Sweet Belem
35B New Canterbury Rd
Petersham, Sydney

The décor here is reminiscent of what you would find in Portugal. The lovely pictures on the wall depicting different scenes including one of Tram 28 that is famous in Lisbon. The tiled walls inside and the so very cute tiled blue tables add to the atmosphere. There glass displays are so inviting and you can choose from many delicious options that include salted caramel donuts filled with that wondrous custard. Nutella tarts are also an option here.

Sweet Belem Cake Boutique serves Portuguese tarts that are renowned in Sydney for being the best. Having tried them – we can clearly see why! Earlier this year we visited Lisbon Portugal and were very fortunate to try the Portuguese tarts from Pasteis de Belem. Boy oh Boy these ones at Sweet Belem were simply AMAZING too!!!

The Portuguese tarts from Sweet Belem Cake Boutique are as good as those from Pasteis de Belem in Lisbon Portugal. The pastry is crispy and flaky. The yummy inside is creamy and delicious and they're slightly browned on top – just right. The dusting of cinnamon completes it. They truly are mouth-watering and so very light – that you can eat a couple in one sitting. The Portuguese tarts are all handcrafted and are made with pride and passion.

Not only can you enjoy a Portuguese tart but you can also enjoy many other delectable treats.

We tried the waterbread which was so soft and moist  on the inside with a nice crunchy top – although not too crunchy - which gave it a good balance. Some breads can be quite crunchy which can be a bit hard on the teeth – this was not the case here.
We also tried a chocoholic’s dream which was absolutely lovely. It had a gooey type centre with an amazing chocolate top that simply gave it fudge like type of sensation when you ate it. This was pure decadence. Next we tried a baked chocolate tart. Now this really was sensational. The crispness of the top as you bit into it revealing the luxurious velvety centre. The two different textures complimented one another so well. It is not a heavy tart which is what you don’t want and this tart was also a chocoholic’s dream. This place truly is pure heaven.

Also the coffee here is good. Mlady’s half strength Soy cappuccino and Sir’s skim flat white went down a treat with these fabulous treats.

We would like to say a special thank you to Chef Jose Silva for taking time out from his busy schedule to sit and talk to us about the wonderful history of Sweet Belem Cake Boutique, for showing and explaining how these amazing Portuguese tarts are created and for also sharing with us his next vision.

We thought we'd leave you with some pictures of just a few of the delicious treats available at Sweet Belem.

Sir and Mlady dined as guests of Sweet Belem.

Sweet Belem Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


Alma Bar and Kitchen
66 Stanley St
Darlinghurst, Sydney

Top Portuguese food in the heart of Sydney - yes please we both say! Due to our passion for Portuguese food we're actually visiting Lisbon in a month as part of our European food odyssey. It was a must on our itinerary. However, we were given an early taste of what to expect with the great Portuguese food available right in the heart of Sydney at Alma. It's deceptively big too - with a quaint area at street level and another beautifully decorated larger level upstairs. We sat on the upper level looking out over Darlinghurst and watching the movement on Stanley Street below us. Very pleasant.

Owners Michelle and Tania have put a lot of time and effort into Alma, and it shows. The decor, wine list and food is all so very appealing and the service is effortlessly efficient and very friendly from start to finish.

We of course started our food journey for the night with a cocktail as we readied ourselves for the degustation with matching wines that lay ahead. In fact we started with drinks and a show as our mixologist Osh arrived at the table and proceeded to ignite an orange peel to then use in Sirs rum based creation - that he eagerly consumed. Mlady had a lemony creation that was also delicious and very refreshing. Our advice, just give Osh some idea of what you like and leave the rest to him! 

Aren't olives a great start to any meal! They're perfect just to nibble on, sip and drink (or two) and trawl through the menu of the restaurant you're dining in? The house marinated olives here at Alma certainly lived up to expectations. We used the nibble time to look at the menu to anticipate what was to come and to chat with resident sommelier Vincenzo about our wine tastes so he could weave his magic with matching wines.

