Porto – not just good for Port, you know!!

I’ve been a bit busy with work and life in general, so have been a bit interrupted in posting this, but the food was too good to leave off the blog!!!

We’d arrived in Porto on the second leg of our trip in Portugal in the pouring rain. So I had to restrain myself from taking a zillion photos, just visiting Rossio station to admire the traditional blue and white tiles inside. Really not wanting to venture outside to have dinner we decided that a 5 star hotel we were staying in should have a decent restaurant, so after some drinks in the bar we ventured down. The Astoria restaurant looked as plush as the rest of the hotel, beautifully elegant.


We chose a Branco de Gaivosa, a delicious dry white from the Douro Valley. The menu had lots of yummy things on it and we decided on a shrimp bisque and an octopus carpaccio to start with and red mullet and veal tenderloin for our main course. The staff were lovely, friendly but restrained at the same time. An introductory dish was brought over, with compliments from the chef, sea bass with a celery purée. Excellent flavour and I loved the celery purée, worked with the fish.

Amuse bouche, sea bass with celery purée, tomato
Amuse bouche, sea bass with celery purée and tomato

Our starters arrived and mine in particular looked fantastic, rich in colour, I didn’t even have to taste to know it would pack a punch in terms of flavour.

Lobster bisque with confit tomato
Shrimp bisque with lobster medallion and tomato confit
Octopus carpaccio
Octopus carpaccio with coriander purée, bread croutons and green sauce vinaigrette

Both starters were wolfed down quickly!!! Now with our tastebuds stimulated we were really looking forward to the main event.

Mullet with citrus risotto, pork jam and orange sauce
Veal chop
Veal tenderloin, with potato and celeriac gratin with braised vegetables

Both dishes looked fantastic and tasted just as good, I was really impressed by the standard of cooking. The veal was cooked perfectly, medium rare, very juicy and succulent. My red mullet was beautifully cooked and I loved the risotto, creamy and al dente with zest woven through it. The amazing orange sauce matching well with the strong flavour that mullet has. It really brought the whole dish alive, I loved it all!! I just wish I could cook this good!

My fellow diner had enough room for dessert, a chocolate filled tube. Perfectly thin chocolate with a light mousse and sharp raspberries, a real winner.

Chocolate tube
Chocolate tube filled with white chocolate mousse and raspberry sauce

If you’re ever in Porto, I would highly recommend this restaurant with food that tastes just as good as it looks, excellent service and perfect location.

Intercontinental Hotel
Praca de Liberdade, 25
Porto, 4000-322

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s