While researching restaurants for our trip I found that Lisbon seems to be an ever changing city, lots of redevelopment, restoration and new restaurants are popping up all the time. Dinner for our second day in Lisbon was to be at 100 Maneiras (100 Ways in Lisbon), started in 2009 by Ljubomir Stanisic, a Bosnian chef in Barrio Alto. Research said it had started a new breed of restaurant in Lisbon, only having a fixed price tasting menu of 9 courses using lots of molecular gastronomy techniques.
I found that Lisbonites seem to eat quite late in the evening, the earliest I could book a table was for 7:30pm (much later than we’d normally eat at home), but hey, I went with it and after the great reviews had booked a table months ago.
When we arrived the door was locked, so I knocked on the front door and a lady opened it, a little surprised to see us at that time. We were nonetheless welcomed in and sat down in a lovely room, with very clean lines and minimal in its decor.
The sommelier was obviously passionate about talking about wines, who wouldn’t be if you tasted wines everyday!!! He explained the concept of the wine choices, using the word ‘experience’ to explain our meal. We chose the classic flight of wine to go with our food, this consisted of 5 wines to complement the dishes. Diners don’t know what’s on the final menu beforehand, so we waited with great anticipation for our first course. Our first wine was introduced to us, a Foral de Melgaco Alvarinho 2001 from Minho, it was light and citrusy. Soon followed our first course, a Codfish clothes line, pieces of dehydrated cod pegged onto a clothes line with a red pepper and coriander dip.
The codfish had a dainty salty flavour and an unusual texture, reminiscent of day old prawn crackers, crunchy but with a bit of chewiness. On their own I could eat bags full of things, with the dips which were both excellent (packed with flavour, thick and unctuous) made an really good start to our evening. Shame it lasted about a minute!
The place had really start to fill up from 8pm onwards and the atmosphere really changed, still nice and cosy though. The waiting staff had noticed I was scribbling things down, so they said they would give me the menu with the wine flight to take with me!!! A nice touch and very much appreciated.
The second course was brought in what looked like a polished capsule, called Cauliflower, romanescu and truffle with scallop and peanuts.
It had a delicate cauliflower purée and a light drizzle of truffle oil. The perfectly cooked scallops were thinly sliced and lovely and soft, holding up well in terms of flavour to the potentially strong flavours from it’s partnering ingredients. The peanuts (which I normally hate with a passion) actually complemented the dish and gave it a different element of flavour and texture.
Our second wine, also white, a Casal Santa Maria Sauvignon Blanc, 2011 from Lisbon was brought over. This had more body to it, but was still very refreshing and was used to complement the next two dishes. Our third course was called Laminated octopus with sea shore flavours.
Our waitress informed us that the octopus carpaccio was sprinkled with cornbread crumbs, and the other accompaniments were a barnacle, cockle, and cuttlefish. A foam was used as the sauce and tasted of the sea. All the separate ingredients had distinct flavours, the cuttlefish had a taste reminiscent to the afterburn smell when a sparkler has burnt out, it was also slightly chewy, but maybe because it’s meatier than the related squid, which was it’s only fault really.
Our fourth course was a Smoked duck with topinamburg foam, Madeira wine jelly and foie gras, this was my favourite up to this point in the evening.
The duck was fantastic, the smoking was well judged and meat very soft, the foie gras added a lovely seasoning to the dish, just the right amount was added to the dish so it didn’t become overpowering. The artichoke purée smooth and the ham gave a saltiness to the whole dish. After some research much later, I found out that Topinambur is a Jerusalem artichoke, giving the foam a slightly sweet taste. Lots of combinations of flavour in one hit, making it an excellent dish.
So four dishes done, and our next wine was brought over, a Quinta de Cidro Chardonnay, 2011 from the Douro region. Our next dish was called Sesimbra’s pink swordfish with Caldeirada flavours.
Another wonderful dish, fantastic meaty swordfish, just on the point of perfectly cooked, which sat on top of a disc of potato and herbs, red pepper sauce and topped with red onion, green pepper and a spiced cookie. The cookie reminded me of beef monster munch (I love beef monster munch so it was all good!), there was also a drizzle of coriander and thyme oil. The waitress did tell me the propr name but because I was scribbling as fast as I could and oohing and ahhing simultaneously I forgot to write it down!
A palette cleanser was brought next to our table, a Hendrick’s white tea with cucumber and rose raviolis and spearmint caviar.
We were advised to drink it like a shot, then pop the spearmint caviar to get the desired effect. Of course, we followed these instructions, knocking them back as carefully as we could. It was so good, the rose ravioli giving a floral smell and flavour, the cucumber kept it fresh and with the spearmint caviar popping away in the mouth, it gave an extra dimension. The whole thing really did a fabulous job at cleansing the palette!!!
Our fourth wine and we were introduced to a red, Fita Preta, 2011 from Alenja. Our sommelier said this would cut through the risotto and provide acidity to the dish. They in my eyes they definitely saved the best till the end, a veal cheek with apple risotto.
Oh my, the veal was so tender it must have been cooked slowly for hours, the risotto al dente with sharp apple running through it was wonderful. Another dish that I didn’t want to end!!!
Next were the desserts, to accompany them a dessert wine called Aneto Colheita Tardia, 2007 from the Douro region. Not too sweet, but lovely and warming.
The kitchen had adapted the desserts so they would be gluten free for my fellow diner which was much appreciated.
My friends will tell you that I’m not a chocolate fan at all, but the bitesize chocolate brownie was extremely moist and very moreish (I never thought I’d ever say that about anything with chocolate!!) The pear and foie gras, an unusual combination but seemed to worked well and the pineapple carpaccio with coconut panna cota was lovely and refreshing.
Our final course was a lychee soup with tropical fruit, herbs and a vanilla macarron arrived a few moments later.
The lychee soup light and slightly sweet, the macarron had a sugary sweetness with a slight crunch and the olives in the soup giving that umami savoury flavour to the final course.
Overall a very enjoyable evening was had. Lots of interesting flavours, good informative service and technically very good cooking. Not the cheapest meal I’ve ever had, but it definitely was memorable!!100 Maneiras Rua do Teixeira 35 Lisbon +351 910 307 575