Seriously - can you set out to make a dish any prettier??? This arrived at our table and we just stared at it - so beautiful - almost to pretty to touch it - almost! It was braised lobster, tapioca, goats cheese and cauliflower - but this simplistic description somewhat hides the true depth of this delicate and delicious dish. It was spectacular in appearance and taste! This was matched with a lovely Portuguese Muralhas de Moncao Rose Vinho Verde from the far north for Mlady and a tasty Crasto Douro 2011 for Sir.  


Bacalhau (codfish) - famous for its ability to be cooked in over 1,000 ways, how its cooked on any given day is always the chefs choice .....  As you may know, bacalhau is almost a staple of Portugal and its neighbour Spain. It's such a traditional food there that it's not a surprise to see it on the menu - it would be a surprise not to! This was such a tasty version too, this time matched with a red for Mlady that was chilled to keep the acidity down and a Southern white for Sir.

Our next dish was again plated beautifully - and pork belly is always just so popular with Sir anyway!

It was described simply as crispy pork belly, frangelico, hazelnut, veggies.

Again it was pretty with a virtual palette of colours on the plate and all so tasty all in one - and the pork belly being cooked for 7 hours won Sir over instantly!
Does the thought of biting into tongue (not your own) make you nervous? Well this is not like any tongue you've ever bitten before - it's so much tastier! The beef tongue steak was amazingly tender and full with flavour. It's thrice cooked cow tongue, lentils and crispy sweet potato - and many may steer away - which is their loss. This whole dish was truly delicious and matched with an aerated 2010 Quinta Dos Carvalhais Colheita red for Mlady and a 2012 Tons de Duorum from the Douro Valley.

The culinary adventure continued with pumpkin for dessert - yes pumpkin! The Bolo de Abobora is a textured pumpkin cake that is again not what you would expect. First things first, yes it is sweet - not savoury! Secondly, the pumpkin does not overpower the dish. Thirdly, it is a lovely dessert - simple as that!

A mint and brandy cocktail for Mlady and then some moscato as our dessert wine capped off a memorable food and wine journey.

Alma Bar and Kitchen is such a charming place.

The street appeal of the place grabs you straight away, but it gets even better once inside. Then there's the food of Chef Ricardo - it's a journey you'll want to take! Of course, Vincenzo will then beautifully match wines for you and there's the cocktails from Osh as well.

It has it all and is deservedly gaining a great reputation as a hidden treasure.

Sir and Mlady dined as guests of Alma Bar and Kitchen. Special thanks to owners Michelle and Tania for inviting us and making us even happier that we're visiting Portugal soon! A big thanks also to Ricardo for his great food, Vincenzo for his excellent wine pairing and Osh for the lovely cocktails.

Alma on Urbanspoon


161 King St
Sydney CBD

Subsolo is a Portuguese word that means basement and this restaurant is certainly true to its name - being underground and actually a bit hidden away. Venture down their stairway to heaven though and you'll find a delightful Spanish/Portuguese restaurant with subdued lighting, plenty of well spaced tables and a wide variety of drinks from cocktails through to plenty of local and imported wine.

Subsolo is more casual, light and easy by day but transforms into a more sophisticated and romantic restaurant by night. They have a variety of areas there - including spaces that can be made into private areas by closing the chained curtains (they can seat 55 for dinner in the back room alone). The variety of spaces means that they have become popular with groups.

Subsolo has two sittings on weekends - 6pm and 8pm. They have to! Also being close to the Capitol Theatre means they get a lot of pre-show diners and they move them through comfortably and in time for their shows. Flat rate parking at The Westin of only $15 helps as well!

Subsolo has been there for 7 years already - it's lasted and grown. Their whole Iberian menu focuses on  Spanish/Portuguese home cooking.

