So we finally made it to Chiado after reading about it on the board so often. It was damn good!
Our meal started out with a high class version of a portuguese favourite - seafood salad. Octopus, lobster and shrimp served on potato, apple and beet salad. I was somewhat surprised by the mayo, but according to the Miguel this is traditional portuguese. Regardless, it definitely didn't overpower the dish, and all of the seafood was perfectly cooked. We also tried the alheira, a garlicky, rather strong flavoured sausage with a texture similar to morcela. Very pleasing actually, served on its own in a well sized portion.
We were then provided with my favourite, fresh cheese, as the sommelier opened our chosen bottle of wine. He was very friendly, and explained some of the intricacies involved in choosing portuguese wines.
For the main course, we each chose a whole fish, myself the boca negra, and Miguel the dourada, both crusted with salt and stuffed with herbs. It was interesting being able to try the two fish side by side, their tastes were very different, and both were extremely fresh. The accompaniments were great, rapini and beets cooked perfectly.
To finish off, we tried the natas du ceu, which was an excellent take on the traditional natas custard. This was very light, with a hint of coconut, creamy and wonderful. Neither of us are big dessert fans but we both found this to be one of the best we'd ever had.
As for the service, we did get seated right beside the coat rack, which I found disappointing especially once everyone started crowding around it and we were in the middle of our meal, but I guess as a couple of young 23 year olds you can't expect too much. The sommelier was extremely helpful and friendly, our waiter was competent, and the hostess was pleasant to talk to.
Overall, our meal came to $240, the fish each being $40. I was somewhat surprised by that price, but when you consider that they have them shipped in from Portugal it makes some sense.
Anyway, thanks for all the great reviews on Chiado that made us want to try it out. We definitely recommend it to everyone, and can't wait to head there again.
But next we'll head to Amadeus to compare!