Ramiro: A Lisbon Institution.

You haven’t been to Lisbon if you haven’t eaten in Ramiro. It is a Lisbon institution where you will eat the most sensational fish and seafood in a noisy boisterous atmosphere with paper table covering and long long queues outside. The food is that good.

We thought we would be really clever and miss the queues if we didn’t go at obvious meal times. Well it seems half of Lisbon thoughts so too. But at least now they have some sort of covering outside with high tables so you can go in and order beers or wine while you wait. And its worth the wait.

The last time we went were were seated upstairs which is not so noisy. Packed of course but because the room is bigger you don’t get that overwhelming noise of downstairs which is totally mad but you also miss the fun seeming chaos of downstairs.

Once you are allowed in you are confronted with an array of seafood and chefs madly cooking grilling steaming and shouting orders. On football nights where there are important matches the large TVs are switched on and the atmosphere is electric. This is not a place of fine dining but seafood served simply with no fanfare. We love the special crab starter served in the half shell and we always have the clams in white wine sauce and bread to start with. Its simply delicious. We followed this with giant king prawns grilled. 2 each as they are enormous and filling. We generally follow this with whatever the waiter suggests or what we see on the plate of others diners. Sometimes

I find it hard to resist picking an oyster from someone else’s table or dipping my bread into the garlic prawns. The tables are tightly packed like a school so this into the place for intimacy.

Look this is not the kind of place you go to for fine dining or quiet intimate chats. This place is about food, fingers shouting to be heard and getting messy. Its place to go to with friends and family I love it because of all the ambience it creates of togetherness.

I have never had deserts before. They are very famous for their vodka lemon sorbet but I don’t like vodka so I opted to try out a selection of Portuguese deserts. They were sticky sweet unsophisticated but hit all the right buttons after the fish.

You will either love this place or shrug and walk away but you wont be indifferent.





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