Miguel Castro e Silva’s
After almost four years in the Time Out Market, chef Miguel Castro e Silva has changed his menu. It contains lots of good new things to discover. Any attentive observer of the Lisbon dining scene will know that chef Miguel Castro e Silva has been pretty busy of late. In the last few months alone he’s opened four new spaces in the city. First he took over the cafeteria at the Gulbenkian Foundation, then he opened Lumni, a rooftop restaurant on the top floor of hotel The Lumiares, next it was Less Baixa in the top-floor cafeteria of the Pollux homeware store, and finally Mercado Café on the ground floor of The Lumiares. Now the momentum has caught up with his restaurant in the Time Out Market – one of those at the end dedicated to top chefs. Its menu has undergone a radical makeover. “I thought it was time to make a change and I wanted to improve the offer,” explains Castro e Silva. Snacks are now more prominent on the menu. “As is well known, I’m a big fan of snacking,” the chef says. Salads, such as fresh tuna with black-eyed peas and egg (€8.50), which used to appear on the blackboard along with other daily specials are now permanent fixtures on the menu, along with iscas de bacalhau (codfish fritters) and sardinha fidalga (sardine with tomato and parsley). There is also the arrival of several great cheeses on the menu, such as the creamy sheep’s cheese from the Beiras region or the cheeseboard with pumpkin jam. The mains have maintained or “raised the bar”, a Castro e Silva likes to say, with “Bacalhau à Brás, the classic”, made with confit of the best codfish, cooked in olive oil at 80º, which as the came indicates was already a best seller. The other brás dish – with duck – has been reinvented as duck thigh confit with brás of courgettes and mushrooms. Respecting his northern origins, Castro e Silva has kept the famed Porto mega-sandwich, the francesinha, on the menu, but now uses cured sausage made from pork neck from Alentejo pigs in the recipe. Speaking of hearty dishes, there is a new entry on the menu that is ideal for cold winter days: game alheira sausage with roast sweet potato and sautéed spinach with an egg (€11.50). There are no new desserts, but that doesn’t mean that there’s no reason to sample the chocolate cake or toucinho do céu almond dessert – both of which are gluten free.