Guincho a Galera

by Qian Leung @ 28 Jul 2017
Guincho a Galera A gem of a Portugese restaurant is hidden in Hotel Lisboa, named Guincho a Galera. “I first visited Portugal in my youth, as a backpacker,” says Chef Simon Li. “After sampling the local cuisine, my curiosity was aroused. So I went back repeatedly to learn from local chefs.” A chilled gelatine gazpacho of tomato soup is served with a fillet of seabass crusted with bacalhau, made the traditional way with cod, potato, eggs, onion, cilantro, and parsley, and fried till fragrant. Green and black olives perk up the palate in between bites. “Traditionally, bacalhau is eaten with olive oil and olives,” explains Chef Li. Seafood rice with Boston lobster, shrimps, and mussels is made in the northern Portuguese style, using carolina rice. Unlike the arborio rice used in Italian risotto or the bomba rice used in Spanish paella, the carolina rice of the Portugese arroz de marisco is served soupy. Roasted suckling pig is served with a croquette of finely chopped pork trotter and ear. “In Portugal, nothing is ever wasted,” says Chef Li. Poached figs on filo with caramel ice cream is paired with 2011 Quinta do Pôpa Vinho Tinto Doce, a blend of 21 grapes from vines of 80 years old from Douro Valley, Portugal. The gently sweet notes of candy shop give way to charming acidity and subtle tannins, with a depth that is thought-provoking and memorable.