Five courses, five wine matches at Alma restaurant. There are a number of degustation choices offered here and we chose the one named coast to coast. That is, seafood from start to finish, including dessert!
In Spain restaurants don’t really open before 8:30pm and often later. A 7:00pm Portuguese timeslot was welcomed by our stomach clock. The downside being that Lisbon is more expensive, certainly more expensive than the South of Spain.
The degustation has five courses. The above four arrived before counting began.
Appetisers were braised sardines and the squid with chickpeas in broth. Next came two mains, one of which was a sensational parrot fish on basil rice.
Another amuse bouche and then dessert of a seafood and citrus combination that had chrystallised algae and squid ink meringue. Strange but successful.
The wine matches were all from Portugal. I cannot recall previously sampling Portuguese wines. I cannot recall seeing Portuguese wines advertised in Australia (ignoring the fortifieds). The advertised five wines turned into six and were each full glass pours. The starter was a sparkling Baga, it was crisp and dry and I have never heard of the grape but after tasting it I would certainly buy a bottle. The best wine I thought was the Albarino. The dessert was paired with Vermouth. I don’t like Vermouth, but I did like this, it worked very well with the strange seafood and citrus dessert. A Sauvignon Blanc didn’t work for me, not on its own, nor with the food.
The other three wines I also think didn’t stand on their own. However, the other three wines were wonderful with the accompanying food. I thought the match was a triumph. I came away thinking that the reason I have seen little Portuguese wine in Australia is because it isn’t very good. Alma took not very good wine and successfully matched it with the food to create an effective complement, which I guess is what the pairing is all about. I congratulate them, I thought the wine matching was a triumph.
Price Euros 290 for two plus tip. Stand out parrot fish and wine matching. The service is very good and friendly and the location is impressive. Good value? I think a price of 290 euros is a little ahead of the offering. Nevertheless a recommend.