Nightly feasts of culinary genious

Let our local chefs show what’s the best going on in the food scene in Lisbon with our 3 course menu dinner, once voted as one of the top 20 food deals in hostels in the world, by the daily meal.

Apetizers. Starter dish, Main course, wine and dessert.

Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturdays, 20:30, 5€

Because there is no better way to make friends, than around a table

Here at your Oasis food is taken seriously, It is unbelievable how food plays a role on a new travel experience. Every smell, taste, texture-  essential characters of a story.

So I walk into the living room, smiles are loosen up by the alchemy of the local bartender,  happy hour is almost over. While waiting for the big call, reminding of the good old times momma used to cook me dinner, I sip the last drops of the homemade from scratch sangria, and watch the staff, in a very synchronized dance, bring plates, cutlery, cups, jugs, napkins, tablecloth… Wow, they are not joking.

The smells coming from the tiny door behind the bar counter blend with beats, classics of funk, soul, or even the new wave of the nu jazz, hot R&B tunes, in a perfect balance, nothing is too much, not much is missing.

In the kitchen, the chef divides her time in between chopping greens for the last touch, and scooping out Pataniscas -hydrated codfish fritters, one of the 365 ways Portuguese came up to cook their most important ingredient- out of the pan.

She looks at the “Arroz de Feijao”, a soupy risotto cooked over a hearty pinto beans stew, and she feels she needs more. She always needs more, and if she could, she would keep on adding last touches until physical exhaustion. But she knows her game, she just found what is missing. She reaches an egg, some oil, and a garlic-ginger paste she once bought when adventuring herself in a pakistani curry. I am curious but the answer comes straight away: “I am going to make some mayo”, she announces.

Expectations now are high, I walk back into the dining room, and it is happening. Over 15 people are sitting around it, talking, laughing, singing, while spreading a freshly made garlic butter on top of classic Portuguese bread toasts. Where did all came from? How did I miss this happening?

I sit.  The same laughing people are now on a bragging competition of who has been here the longest, who is the most frequent eater.

-“I have been here since Pizza Night, oh, that was good”.

-”I got here on friday, it was Petiscos!”.

Funny enough, the staff is also sitting with us at the table, and they insist to mention how many other amazing dishes they had, and we should have tried.

They then stand up, they know it’s duty time, so they walk back to the kitchen, and come back in seconds, with plates piled up in the arms, ladies first, that’s classy. They sit back. And there is finally silence. There is too much to try to waste time with words. Soon you start hearing some mumbling:

– “Oh, that’s really good!, is that fresh mayo?”

-“Yes it is”-I shout. “I saw her making it”-that is when realise I am now playing the whole game of who is more local on the table.

Everyone is happy.

“How can it only cost 5 euro?”

The staff -circumstantial locals from every part of the globe- stand up again, one of them announces there is still dessert.

They come back, and this time even quicker than the previous time. On the plate, a very moist pumpkin cake, topped with cream cheese frosting, and orange zest. Ok, I will not mention again this is classy, I better just walk up and say thanks to the chef.

She is there, in her little kingdom, now doing the dishes, while sipping on a beer the bartender has granted her, as a reward for another success. I ask her where all that came from. She mentions, her mom, her grandma, her dad… Food is a way of living, and Portuguese people live well.

She also mentions the many places she uses as inspiration. She mentions “Casa da india”, “Oh I know this one”- I am now a local, aww Yeah!

I could just go back to bed now, but the beats at the bar are just getting better, people are standing up, I hear “SHOTS!”. Nah, I am not falling into this trap again, I have seen it all before. “Let’s go just for a beer”, can quickly turn to one million and I am out until 5 AM, craving for a slice of frozen pizza from lunch. That would be a blasphemy after such a feast.

What? Where am I? I do not know how I got here, but the first beer is now the number five, and I am surrounded by many more, in the streets, and I have no intention of stopping now. Oh well, thank god there is pão com chouriço.

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