Friday, March 04, 2016

Friday, March 04, 2016


Posted by Hippo Bean at 11:29 PM
We've been looking for an authentic Portuguese restaurant that would satisfy our hunger and yearning for the palette of good old days. Bacalhau, caldo verde, feijoada, arroz doce, carapaus asados, sardinhas, you know, the regular Portuguese cuisine. So we drove an hour and half to Alum Rock for Adega. I sang Vinho Verde all the way down to San Jose. We got there early so we hopped in to the Bacalhau grill and trade rite market. I've stumbled on it when I was looking for the Adega menu online. It turned out S knew the owner of the Bacalhau grill and market who is from Azores, and she also knows the owner of Adega. We went quite wild at the market and bought bacalhau, tins of sardines, Madrugada tea (lemongrass, wow), portuguese olive oil, chourizo and a bottle of vinho tinto alentejo for Pa. what a feast for us. Adega turned out to be quite a place. It is located exactly where the old Sousa restaurant which was closed for a while now, used to be. The 2 rooms dinning hall is separated by a large barn door, 1 room with an enormous rack display of their vast portuguese wine collection and the other room a mural of very portuguese white and blue tiles, depicting various greek gods. We've started with olives, salted butter and Adega's own hummus and home made bread. The olives and hummus were fantastic. the bread so so and it was cold. For appetizers, we had pasteis the bacalhau (a must for us), coelho mouro (rabbit terrine) and barriga de porco e favas (pork belly, pea puree). The coellho, i didnt care for much which disapointed me as I love rabbit, but the pasteis de bacalhau was very good indeed and the barriga de porco, heavenly. I've learnt from online reviews that the caldo verde was not the type we're used to, so initially I didnt order it for fear of being disappointed. A and S ordered 1 to share and as it turned out it was so very good that I've ordered it too after the entrees which was shared among us, the bife à portuguesa and the polvo à lagareiro (roasted octopus). The beef which came with fried cubes of potatos on a heavenly tasty sauce and the meat on a rectangle simmering hot block, was cooked just right, medium, tender and tasty. however, not really portuguese. The octopus was just OK. We've ordered another round of pasteis. The caldo verde was kale with crispy bits of chourizo and a creamy potato juice that looked yellow and was poured in. Not exactly our home made caldo verde which is really green but nevertheless the soup was very good. We downed all this with vinho verde quinta de soalheiro alvarinho 2014. Wow, it was smooth, not like the yucky bland ones I had before. Not much of a white wine person and much less vinho verde, but this one, mmm, was what young grape supposed to taste. Guess it made me vinho verde alvarinho drinker from now on. For dessert we had the arroz doce (of course) but again it came in fried balls but again heavenly delicious. We also had the torta de laranja but it was nothing but sweet. Couldnt even taste the orange. Then the chefs came out to greet the guests. Nice gesture. Young couple, full of smiles, not much talk. During our meal, the co-owner's father also came out to chat with S. She knows quite a few locals in the San jose community. Adega, expensive, ambience nice, food not bad but again, not authentic. I understand this as the chef Mr Costa has to put in his own touch. But nothing beats the Ma and Pa style home cooking. The Bacallhau grill and market also has a small restaurant inside it. By the looks of the dishes displayed, which included a carapaus with small potatoes, perhaps this one would be more to our liking. We'll try eating there next (and buy more bacalhau!).

The polvo:

The mural:



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