A Raposa is quirky and eclectic in almost every way. Sergio is the chef and the only person we see front of house is a lady, that we assume is his wife. The grand dining room has a high stucco ceiling, carved wooden furniture, the walls are decorated in murals and the tableware looks like it has been here since the 19th century. During the day the tall windows must let in plenty of light but, in the evening, light is provided by what look like netted birdcages full of flowers hanging from the ceiling!
They do have a menu in English – which helped as the lady serving us has about as much understanding of English as we have of Portuguese. We attempt a conversation about the menu but, in the end, we just have to hope for the best. We order two glasses of Vadio red wine from the Bairrado region of Portugal. It is very good – full bodied with notes of fruit and balsamic.
We are sharing a starter of mini toasts topped with creamed goats cheese, gorgonzola, camembert, sesame seeds and something sweet which we can’t quite identify. They are, nevertheless, very enjoyable.
Rock decides to have the Carpaccio Tropical – a mix of leaves and seeds with smoked salmon, mango and strawberry. She finds it a lovely mix of fresh ingredients but the mustard seed liquor combined with the mango makes the dish just too sweet for her. I have the sirloin of beef with a selection of different types of potato and toasted seeds. My steak is beautiful – perfectly cooked and full of flavour.
For dessert we share the berry cheesecake. We are surprised to find it served warm, it is not the most exciting of cheesecakes and a bit of a disappointment.
It has been a fascinating evening. We loved the wine and I loved my steak. The mini toasts were really good and the feel and décor of A Raposa has been an interesting change from the norm. We need to learn far more of the Portuguese language before coming here again…