"Stay Humble, Believe in Yourself and Try to be Original"
Portuguese chef Henrique Sá Pessoa came up with the brilliant idea of trying tapas and petiscos from both sides of the border, using products new to the city of Lisbon.
I have known Henrique for a few years now through Rui Silvestre, a good chef's friend who runs a Michelin star restaurant in the south of Portugal called Vistas.
During a work trip we ended up at Tapisco. Making a reservation was almost impossible, but through Rui we managed to get that last beautiful spot!
At the front of the restaurant, the bartender was standing in the window preparing cocktails. That was a beautiful sight of both the shaking and the end result. We got thirsty!
We got a beautiful table at the very back so that we had an overview of the entire restaurant! It couldn't be better!
At Tapisco, Iberian cuisine is celebrated. The menu is split into two sides - Portuguese and Spanish - with the Spanish side having strong Catalan influences.
The cozy and modern place definitely invited us to share and allowed us to taste perfectly prepared dishes. Henriques created the place in his own way and promotes the gastronomy of both countries.
Some of the dishes on the menu that we took were the Tuna Tartar with avocado and wasabi “eggs”, Iberian Charcuterie Board, Octopus Salad with vinaigrette and smoked paprika, Grilled Scarlet Shrimp with alioli and rice or tomato salad, Patatas Bravas and the Salted Cod “Lagareiro” with baby potatoes and garlic oil.
We also tried the Tapisco signature cocktails - Príncipe (the sweetest), Monarca and Majestade (the most intense). Absolutely amazing!
The dessert...was the best chocolate mousse I've ever eaten (and I thought mine was very close to perfection..:). You absolutely have to take that one when you are there and you really have to keep a place in your stomach for that: the Dark Chocolate Mousse with olive oil and fleur de sel.
What we immediately liked about Tapisco was the 'friendly' atmosphere, the table discussions, the laughter and the impromptu debates. And that's exactly what makes Tapisco a great place to hang out. Besides the wonderful, traditional and mouth-watering dishes, the comfort of the place takes the experience to a whole new level. He and his team absolutely managed to surprise us!
Henrique tries to source sustainable ingredients, minimise waste, avoid the use of plastics and make his team conscious of day-to-day good practices.
Henrique Sá Pessoa was born in Oeiras and has been around the world in search of training, but it is Lisboa he now calls home.
During an exchange in the United States, he discovered the love for cooking while attending a lecture on the Cordon Bleu Institute, a prestigious school of gastronomy, hospitality and management, where he would later study.
In Portugal he is best known for his appearances in the national cooking show Ingrediente Secreto. He won the Chef of the Year award in 2005 and more soon followed: GQ Chef of the Year (2017), Time Out Top 20 Restaurants in Lisbon and World's 50 Best Discovery (Alma Restaurant).
Part of the so-called revolution of Portuguese haute cuisine, Sá Pessoa is the third Portuguese chef in history to be recognized with two Michelin stars.
The road to culinary success is an arduous one and fraught with difficulty, but if you can find a passion to motivate you then a lot of the hardship actually goes out of the work and it is transformed into something more positive.
R. Dom Pedro V 80
Other restaurants of Henrique:
ALMA Fine dining restaurant distinguished with two Michelin Stars. Author's cuisine served informally in a sophisticated atmosphere.
CAIS DA PEDRA Signature cuisine burgers combined with premium cocktails and a privileged view over Tejo River, a place for relaxed dining.
BALCÃO The tribute to national cuisine traditional flavors, inspired by the comfortable atmosphere of Portuguese taverns.
1012 TN Amsterdam