Lisboeta: writing the perfect love letter

By BigHospitality

- Last updated on GMT

Lisboeta: writing the perfect love letter

Related tags: Nuno Mendes, Fine dining, Lisboeta, Portuguese cuisine, Estrella Damm National Restaurant Awards

Nuno Mendes' Portuguese restaurant Lisboeta has been crowned One to Watch at this year's National Restaurant Awards.

Nuno Mendes’ Portuguese restaurant is described by the chef as being a ‘love letter to Lisbon’ and is a very personal project.

Set across three floors of a stunning townhouse on London’s Charlotte Street, Lisboeta serves excellent small plate ‘petiscos’ as well as large sharing dishes for the table inspired by the popular ‘tasca’ restaurants of Lisbon.

Lisboeta is opened in partnership with MJMK Restaurants, the group behind London venues including Kol and Casa do Frango, a relationship that came about in Lisbon when Mendes struck up a friendship with MJMK founders Marco Mendes and Jake Kasumov.


Opening in Fitzrovia, with Lisboeta Mendes finds himself in new territory. With the exception of Chiltern Firehouse, all of the Portuguese chef’s projects have been local – or fairly local in the case of Taberna do Mercado - to where he lives in east London.

“It’s the right place to launch a concept like this,” he says of his more central London project. “I really like Charlotte Street. When it comes to a central London location it is my favourite street. And it’s accessible. A lot of my guests complain about having to come to Bethnal Green so they will be happy to not spend two hours getting to it.”

Lisboeta’s menu comprises snacks such as a Goan-spiced pork pie; and morcela sausage and razor clams on toast, as well as charcuterie and cheese. These are followed by small plates such as grilled asparagus with a wild garlic sauce; deep-sea scarlet prawns with garlic and piri-piri; and grilled acorn-fed black pork with fermented red pepper paste.


Also available at large ‘pots and platters’ for the table, such as carabineiro prawn and razor clam rice; and chanfana lamb shoulder and red wine stew and a ‘direct from Portugal’ section that has a focus on the sea and will comprise giant red prawns goose barnacles, the latter when it is possible to source them.

Mendes has a forged a strong reputation as a fine dining chef, having won a Michelin star at his Bethnal Green restaurant Viajante and also at Shoreditch restaurant Maos. However, Lisboeta is pitched as being a more accessible restaurant.

“I didn’t want to do fine dining but open a restaurant that is accessible,” he sats. “Yes, we can take you for a ride and go crazy, give you some amazing wines if you want to blow out, but you can also eat at the counter and have a nice meal or a piece of tart and a glass of wine or coffee.”

That ride will come in the form of the Adega – a wine cellar that will host a more intimate and heightened gastronomic experience to only a handful of people when Mendes feels the time is right.

The One to Watch Award is Sponsored by Woods Foodservice.


Related topics: Business Profile, Restaurant



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