Coincidentally, the best thing(s) I ever ate were not in America – but Japan and Portugal – and were both seafood. I’ve had such a craving lately for what I had in Portugal this past summer that I was inspired to blog about it because I’m not heading back this week. Well, it’s unlikely, anyway. 😉 These two things are totally different though both hailing from the sea… Read on!
First up: PORTUGAL. My friend and I went to Portugal for three and a half amazing days, on the last days of a bigger European trip we made surrounding a wedding I had in Norway. (More on this in future posts.) And my friend Niki, who recommended Lisbon to me in the first place, suggested we go to Time Out’s mercado. I don’t know why I was fixated on going….okay fine, I do. I love good food. But I wouldn’t let it go so much so that I apologized to my friend for suggesting it so much the first day we were there. Well we went the next day…and the next…and the next day too. We went three times in just two days or so. And it was fantastic.
#1 of 2 of the best things I ever ate: SALMON TARTAR at the TARTAR-IA, TIME OUT LISBON.
I know what you’re thinking: raw fish. Like sushi. How unique. No y’all…you have NO idea. Because we weren’t expecting much then it knocked us on our asses. Like…holy shit, it’s AMAZING. I would say worth traveling to Lisbon for. We had the tuna tartare the next day and it wasn’t as incredible as the salmon, but still impressive. Get the salmon.
I don’t even know what was in it besides crack and love. No really though…it had foams and sesame seeds and radishes and cucumbers shredded on top. I saw them use tweezers to place the items just so… And I could taste the love.
I’ve read up on this and apparently Chef Peter Knogl created this. He has three Michelin Stars and I am not at all surprised. A taste from a three Michelin star rated chef for about $15? Sign me up.
#2 of 2 of the best things I ever ate: BAKED OYSTER on MIYAJIMA ISLAND, JAPAN
Contrary to our salmon tartar, as far as I know, no one famous created this. Off the coast of south Japan lays an island called Miyajima. It’s incredible. It took me about 3.5 hours, one way, to get there from Osaka for the day; it was so worth it. I toured my ass off (as per usual) and visited solo.
Here’s the scenery you see as you approach the island on the ferry:
On my way back to the ferry (you take a train, to another train, to a ferry to get to the island) I stopped at an oyster vendor. For about $3 USD I purchased an oyster that looked pretty tasty. Three Japanese women in their twenties got some before me and I love that they didn’t speak English and I didn’t speak Japanese (oh wait…I still don’t) but we all looked at each other pretty darn excited about the oyster eatin’ that was about to go down.
Yes, I tried to display the process in photos! Again, I do not speak Japanese and it’s rare to encounter a Japanese person that speaks English. Thus, I can’t be sure what was in it. But my best guess is: macaroni, cheese, spices, oyster. FLAMBE. Voila. Sometimes the simplest things in life are the best. It was amazing.
I have to say a close third for the “best thing I ever ate” would be the fresh sushi I got at Tsukiji Market in Tokyo just a week after my incredible oyster experience. But I will save that for an upcoming post.
Posting these things make me think, “WHY didn’t I get another one while I was there?!” I suppose it’s because it’s nice to think I can go back. And if not, I have these great memories to remember it by. Moderation, after all. And hopefully now that I’ve blogged this I can stop craving the salmon tartar this week!
So…what’s the best thing you ever ate? #willtravelforfood
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