Monocle 24’s “The Menu” talks to Lisbon’s rising culinary talent, João Sá, owner and chef of SÁLA.
It is called SÁLA and it bears the Chef surname because here he wants to receive us as if it were the dinning room of his own house. An intimate space, where the open kitchen invites you to know the chef’s suggestions. Here the flavors will go on to the rhythm of the seasons. In a room that will seat 34 diners with a cleaned and luminous portuguese interior design.
The space is dominated by light and bright wood. This Pombaline room recovered by the ForStudio architecture studio highlights a decorative element, a central area in brushed brass. This element ties in perfectly with the other colors present in the menu and in other remarks: gold over blue.
The kitchen has been going through the life of João Sá since forever. At 12 he was already creating gastronomic events at school and at age 14, his interest in everything that was practical and manual took him to the Estoril Turism and HospitalitySchool. It was an early entry into the demanding kitchen world and the path was intense and pulse-free.
When it comes to classic French eateries in New York City, few are more iconic than SOHO’s Balthazar. We sent Alex Delany to this famous brasserie to try one of everything on the breakfast menu, and we didn’t send him alone. For this episode, he was joined by French-speaking pastry expert Claire Saffitz to eat way too much food and drink multiple bowls (yes, bowls) of milky coffee.
Occupying a railway arch in London’s buzzing Flat Iron Square, Bar Douro was created as a way to bring authentic Portuguese food to London. With ties to Portugal traced back through the family, Bar Douro has matched exquisite Portuguese wines with all the tradition of local Portuguese food. The atmospheric 30-cover marble counter-top dining space offers an intimate window to the best of Portuguese culinary heritage.
Don’t balk at trying something new, since Ambar rewards rookies with a lineup of enticing offerings at appealing prices. This two-story restaurant’s rustic-country décor is as well suited to groups as it is to solo diners. Come with a gang and eat to your heart’s content with the Balkan Experience, which is a litany of delightful small plates. Don’t fret if you’re sans friends though, as everyone is guaranteed a good time.
Order the chef’s platter and you’ll be treated to the likes of pita sa sirom, a flaky cheese pie resting in a red bell pepper- and eggplant-ajvar sauce. Partake in the veal and beef kebabs set in a sheep’s milk cheese spread; or sour cabbage stuffed with rice, pork belly and set atop garlicky mashed potatoes for even more fun.
In 1924, Hulda and Gottlieb Zumsteg took over the erstwhile “Hôtel de la Couronne” on Rämistrasse 4, at the corner of Bellevue in Zurich. They reopened as the Restaurant Kronenhalle. Under the skilled management of restaurateur Hulda Zumsteg it soon became the meeting point of writers and artists.
The restaurant became popular with the local establishment and names such as Coco Chanel, Yves Saint Laurent, Pablo Picasso, Alberto Giacometti, James Joyce, Richard Strauss, Max Frisch and Friedrich Dürrenmatt also graced the guest list. The Kronenhalle owes as much to its renowned guests as to Gustav Zumsteg, Hulda’s son, who followed in his mother’s footsteps, while putting his own inimitable stamp on it. His passion for art contributed to the Kronenhalle’s considerable prominence. Since 2005, his estate is being administered by the Hulda und Gustav Zumsteg foundation according to his last will.
With just four tables, a few counter seats and no reservations, getting a spot at Kiln can be a challenge. But it is one that is absolutely worth the wait.
Chosen as the UK’s Best Restaurant in the 2018 National Restaurant Awards, this Soho hotspot specialises in a roadside barbeque style of Thai cooking. The kiln it is named after is the hulking stove which dominates the restaurant. On it sits countless rustic claypots from which wafts a tempting mix of palm sugar, sweet basil and hot charcoal.The 22 seats along the steel counter are the best in the house, as you can watch the chefs scrupulously chopping, flipping and searing ingredients – most of which have been picked or caught just a few hours before.
At less than £7, the baked glass noodles with Tamworth pork belly and brown crab meat is probably the best value dish in London.
While New York City may not be a city known for its barbecue, Hometown Bar-B-Que stands apart as a truly great spot to meet your smokey meat needs. We sent Alex Delany to go try one perfect bite of every item on the menu at this joint, and we also sent his buddy Brad Leone along for the ride.