Two architects working in Lisbon, Paulo Esteves and Sandra Gomes, went to the Algarve to visit their family. By happenstance, they heard about a competition for the concession of a restaurant at the entrance of the Manta Rota beach. They were tired of their busy lives in the capital and yearned to be closer to nature, so they decided to apply.
A long time passed until one day, when they had almost forgotten about the competition, they learned they had won!
They called their restaurant Chá com Agua Salgada (salt-water tea). It is a beautiful place with a terrace overlooking the ocean. The food is great and tastes even better because the appetizing aromas are mixed with the ocean breeze.
Our meal started with octopus samosas that were crispy and flavorful, seasoned with a curry mayonnaise. Then came carabineiros, large shrimps from Algarve, paired with spinach wilted in oil and garlic. Next, we enjoyed a luminous corvina cooked with lemon and a delicate algae called sea lettuce. The octopus returned to end the meal, this time seared and adorned with migas, a bread-based accompaniment.
The food looks deceptively simple, but it is prepared with great expertise by chef Marco Jacó. The service is flawless, we felt like we were having lunch at a friend’s house. And the location is heavenly.
Chá com Água Salgada is located at the entrance of the Manta Rota beach, tel. 281 952 856. Click here for their website.