Balcao da Esquina, Lisbon

The Sunday in Lisbon, we again found ourselves at the Time Out Market, but this time decided to sit down outside and enjoy the sunshine, as it was a rarely warm, sunny day in early February!

Sitting down, we saw on the menu that our table cover was not included, and that different pieces cost different things, including the bread. So we went for it. There were olives, cheese, and a pate… we tried the olives and cheese…

And the cheese was a surprise, very creamy and pungent… it was great! I haven’t had the chance to try a lot of Portuguese cheeses yet, but this is definitely going to be on the list of favourites!

Then, we had some seafood… prawns marinated in chili and rosemary… they look slightly overcooked in the picture, but were delicious, in a lemony, buttery sauce that we sopped up with our bread!

Then, our mains… we could have probably ordered one, with all the bits and pieces we had to start… I went for the traditional bacalhao a bras, the salt cod cooked with onion, garlic, and matchstick potatoes, bound together with eggs. I’d seen Andre eat this a few times before and found it slightly questionable… but finally tasted it and thought it was really good…

This was a good version of it, the egg really binding the fish, onion and potatoes together in a nice mix… real comfort food!

Andre went with a more adventurous option that we’d seen at the table next to us, the pork with clams in a green sauce. And… it was just ok. The sauce wasn’t very flavourful (the green was more shocking that it tasted!), the pork was overcooked, and it was a bit of a weird combination with the clams.. we plodded through about half of this, but it certainly wasn’t the best of the lunch!

So, overall? This was a bit of a quirky menu, with some good, fresh seafood (lots of oysters, octopus, prawns on the menu) but with some odd options like our pork as well. We will probably come back at some point, but given the number of other restaurants in the Time Out Market that really hit the spot, it’s not going to be a priority!

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