We started with some lovely drinks. Sir had a delicious variation of a Bombay Sidecar - here called a Ron Coche. This drink was made with El Dorado 5 year old rum, pomme verte and Cointreau, served chilled with fresh lemon and lime juice. Mlady was in training for next years food odyssey to Spain and had a very tasty Sub Sangria. This was made with Havana Club Blanco, Curacao, sweet vermouth and came served with seasonal fruits that had been soaked in Tempranillo and it was all topped with fresh lemonade. Both drinks looked great and tasted just as good.

Richard Nichols, one of the owners, started us off on the deli board. It was very substantial having several cold cuts, cheese, jamon pate and pickled vegetables as well as some bread to pile it all on top of!  It was all so good and a great way to start our evening as we took in the buzz from the room and watched as the busy restaurant handled it all effortlessly. A bowl of warmed tasty olives dressed with fresh chilli capped it all off perfectly.

Next was a platter alternating between Bacalao salt cod croquettes and cheesy Manchego croquettes.

We love our croquettes and having two here was a bonus!

Both versions here were very tasty and full flavoured but Mlady loved the Manchego the best and Sir the salted cod. It's always a personal taste thing isn't it?

The pork belly just had to be ordered, especially when Richard described it to us. It's a speciality here. What came was two pieces of very artistically presented pork with lovely crackling on top. It had great colours with its pile of red cabbage on top and of course the apple underneath. It tasted great too!

A couple of glasses of their Luis Canas 2008 Reserva Tempranillo Blend - Rioja went so nicely with this too.

We love stuffed zucchini flowers and always marvel at the different fillings restaurants use with this versatile vegetable.

These were filled with blue cheese and came served with a side of salsa verde. Fortunately the blue cheese filling was very mild and didn't overpower the rest of the dish.

They were massive zucchini flowers too - so there was plenty of filling. 

The lamb salad was another recommendation and for a dish that we probably wouldn't have otherwise ordered. We were so glad we did though - it was soooo good and one of Sirs favourite dishes of the year.

The vibrant colours looked spectacular and the combination of fresh minted figs, tender sweet lamb, the gentle tartness of the fruity pomegranate molasses was truly beautiful. This dish was magnificent!

Our next dish was impressive as well and had a degree of showmanship with the way it was served. The beef arrived on a plate sliced and on top of a bed of colourful vegetables. However before it was served it was torched - right at the table. The beef was extremely tender and we loved the flavours of this dish. 

Their chicken espetada was slow cooked over coals to keep it tender and moist. It worked! This was another impressive dish for both appearance and taste - arriving on a massive skewer suspended from a wrought iron rack that looked like a candelabra. It all came with salad and chips making it a huge dish - no wonder they recommend it for sharing. Some tasty peri peri spices gave it a real kick.

Dessert time - and we were bulging. Nevertheless we soldiered on - what a pair of troupers! We had a lovely saffron orange sorbet  - omg - how refreshing and delicious was this! Of course it's hard to not order their famous churos - so we did. Mlady wanted a vat of the chocolate. She devoured it.

We also had two glasses of absolutely amazing Alvear 1927 Pedro Ximenez - this was liquid silk!

Subsolo has a kind of secret lair like feel to it - like somewhere spies would descend to when making world changing deals. Once you get downstairs you instantly see that it's a lovely place that is rightly very popular despite its hidden location. This place is a hidden treasure of Sydney.

Sir and Mlady dined as guests of Subsolo. Special than ks to Richard Nichols for looking after us so well. A big thanks also to Max Riley for arranging our visit so capably.

Subsolo on Urbanspoon


77 Stanley St
Darlinghurst, Sydney

Aquaviva's is new and unique. If you're after something special and different then this is the place to go. Its good value for what you get too! It's an interesting venue with lots of different areas downstairs and upstairs.

