Imagine a stunning view over Lisbon in one of the city’s most typical neighborhoods, the mastery of Portuguese cuisine with African influence, excellent service and the most beautiful pieces from Vista Alegre, which decorate every table. This is Zambeze Restaurante & Rooftop Bar, one of my favorite places in Lisbon.
It’s one of my “guilty pleasures” – strolling through Lisbon, vibrating with the rhythm of the night, the artists who liven up the streets and the smell of roasted chestnuts that is already felt in the air and calls for autumn. Even before entering the Zambezi we are already dazzled by the beautiful view over Lisbon, and at dinner time, the colors of the city take on an even greater magic. Inside, the elegance of the space, decorated in warm tones, and the friendliness of the entire staff make us feel immediately welcome. This is one of the best restaurants to enjoy the best Mozambican cuisine combined with traditional Portuguese cuisine.
The gastronomic proposals are tempting and distinct aromas and flavors arrive at our table: the fresh bread that accompanies the delicious Serra da Estrela and Casa da Ínsua Cheese Board, the olive oil, Crab Curry and Zambezian Chicken – intense flavors and a spicy in the right dose that awakens our senses, but there are other options that deserve several visits to be tasted too – Cod in cornbread crust with chestnut puree, Goat rice, Mozambican tiger prawns or Duck chacuti. For dessert we finished with a velvety Curd cheesecake with pumpkin jam and a Biscuit cake with caramel crunch.
Zambezi specialties are always very well accompanied by Casa da Ínsua wines, which deserve a prominent place throughout the meal. Part of the Montebelo Hotels & Resorts group, Casa da Ínsua dates back to the 17th century and is located in the Dão Demarcated Region, providing a perfect pairing with all the dishes we tasted.
Everything happens at a relaxed pace, regardless of the purpose of our visit, be it a business lunch or simply getting together with a group of friends and socializing, discovering and sharing flavors. The table is elegantly composed of Amazónia pieces by Vista Alegre and Bordallo Pinheiro, inspired by the fauna, flora and natural environments of Mozambican landscapes and experiences, complementing the traditional surroundings of the Zambezi, with eclectic and animal-inspired patterns.
But in addition to the restaurant’s two sophisticated rooms, there is a space that immediately captures our attention, the generous 300 square meter outdoor terrace, perfect for enjoying the late afternoon with the autumn colors. And we easily imagine ourselves here, letting time go by, in a relaxed atmosphere, while contemplating the tranquility of the Tagus. Zambezi is a special place where we want to return often and enjoy the calm moments that are also possible within the hustle and bustle of the city.
By Carla Branco