Vic’s Restaurante Português receives a makeover from executive chef Martinho Moniz
Martinho Moniz provides a modern twist on the presentation of familiar Portuguese plates
Located at the colonial-style Rocks Hotel at the end of Fisherman’s Wharf, Vic’s Restaurante Português takes a modern look at traditional Portuguese ingredients and dishes. Executive chef Martinho Moniz, who opened Hong Kong’s first traditional Portuguese restaurant, Casa Lisboa, and went on to be head chef at Guincho a Galera in Macau, keeps the flavours simple and clean.
The interior too is modern, with traditional elements such as the blue and white azulejo panels on the walls, and similar designs on the chair upholstery and curtains. Otherwise, the flooring and tables are wooden with black iron chandeliers hanging from the high ceiling. Bathed in natural light, the restaurant has a harbour view and a patio where diners can dine by the sea.
There is a bar for pre-dinner drinks and an open kitchen at the end of the dining room. The menu offers familiar Portuguese plates, but Moniz puts a modern twist on the presentation.
An Iberico platter with home-made bread and olive oil whetted our appetite, followed by charcoal-smoked sardines on corn bread and tomato concasse. The generous portion of sardines went perfectly with the corn bread and tomatoes.
While waiting for our mains of whole sea bass roasted in Figueira salt crust, which serves up to three, the chef suggested an off-menu platter. He brought small dishes including scrambled egg with farinheira, olives galegas, home-made pumpkin jam with extra virgin olive oil which complemented the bread, my favourite black sausages, a rich chicken liver pate with port wine and a mild goat cheese with honey and rosemary, caramelised on the top. The sea bass came with sides of boiled potatoes, broccoli and cabbage. Every dish we sampled was excellent. The sea bass was perfect and hardly needed the fresh lemon and herbs.
For dessert, we tried the hearty Portuguese rice pudding, half with chocolate dust over the top, Portuguese roasted pears in red Oporto wine, the must-try orange pudding with caramel sauce and chocolate salami with dried fruit and nuts.
The menu offers family-sized mains for sharing including traditional seafood and meat dishes from fish and seafood stew in traditional cataplana for up to three people to half lamb roasted in clay which serves up to eight people or tapas.Tracey Furniss