Tuesday, 22 July 2008

20.07.08: Back to Rio Coura

We know, we know, it seems lame to go to the same place twice on such a short trip, but here's a top tip you may not have known about Lisbon (We certainly didn't): it shuts down completely on Sunday and Monday, shops, restos and all. Except the blatant tourist traps, and, thankfully, our new old pal the Rio Coura.

We gazed at that whopping tray of fat crabs and wondered desperately how to order one, as they're not on the menu and the word 'crab' doesn't appear in the guidebook. (Pooey guidebook!) Reader, we just couldn't do it. We'd had enough embarrassment trying to go swimming the day before and being heckled by teenage locals. But we were in luck of a different kind anyway.

Tonite's house starter was salt cod fritters...hot and tasty!

He had the sopa do mariscos (seafood soup) to start some more, which turned out to be thoroughy liquefied.

She ordered bacalhau, or salt cod, the preparation of which was a little mysterious on the menu, but arrived in a simmering bath of olive oil, onion and lemon, accompanied by chips, olives, and a dab or two of mayonnaise.

For mains, he ordered the grilled sole She had the other nite. Hey where' e the greens?

And you knew there was some salad coming, right?

HE SAYS: For starters I got the soup with a spoon, would you believe it? I was expecting more pieces of seafood then the fish smoothie consistency that arrived, but it tasted fresh, salty and subtlety bisque-like.

The fritters were tasty and
the breadcrumb covering and odd-shaped appearance reminded me of sort of an onion bhaji - without, obviously, the spice. I plumped for the sole because She got it last time and it looked up my street. I was not disappointed. Light and flaky and delicate in flavour. I quickly devoured it and moved on to the potatoes, then wished I had ordered the chips instead (plain fresh food cooked well is amazing but boiled potatoes loaded and coated with nothing, not even their skin, is too much like prison food for my palate). Although the salad was a rerun, the giant tomatoes were tasty as ever and helped fill me up second time round.

SHE SAYS: Loved the spicy, crispy fritters, and now I think about it, that may be where some of the crab ended up - some of them were a little softer inside, not all firm cod. I was probably too tired to fully recognise it at the time. My generous portion of bacalhau was perfect, and had a decadent feel to it, though I'm quite certain it was only olive oil, not butter, in the broth. The dab of mayo helped the somewhat dry top of the cod slip down nicely. No complex seasonings here, just some mild lemony flavour, salt, and fat. Delighted, I'm sure.

No comments: