But let me challenge your inner Thomas Keller and show you why this actually does work. Perfectly located inside Lisbon’s Cultural Centre (or CCB) is called Este/Oeste (East/West) a name to be taken literally as the menu is dedicated to both Japanese & Italian cuisine. I can still hear the scepticism in the sigh you just let out, but hear me out and if you’re willing to prove me wrong, then by all means pay them a visit.
As you enter the restaurant you are welcomed by a trendy, cooly decorated space, with a large social area of sofas with coffee tables and another area designated for those of us that like to work in a café: a long shelf/working area fit with individual lamps and electrical plugs. The wi-fi is great by the way, and the guy behind the counter is always really friendly (even when I’m the first one in the morning!).
As you walk up around the café towards the restaurant area, you’ll be awestruck by the stark contrast in décor. Although the room still has an industrial feel, the restaurant has incredibly high ceilings and the room’s centrepiece is a cascade of origami dropping down, which looks like an art installation. The back doors open up to the terrace, which offer stunning views over the river tagus, minus the crowds.
Surrounding the terrace is a large garden and water features which are fantastic for keeping little ones occupied while you wait (and they do take their sweet time) for your sushi/pizza to arrive.
I always go for the sushi, and have never been disappointed. The menu offers a few ‘fusion’ items, which I’m not a great fan of, but the classic sushi dishes won’t let you down. The pizza has a thin, crusty base lathered with flavourful sauce and gourmet toppings, pretty perfect eaten as you watch the sun go down on the river Tagus…
It really is a gem of a place, and one of my favourites when you’re looking for a restaurant to eat with the kids in Lisbon, it’s family friendly without the ‘family feel’ – you still feel like an adult while the kids have the fantastic outdoor space to play in. And when the food comes, there’s something even for the pickiest of kids.
TIP: Combine your lunch with a morning visit to the Berardo Museum of Modern Art.
PRICE RANGE: €20-35pp + HOW TO GET THERE