After failing to get a table at Taberna Sal Grosso, we walked the narrow, winding streets of Alfama towards Taberna Salmoura. The name of the restaurant appealed to us. Salmoura is the Portuguese word for brine, a mixture of water and salt traditionally used to tenderize meat and enhance its flavor.
Taberna Salmoura is owned by Joaquim Saragga, the chef of Taberna Sal Grosso, together with Filipe Ramalho, an interior designer turned restaurateur. The concept of the two taverns is similar—traditional recipes cooked with local, seasonal ingredients–but Taberna Salmoura is more spacious and offers a different menu.
The restaurant was full but we found some seats in a large communal table by the kitchen. Filipe suggested we order a few dishes to share. We tried two xeréms (a version of polenta popular in the Algarve) one with duck and the other with a cockle called berbigão. Next, came rissóis stuffed with a manta ray filling, a salad made with snap peas, fava beans, turnip and peanuts. The grand finale was an oxtail pie. Everything was tasty and satisfying.
It is wonderful to find a restaurant with modest prices that does not compromise on the quality of the food it serves. When we congratulated Filipe, he told us that his dream was to create the kind of restaurant where he would like to eat regularly. At Taberna Salmoura he made this dream came true.
Taberna Salmoura is located at Rua dos Remédios 98 Alfama, Lisboa, Portugal, tel. 968711094.