SoãoMagazine Flavour | 27 Sep 2018
CHALLENGING THE SENSES
We are in Alvalade’s area, in one of the most frantic Lisbon streets, but immediately we are transported to the deepest East. We are still at a glass distance of bustling Lisbon, but after passing the door of Soão – Taberna Asiática we switched universe and forgot what we left outside. Here begins the real challenge to the senses. In the new and busy pan-Asian restaurant of the Portuguese capital, the sensory experience goes far beyond the flavours. Besides, it is difficult to establish that we will be able to absorb everything in such a short space of time. Our journey begins right on arrival, welcomed by the Japanese god of wind, Fujin, and where we can feel the typical bustle of the East. Wood and warm tones are dominant. The sound, the aroma. We could be in one of the most characteristic neighborhoods of Bangkok or Shanghai. The lighting, the details, the decoration – cages, sake barrels and the traditional paper lanterns. Nothing here was left to chance, for the experience to be faultless. On the left side, a robata counter – a Japanese specialty – where 14 places allow the restaurant’s guests to watch, in the first row, the preparation of some of the menu’s main dishes by the author, chef Luís Cardoso. The excitement in the restaurant’s main room is enthralling. And it captivates. Nevertheless, they prepared for us a more reserved experience. A neon light on the wall shows us the way. On the underground floor, the silence and the scarce illumination transports us to another atmosphere, to a darker, dimmer Orient. But where sophistication also rules. In a narrow corridor that stirs our curiosity, we found a bar and four exclusive rooms – Kimono, Bamboo, Silk and Velvet – one of them waiting for us.
Featured in ROOF 16
Text: Isadora Faustino
Interiors Photography: Paulo Barata
Food Photography: Isadora Faustino
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