It's old world with a real wow factor on entering with beautiful timber everywhere and a sprawling bar. There are also comfortable lounges scattered around and a pretty courtyard out the back - perfect for your pre-dinner drink. Then go upstairs to the restaurant area - nicely furnished and understated class. There's even an outdoor balcony upstairs and a rear deck.

We started with the "Fat Green Olives" marinated in cinnamon, garlic and chilli. They were so plump and tasty! We also had "This Afternoon's Ciabatta" - house made ciabatta made fresh that day with oil and vinegar. The bread was extremely fresh but the vinegar and oil combinations were amazing. We had raspberry vinegar in Parmesan infused olive oil and also cinnamon infused balsamic vinegar in olive oil. So nice!

Of course a great drink is always a good way to start any night and mixologist extraordinaire Paul has created some unique ones here! Mlady tried a Disaronno Sour - made from amaretto disaronno, lemon juice, maraschino juice, sugar syrup, brandy and egg white. Even though Mlady loves amaretto she still said this was a lovely drink. Being a huge Deep Purple fan any drink called Smoke On The Water has my attention. It was a complex mix of gin, vodka, rum, cointreau, tequila, lime juice, lapsang souchong syrup and coke. It was amazing - and yes it did smell and taste of smoke - but in a nice way! They have a really good wine list here as well that has been carefully put together.

Next to arrive was Meat on Bone. Wow. This was an amazing dish to eat and to see! It looked like a beautiful flower arrangement! Almost to good to eat. It consisted of the thinnest slivers of port cured bresaola, house smoked tomato pieces and small portions of salted curd all displayed innovatively on a large bone. It tasted so good too.

Then we moved upstairs for the main part of meal! Trust us - why not do what most people here do - trust the chef - the talented Christopher Bell. 

We started with chicken liver parfait served on toasted home made rye bread. It came with a cream of champagne corn and onion, caramelised onion and salted thyme popcorn all served on a slate. It was an incredibly light dish with such a great combination of flavours. The concept with these heavily deconstructed dishes is to re-assemble the food when eating it. The flavours are designed to be eaten together. Next was an amazing combination of squash, zucchini and pumpkin in so many different guises it was like every mouthful was a new meal. 

Then there was the char grilled green prawns cooked in the shell which helped them hold their flavour. 

The prawns were so crisp on the outside that you can - and are even expected to - eat the shells with the meat. 

You can even eat the heads too - although they do provide a pot for these if you can't go that far - which we didn't.

The prawns came with red grapefruit portions and almond foam. They were delicious. 

The prawn meat was still extremely tender and all the flavours fused so well together. 

Then there was what I thought was the dish of the night. At least for me it was - although there were a few that went close. 

This was the lamb that was braised for six hours in whey. It came with cabbage, mint, thyme salt and fennel puree and finely diced Spanish onion.

I was in heaven and for once in my life - speechless (which is very rare)! It literally melted in my mouth. 

We were told that this dish had previously been removed from the menu to keep things seasonal but it had to be brought back due to demand. I could see why! We had one more main which we didn't photograph - another amazing treat again.

Finally the Christopher Bell take on watermelon and ice cream - with a twist of course. 

The watermelon was chilli salt and sugar cured - so unique and memorable. It came with house made honeycomb, fresh basil and gelato infused with coconut, tamarind and basil seeds.

This was a party in our mouths! It was not like any watermelon we'd ever had - it was so vibrant. 

All the flavours complemented one another and it was such a great finish to such a special meal. 

We finished downstairs with yet another creation from Paul. This time it was a golden cobra - named after the coffee bean. It was perfectly strained so that it ended up completely smooth.

The manager of Aquaviva's, Quentin, pointed out that different makes a difference. Aquaviva's has so much innovation, atmosphere and charm. The service is excellent from start to finish. It's obvious that a lot of love and care has gone into the making of this fine dining experience - including the decor. The restaurant has an old world charm with a rich ambiance that can be enjoyed with a special someone or with a group of friends. There are plenty of different places in Aquaviva's to rest and relax and enjoy.

