Nagasui, Zurich

A day trip to Zurich, and I’m craving soup as it’s cold outside. I finally settle on a pan-Asian place called Nagasui that has a bunch of lunch specials. I get inside and start looking at the lunch menu, and it turns out that while they have five lunch specials every day, that’s all you can order from for lunch… oh well!

I finally settle on a penang curry chicken – while it’s not a soup, it does the job, as its hot and creamy. Given the price (over 20 CHF), I find it kind of pricey… but loaded with vegetables and chicken, it fills me up, and I have to say, the curry itself is a nice combination of creamy, slightly sweet and mostly tangy.

So this place did the job – given the many other options for lunch in Zurich, it’s to be seen if I’ll be back, but at least I know that I can come here for comfort food!

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L’Huitrier, Bruxelles

The next evening, I arrived by train to Bruxelles, and was excited to try a Japanese sushi restaurant that I had read about. But when I got there, it was packed, and the guy said that they wouldn’t be able to seat me that night (it was a Monday!)

So I walked down the street, looking at the other choice of restaurants, and decided that a seafood restaurant wouldn’t be too different from sushi… Also, with the weather going on in early October, I’d be able to sit outside… score!

I saw down and looked through the long list of food, overwhelmed. Finally, after lookign at the 7 types of mussels, 10 types of lobster, etc etc… I went for the set menu, which had a number of good options… three courses for £29.

I started with the mussels, which were… interesting. Gratined mussels with a tomato and pistou sauce, I didn’t really know what I was getting myself into here when I ordered, but they were pretty good. I did end up scraping most of the cheese off of the mussels (seafood and melted cheese? eh.) but the pistou was delicious enough that I finished it up by sopping my bread into it.

Then, the main dish, the seafood platter… exactly what I had been craving! With large and small prawnd, clams, oysters, whelks and cockles… I was in heaven. This took me a good half hour to plow my way through, but I ate every bite.

Fresh, for a great price, this was exactly what I had been craving when I went for the sushi originally… so glad that I found it! Even with all of the other good restaurants in the city, I’ll be back here next time I come to Bruxelles for sure!

Brasserie la Lorraine, Luxembourg

An overnight trip to Benelux, my first night was in Luxembourg, and I somehow managed to get there on a night when my father wasn’t in town! Being a Sunday night, everything was closed, so I headed to the main square, where the brasseries were open.

I went simple… a salmon tartare, which was nicely seasoned with some lime juice, olive oil, and mango. This was a delight, and I gobbled it up pretty quickly…

Served ont the side with some fries, and I ordered an extra side salad… I had a few of the fries, but there weren’t anything to write home about, so concentrated on the salad, with fresh (strong!) red onions and radish…

And that made for the perfect Sunday evening meal, washed down with a bit of wine!

Go Natural, Lisbon

Another lunch spot… this one looks more fast-food than the other places we’ve been lately, because of the menu above the ordering till, with pictures of the food (McDonald’s style!) But the food is quite good, so worth a visit.Andre had the cevhiche bowl with oatmeal, mango, and avocado, doused in lemon juice. I tasted this, but was happier with my choice…  I went for the salad of Thai chicken and rice, served wtih roast vegetables (sweet potato, bok coy and mushrooms), avocado, and some dried fruit, all mixed into a coconut sauce… delicious!But they were both good, cheap, and a wholesome meal… while the atmosphere leaves something to be desired, it’s central (in Chiado), the price is right,  and you leave feeling satisfied!

Tease, Lisbon

In the spirit of trying out different lunch places that the regular cafes (Kristof, The Mill, Brooklyn), we went to Tease, a new cafe on a small square with… this was the key… outdoor seating! There’s a large inside, along with a number of outdoor tables as well.

They’re open from breakfast and make a mean lemonnade… but after noon, we were getting a bit hungry and decided to try the lunch menu. There are a number of salads, sandwiches, and tartes to choose from.

Andre went for the vegetable quiche, which was full of delicious veggies and served with a side salad.

They only had one piece left, so I decided to try one of the sandwiches, the Vegetarian, which was filled with delicious veggies such as spinach, a tomatoey pepper spread, and black beans. It was pretty good, especially toasted!

While there was nothing especially great about Tease (oh, and actually, the coffee really leaves something to be desired), the outdoor seating and sandwiches mean that I’ll probably come back and try a few other options sometime soon.

Tartaruga Cafe, Praia Nova, Portugal

The next day, we went back to the beach a bit later and Andre hopped onto his kite. I was starving, so grabbed some food before heading to the beach. I wanted something a little less formal than the day before, so headed to the next cafe on the beach… and got a much lower-key option for sure!They have many sandiwches and burgers on the menu, along with a few salads… I went for the shrimp salad, which included bundle-fried shrimp on a bed of feta, corn, carrot, tomatoes and salad. And was I satisfied? Well, I felt a bit greasy after the shrimp (fried) and potato chips, even if they were surrounded with greens… but this was a good option for a quick lunch rather than a long, drawn-out sitdown lunch.

Later in the, we went to the newly reopened Botanical Gardens in Principe Real. Ever since my first time in Lisbon with Andre in 2016, I had been waiting for these reopen… two years later, they have, and the trees are amazing. Many are quite prehistoric-looking…

A great place to sit out and enjoy some quiet in the bustling city…

Casablanca, Praia Nova, Portugal

Then, a few days of working from Lisbon… towards mid-afternoon, we headed out to a nearby beach (in Caparica, 30 mins from Lisbon) for a late lunch and some kite-surfing for Andre. Though the weather was not really cooperating…

Check out how white the beach/area is… though maybe the clouds have something to do with it too?

We were some of the only people there for lunch, as it was the first week back to school!

As elsewhere in Portugal, we started with a few of their covers… cold, herbed octopus salad (yum), some olives, and some hot-cooked chorizo. The chorizo was quite oily, but really nice warmed up.

Then, we went for the crab… what a nice presentation! It came with bits to crack and pick out the meat from the legs. The meat was sweet and flaky and juicy, a real treat. Then, the dark meat that was in the head of the crab was the second part of the meal, spread over the little toasts that it was served with… an aesthetic dish that tasted just as good as it looked!

And, dessert. There were a bunch of fancy desserts on the menu, but all we wanted was icecream…

We tried a few places along the beach here, and this was the best to date… with prices for fish (per kilo) much cheaper than in Comporta, Ericeira, Cascais… so if nothing else, we’ll be back for the turbot and seabass (and that amazing crab again, mmm…)