, there is Bistro 100 Maneiras, located about a block away, which serves a la carte and has an excellent reputation. Carla also told us that soon a third 100 Maneiras restaurant is planned for opening in 2015, which will cater exclusively for five star dining.
The molecular gastronomy at 100 Maneiras is imaginative and inventive. The glorious adventure we had experiencing the skills of Chef Stanisic and the front of house team in this small cosy restaurant is something you will not want to miss when you visit this beautiful city.
PS: There are plenty of gay bars close by in the Bairro Alto and Principe Real districts for those searching for more fun after dinner.