Sir and Mlady dined as guests of Aquaviva's. Special thanks to Karl and Viv Fernandes and their family and also to Quentin, Paul and Christopher Bell.

Christopher Bell and Quentin (Manager)

Co-owner Viv Fernandes
Mixologist - Paul

Aquaviva's on Urbanspoon


3 Kellet St
Potts Point

Chiado is the new kid on the block in Kellet St and the brainchild and dream turned reality of owner Sandra Robinson. Its one of the few genuine Portuguese restaurants around and they have gone to a lot of trouble to create a relaxed sophistication in styling the restaurant. Everything combines well to their desired theme - from table settings through to a short history of Chiado (a popular square in Lisbon) and the food of Portugal.

Speaking of food Chiado has the talents of chef Ricardo Ferreira who has worked in Michelin three star restaurants overseas and at Quay on arrival in Australia. Here he's been able to put more of  his own stamp on the menu - and he's done it so well!

On arrival we we given a delicious selection of breads that came nicely presented with lovely herbed butter on a small wooden bread board. A bowl of very tasty black olives also arrived - and these were hard to stop eating!

We started with three petisco's - or small sharing plates. First was the Escabeche de Lulas - squid with escabeche sauce (a vinegary sauce) which was extremely tender as good squid should be and extremely refreshing served cold. Then we had the Favas com Chourico - described in the menu as "our fatal combination of soft broad beans with the flavoursome strength of our homemade smoked chorico". An amazing dish which I wouldn't normally choose but would eat again - and again. The egg on top was slow cooked for 30 minutes and was perfect. The chorico is made by Sandra and her parents and was great. This is a real "wow" dish. Finally we had the Acorda de gambas - a fragrant bread based stew with prawns - yes bread based and amazing - and beautifully presented. We weren't sure what to expect with this dish as we had visions of a heavier bread mixture but it was deceptively light and delicious.

Then there were the mains - and the fantastic food kept on coming!

Main one was another one of the Chiado signature dishes - Barriga de porco com Castanhas e Maca Assada - slow cooked pork belly with crispy skin, chestnuts, mushrooms and baked apple.

This pork was so tender and tasty! If you love slow cooked pork belly you have to try this one!

Main two was Arroz de Caranguejo - soft shell crab on a bed of seafood infused rice.

This was one of the best soft shell crabs we've ever had (and we've had plenty) and it literally melted in the mouth.

Presentation was again excellent. Each dish has it's own type of plate to showcase it and complete the gastronomic experience.
Of course no good meal is complete without a quality dessert to tease the taste buds.

The Leite Creme - a traditional Portuguese creme brulee - was one of the lightest brulee's we've had.

It was a little bit different to your traditional French brulee - but then it was Portuguese so it had it's own style.

Mlady raved about this - and she knows her sweets!

I finished with the Toucinho do Ceu - translated as "heavens bacon"- but don't panic because there's no bacon in this delicious dessert.

It's described as "a sticky dessert where cake meets pudding" but it also meets peanut brittle as well! There's also meringue too - it's got a bit of everything that went so well together with the fruity raspberries finishing it off perfectly.

We also had some amazing wines - keeping to Portuguese origins. Try the Assobio 2009 which was served to the President of Portugal. Otherwise the Esporao 4 Castas 2010 is a slightly lighter red if you don't want anything to heavy with your meal and you want to stay with the reds.

Of course if you're eating Portuguese you can't end the meal without a port - it just wouldn't be right! We had a 2004 Magalhaes - a superb way to cap off a superb meal.

Chiado has lovely ambience with its rich earthy colours giving a stylish warmth, excellent service from start to finish and amazing food across all three courses. It's a winner that people should try - and then try again and again.

Sir and Mlady dined as guests of Chiado.

Chiado Restaurant & Wine Bar on Urbanspoon