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21. June 2014: Restaurant O Paparico

| July 5, 2014 | 0 Comments

THANK YOU VERY MUCH, SERGIO! It is a bit more than two years ago since I have been at the Restaurant O Paparico (see here) and I was already incredibly loving the place back then and still recommend it to everyone who asks me for recommendations when going to Porto. And now, that I was back, I love it even more and will still recommend it.

Upon arrival to the exact address by cab and looking for the entrance (already being aware that it is kind of hidden) you are brought to the bar and asked to take a seat where “fresh water with orange cysts and jamaica pepper” is offered to you. While sounding a bit weird at first it was actually really refreshing.


When seated at the table after some time there was already a little welcome present consisting of “Octopus Ceviche with olive oil, onions, prepared in a coriander broth” (called “Polvo Molho Verde”, EUR 7.50). The ceviche was tender and absolutely flavourful. The second element present was “‘Arouquesa’ veal terrine with a port sauce and topped off with fennel seeds” (called “Terrina com Porto”, EUR 5.50). It tasted to a large degree like foie gras while obviously not being foie gras but the reduction with port and the topping off with fennel seeds provided me with a tastebud tickeling experience. Last but not least, there was “creamy Azeitão DOP cheese” (called “Queijo de Azeitão”, EUR 5.50) to be tried. The cheese is absolutely great in taste but has one downside – it is way too intense in taste for a starter and overwhelms the accompanying white wine completely which is a pity. To me, the perfect cheese for desert but not really as a starter.


Together with the welcoming present from the kitchen, the cover charge (EUR 2.50) includes bread, olives and last but not least “goat milk butter, aged for 2 weeks” which tasted great but has quite a different consistency from regular butter.

As I had the joy to dine here before, when Sergio asked me what I wanted to eat, I told him to surprise me – and hell, he did! The first course of the “surprise menu” was “grilled scallop with butter made from the scallop’s nerve, refined with dill and fennel” (EUR 5.50). So, I have had quite a few scallops in my life up until now but what Sergio had put on his plate was mind-blowing in its entirety. The scallop was the most tender scallop I have ever had before and the butter it was prepared in was so aromatic – just wow!


Now, obviously this was just the beginning of a great evening. The “traditional octopus with onions, tomatoes, and potatoes with olive oil and dill” (EUR 16.00) was already great to look at when served.


After it was rearranged on the plate it was even more appealing – the octopus was perfectly tender and created feelings of pure enjoyment.


The “first main” was “grilled lobster in its shell (grilled only on the shell side)” served with “Carolina rice from the South of Portugal cooked with prawn shells and heads and lobster clams inside” (EUR 32.00). This time it looked better when served in the bowl – but …


… as soon as it was on the plate and I was able to dig in I realized how delicious the lobster was. The meat was tender and very savoury – the rice was aromatic and had a decent yet strong taste. Overall, a very pleasant meal.


In good restaurants you often get a sorbet inbetween to digest a bit and to give your stomach a break. Well, in great restaurants this concept is incorporated into the menu but re-innovated. So, instead of a regular sorbet I was served a “Caipirinha”. A “caipirinha” you ask? No regular caipirinha of course but much more a “Caipirinha with cucumbers and rice vinegar boozed up with Prosa Viola Cachaça”. It had the refreshing effect of a sorbet but was not as sweet as a sorbet and at the same time the booze of the caipirinha created space in the stomach – which was absolutely necessary.


The “second main course” was “Arouquesa veal from aged for 15 days, served with chanterelles and vegetables, mashed potatoes with bread crumbs and roasted onions” and a “marrowbone sauce” (EUR 18.00).


What surprised me most was the fact that the veal was not of white meat but much more of read meat – and I had to ask the owner why “veal” was red meat? He then explained to me that the Arouquesa veal is a red-meated veal which was truly delicious and tender. The mashed potatoes with the bread crumbs and the roasted onions were a delicious dish indeed but at this stage it was just too much as I was already quite stuffed.


To finish it off, chocolates with a fruit filling were served which were a refreshing end. Besides all the amazing dishes, there was always an accompanying wine served and I must admit that the pairing was ideal. There was a strong tendency towards white wines (and I am usually not that much into white wines) which were rich, had a great bouquet and last but not least were fair in price (which also applies to the water, EUR 2.50).


What makes the Restaurant O Paparico so unique is the passion with which the whole personnel and especially the owner, Sergio, do their job. The dedication is tremendous. You can see the joy in their eyes when they talk about what they serve which is truly amazing and just sucks you in somehow. So, overall, the service is truly outstanding and flawless. What can not really be described is the atmosphere which is present – when you enter the restaurant you enter a different world, a world full of passion about food, a world where you feel like you’re coming home, a world of joy! When you are going to Porto, you absolutely must go to the Restaurant O Paparico!


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Contact Details:

Restaurant O Paparico

Rua da Costa Cabral 2343

4200 Porto (PT)

Tel.: +351 22 540 05 48

E-Mail: geral@opaparico.com

Homepage: http://opaparico.com

About the Author:

I started the blog in October 2009, while living in Milan which I definitely consider to be one of the food capitals of the world. I was in touch with food since my early childhood (as my father is a former chef). Whenever I can, I travel the world to discover new places, to meet people but mostly to try local dishes and to find hidden gems! If you know a place worth going, please drop a line to: info@thediningexperience.org. Currently, I am a member of the following food-related associations: Chevalier @Chaîne des Rôtisseurs Zurich-Ville; Membre Gourmet Dégustateur @Ordre Mondial des Gourmets Dégustateurs [OMGD]; Gesellschafter @Goldener Fisch and Member @Slowfood Convivium Zurich City.
EUR 135.00 (incl. tip) Filed in: Porto (PT), Restaurants

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