Segundo Muelle Portugal - Praça Dom Luís I, 30, Loja 4B (Cais do Sodré), Lisboa
Unlike Italian, Japanese and Chinese restaurants, Peruvian gastronomic specialties are not yet massified in Portugal. Eating in a Peruvian restaurant should be a distinct experience and made the most of.
So my expectations were very high when I decided to try Segundo Muelle restaurant, next to Dom Luis I Square in Cais do Sodré. We took advantage of a Time Out Lisboa magazine promotion and set a table for two.
When we arrived at the place, I noticed that I had passed there several times and had never noticed that it was a Peruvian restaurant. It has little reference to the type of food and culture it provides, with a perfectly banal decor, capable of belonging to any type of restaurant. Despite this, we were kindly greeted by an employee who referred us to the table and explained how the menu works.
Organized by the different roots of Peruvian cuisine - Classics, Mediterranean, Oriental, and Native Food - the menu is quite extensive which caused me some doubts about what I wanted to try. I knew ceviche was going to be one of them but what about the rest? With over 30 dishes, it still took a long time to choose. We opted for traditional ceviche to start, followed by tacu tank and tartar de salmón, accompanied by piscos.
While the food was being cooked, we were snacking on chiffles (banana chips fried bread) with aji amarillo sauce (yellow chili, yellow pepper, and lime juice). Delicious. I think I had never eaten banana bread cooked this way. They look like small toasts but with a distinct flavor and mixed with the sauce, they are delicious.
The first dish to come to the table was ceviche, the best known of all but also the one for which I had the highest expectation and I can say it was on point. The fish, soaked in tiger leche and mixed with the red onion, chopped coriander, and corn, had the delicious, sharp, refreshing flavor. Seconds later Thin onion strips. It was the first jolt of textures and pleasurable pains.
The tank tacu left much to be desired. It was not at all a dish that pleased me. The intense flavor of the banana, mixed with the rice and beans base, still with salmon sauce, made me feel too nauseating. It was a wrong choice on my part that made me disillusioned after such a good start.
Finally, the tartar of salmon did not leave me with great memories either. I felt I had tasted better at home. The quality of the salmon was undeniable, mixed with small avocado pieces previously marinated in olive oil, garlic, and lime. It's a fairly easy dish to cook at home and for 13 € I expected something a little more distinct, more irreverent. Again, not bad. It was just normal.
In the end, what I felt was that the experience did not live up to expectations. The menu is too extensive, the decor leaves a lot to be desired, which made some negative impact on dinner. The food is good but I don't think it's worth the money we paid.
Segundo Muelle is a successful restaurant - 18 restaurants spread across six countries: Peru, Ecuador, Costa Rica, Panama, Spain and Portugal - which is in our country through a partnership between creator Daniel Manrique and the Portugália Group.