The Olissippo Lapa Experience

Lisbon is a beautiful city filled with beautiful things and I fell in love with all of them.One of Lisbon’s most exclusive hotels is The Olissippo Lapa Hotel. Located in Lapa, what I believe is the posh neighbourhood of Lisbon, this hotel really feels like a palace.

The property is beautiful, the pool looks inviting and the rooms are gorgeous and I could have sworn I was visiting an Emperor. A lesser known fact is that it’s considered one of the best hotels in the city and is even a part of the prestigious Leading Hotels Of The World group. While the hotel is a gem and I regret not being able to stay there and indulge in some serious pampering, I did however manage to have a superb meal at their signature Lapa Restaurant.

I chose one of their set menus because in most places I feel that’s the best way to sample their food because if I had to try and decipher it myself, I’d be lost. I’m all for soaking up the experience and enjoying it in the moment but it was too pretty a meal to not take pictures and share so this is an attempt to share my first Michelin meal with you.

My meal started with an Amuse Bouche of smooth creamy pureed beetroot with a dollop of fresh cream and a bit of lemon and parsley. I don’t usually eat beetroot, it’s not a favourite but I enjoyed this soup and maybe the trick is to puree it.

Course 1 – Beef Carrapaccio with balsamic vinegar – I love a carapaccio, specially when the beef is so artfully sliced into thin strips and perfectly seasoned. I think I finished this in 30 seconds.

Course 2 – Gazpacho Alentejo – This cold soup was unlike any gazpacio I’ve had before. It’s a burst of flavour with all the ingredients chopped into tiny pieces adding a another texture to the soup including some smoked ham which I don’t think I’ve come across in a gazpacho before.You can taste the distinct sweetness of the tomatoes, the sting of the red onions and bell peppers. It isn’t something I generally order or would have thought to order but enjoyable all the same. 

Course 3 – Lagareiro style Octopus and Cod Symphony – Octopus is something I seemed to enjoy more than I thought I would and this one was pan seared with spicy purple potato foam and some beautiful cod. The picture doesn’t quite do justice to the dish but it was one of my favourites from this meal.

Course 4 – Sea Bass and Ray Fish Cataplana – After spending weeks travelling through the country, I had my fair share of cataplanas but this was the best by far. Unlike others I’ve had this one wasn’t drowning in the soup/ broth and there was more seafood. It’s a simple dish but full of flavour and one of the best one pot meals you can find.

Course 5 – Suckling Pig – At this point I feel like I’m about to burst despite nibbling at each course and not finishing it but this little piggy was too delicious to not eat. Crisp crackling on top, citrus orange segment with soft pork inside made it another stunning course. It’s times like these where I really wish I could doggy bag my food because it’s a lot to eat at one time for this taster.

Course 6 – Desserts from the Convents – These are typical Portuguese desserts that were made in the convents through the years. Most of these in fact I think all are made with eggs and sugar. They tend to be heavy and cloyingly sweet. While there are lots of people that enjoy them I didn’t particularly care much for these.  The one in the middle that resembles a caramel custard was my favourite but the rest are too sweet for me.

The was another memorable meal for me and next time I’m in Lisbon I’m trying on of their other set menus.