Review: 100 Maneiras

5 April 2015

I arrived in the beautiful city of Lisbon on the afternoon of Easter Sunday at the beginning of a 4-day stay at the Portuguese capital — and the start of nearly 2 weeks of before-it-gets-too-hot visit to the south of Europe. I’ve not been back in Lisbon for over a decade, and that was a short, poorly-planned trip. I was looking forward to getting the most out of my days here!

Although it was Easter Sunday, I managed to get a booking at the very-well regarded 100 Maneiras in the historic Barrio Alto. Although it lost its Michelin star awhile ago, I still hear very good things about the restaurant and its Sarajevo-born chef, Ljubomir Stanišić.

I was running a bit late thanks to the Metro being on holiday hours, so I ran up alongside the Elevador da Glória. I was a sweaty mess when I got there, but I relaxed with some good white port and copious amounts of water. Ah, soothing…

I have been told much about Stanišić’s cooking, and have read some fascinating things. So I was truly looking forward to this tasting menu. You see chef’s playfulness and creativity with the first dish, dehydrated cod.

01-dehydrated_cod

Interesting, but the dehydration takes what little flavours out of the cod, so the coriander aioli and the red pepper coulis became very necessary. An interesting start. Then we have dish number two, lamb carpaccio.

02-lamb_carpaccio

To be honest this was very, very bland. The addenda, including the garlic puree, did not add much to this dish. The seasoning was all over the place, with clumps of salt in some parts of the dish. I was starting to worry about the Sunday dining curse, and not just Sunday, but holiday Sunday…

I relaxed and enjoyed some more wine from the pairing of all local wines when we moved to the third dish, which looked very creative.

03-scallop

This is a cute tic-tac-toe-influenced plating of a seared scallop as well as turnip. This was a good dish, although don’t be fooled — there is only 1 scallop on this plate. Then the next dish came the heaviness…

04-egg_potato_foam

A potato-foam-centric dish with poached egg and what they call “bread sand” in a gruel-ish type of dish. This didn’t really work for me in combination, and the truffle (which I don’t care for as my readers know) was even more of a textural distraction. Didn’t work…

I was starting to worry that this menu wasn’t gonna wow me, despite the crazy stuff I’ve been told chef has done in the past. That feeling continued when the next course arrived, the mullet.

05-mullet

The mullet was cooked well but I wasn’t jumping off my chair for it, nor for the quinoa under it. This over-used item was nicely cooked in a shellfish broth, but I can do without this hipster staple. Next…

Now this was a cute way to present a palate cleanser…

06-grapefruit_ginger_peppermint

This was actually the highlight of the night so far, a very refreshing cocktail of grapefruit, ginger and peppermint. Mmm… Then we moved to the last of the savoury dishes, and my heart sank…

07-pork_belly

This was a slow-cooked piece of pork belly. The celery puree was too starchy, and the pork belly was not executed very well to be honest. It was hard to eat by this point, as the restaurant was also rather warm and increasingly humid (as it started to rain outside).

I was pretty much done at this point. This was a very mediocre tasting menu and not executed particularly well. I was frankly disappointed by how ordinary and boring this was. We could have been sitting in a small city in the middle of nowhere in the US and have this type of tasting menu. Perhaps Easter did affect both product and execution, but then why open?

08-desserts

The two desserts were not bad, a pear tatin and chestnut pudding, but at this point it was not gonna change my opinion of this place. It was nice, and the staff were good, but it wasn’t as special as people suggest it is. Very ordinary in every aspect.

I walked out in the humid night, trying not to break my neck going down the steep Lisbon hills with the ridiculously slippery stones used for the pavement. Not a great start, too ordinary. Lisbon is not ordinary, and I hate to see it ordinary like this.

If there ever was a definition of “meh” tonight kind of defined it…

100 Maneiras
Rua do Teixeira 35
Lisboa, Portugal

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2 thoughts on “Review: 100 Maneiras

  1. Pingback: Bloody Feastin’ in Lisbon…You Gotta Love It! | melhuang1972

  2. Pingback: Review: Belcanto | melhuang1972

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