In a relaxed environment, where different people come together and share tables is what Prego da Peixaria is all about. Situated right next to the Botanical Gardens in the heart of Príncipe Real, it’s a restaurant with a contemporary rustic touch, urban and unpretentious, whose beautiful graffiti, illuminated by the lovely skylight, jumps right out at you. It’s a buzzing restaurant with lots of locals hanging out here when we arrived.
The restaurant’s name, a prego is a Portuguese version of a burger except it’s made of thin slices of beef steak. Or in the case of peixaria, a word which means “fish shop,” some burgers are also made with cod, tuna or shrimp and squid, all served in different types of bread, like carob or Madeira’s traditional flat bread called bolo do caco.
Since it was a sweltering afternoon, we opted for a couple of bottles of easy to drink Voll-Damm Double Malta lager beers and fresh pressed juice of green apples and oranges from Algarve to cool our heels. Tartares topped with a quail egg sounds like a great idea since it’s a cold dish and our server highly recommended it. The both the salmon tartar and Wagyu beef tartare were silky, fresh and delectable. My dining companions were swooning over the Wagyu for its intense beefy flavors.
The seared tuna salad was a generous plate that could easily be shared with another person. The bitter arugula greens were a lovely contrast to the sweet-tart green apples and the tender and meaty seared tuna slices. What surprised me slightly was the pile of cooked ziti pasta underneath the greens, to ensure this dish can be a meal in itself.
The seared Wagyu steak with sauteed vegetables and sweet potato fries were excellent. The beef has a whiff of aged funk that deepens the earthy beef flavor further and it’s cooked to a perfect medium-rare. The fries were addictive to eat and the sauteed carrots, zucchini and string beans were fresh and sweet.
We opted for the unique seafood inspired prego — tuna salad, salmon and cuttlefish burger in squid ink bolo do caco bread. The bread has a similar texture to the English muffin that has a fluffy, craggy textured crumb with a floured exterior but has a subtle briny flavor from the squid ink. The seafood burger was seasoned well and juicy. The two works well together.
We were pretty full but craved a scoop of Ferrero Rocher ice cream. It’s an incredibly rich ice cream and it’s not too sweet but it’s potent with the hazelnut and milk chocolate flavors. The cup of cappuccino was a great way to end the meal and keep us walking up those steep hills and sightseeing.
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O Prego da Peixaria
Rua da Escola Politécnica, 40
Phone: +351 21 347 1356