Panda in February

Porto

Tapabento – Interesting and unassuming tapas restaurant next to Sao Bento station. Dishes were generally well made, though selection is a tad limited for a tapas restaurant.

Verso em Pedra – Recommended as one of the best places for Francesinha along the Douro River. Whilst I have nothing to compare it with I’d stick with the more famous and often referred to institutions.

Cantinho do Avillez – Trendy eatery by Portuguese favourite José Avillez. Dishes at times might sound a little pretentious but on the whole were beautifully cooked. Hazelnut dessert might not be life changing but definitely a sweet ending.

O Forno do Leitao do Ze, Mercado Bom Sucesso – Popular place for leitao. The pork was crispy, wished there was more of it, but the accompanying sauce was a little too overpowering. Side note: Mercado Bom Successo is a great little (up)market to walk around for lunch.

Arvore Restaurant – Beautiful restaurant at the arts cooperative though the food on the group menu was a little uninspiring.

Flor dos Congregados – Beautiful, out of the way, restaurant to while away a few hours. Food was well made and their speciality, Terylene, is worth a try.

Cafe Majestic – Soak in some history at this grand cafe. Whilst pricey sipping some tea and gobbling up, a few, desserts in the afternoon is a definite must for any traveler; listening to the piano, you’ll not be rushed out!

Raiz – A quiet but centrally located restaurant. Stick to their classic offerings. To note: they cook their meat on the rare side.

Vinhas D’Alho – Food was generally good and outdoor seating is available looking onto the Douro River but staff were generally uninterested verging on rude.

Delices Cafe – Beautiful place to chill out, though the gelatos were on the sweet side.

Nata Lisboa – We went to both their branches. Takeaway at Santa Catarina was fine and their warm nata was a lovely way to start the day but our experience at the Rua das Flores branch was diabolical. My tip, if you go there, don’t sit outside! Or if you must, order to takeaway.

Confeitaria Bella Roma – Simple confeitaria filled with locals in the morning. A good place to start the day with some cheap pastries.

Nut’ – All things Nutella! Go if you need a Nutella fix but don’t bother with the churros.

 

Nottingham

The Lobster Pot, Beeston – An intriguing mix of seafood and Thai dishes. The specials present the most intriguing mix of the two otherwise you just get a decent seafood restaurant with the usual selection of Thai favourites.

Red’s – Some real highlights, like the rib tips, brisket and moreish shakes, but marred by a few weak offerings but we also probably over ordered on the feast…

Junkyard – The food on offer, well the ones that they had available, didn’t really cater to sit down diners or snacks with drinks punters so it misses the trick for both.

Chino Latino – Pricey and whilst the food attempts to fuse interesting ingredients lacks real punch but an enjoyable meal if had with a discount!

 

March might see some Panda’s firsts so keep a look out for some extraordinary dining experiences!

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