Tasting time is here again,the skies above are clear again

The scene is set,the tables are dressed

A taster of what´s to come
Friday night saw the presentation of the new seasons menu at Cha com Agua Salgada when we embarked on an adventure in experiencing some delicious and inventive new dishes Chef Marco had created for us to try and give an opinion on.
Sandra Gomes, Paolo Esteves and Chef Marco Jacó have built up something so solid here in the East Algarve, and every time we visit it just gets better and better.This is their eleventh year and I have a premonition that this could be one of the finest menus they have presented to us so far.We were served the first four offerings with our sangria of Rozes porto branco extra seco before we were seated.The evening kicked off with a pea and parmesan cappucino with crunchy Algarvian "chouriço".I am a firm believer that a dish as described on paper should deliver on the flavours it conveys and if this was the most serious of pea intensity I might ever of experienced.This was truly flavourlicious.Hats off to "Tea with salty water" guys.Give me a moment.
Chef Marco was clearly on a roll already and we waited with unintentionally punished palates for what was to follow.Some black Iberican pork "paiola" followed, supported by some foraged country flavours.Then came sautéed sea scallops sitting proudly on a sweet and sour  sweet potato concoction,which I did not feel did any justice to the beautifully tanned scallop and its nestling companion, a bolinho of port wine butter.

 Sea scallop with port wine butter, black Iberican pork "paiola" 
and smoked swordfish bruschetta

The smoked swordfish bruschetta with creamy cheese,chives,cornichons and rocket triggered the first of the many times throughout the evening that I would say "I will definitely be returning for all of this".We sat down to a grilled grouper fillet with a delicious chickpea puree and steamed broccoli that so worked.

grouper fillet,chickpea puree and steamed broccoli

Two examples of quaity meat were put before us towards the end of the 10 course degustation.The grilled, matured ribeye steak with an interesting twist on dauphinoise, introducing bacon, was five star ,as was the Duck breast with  a gorgonzola puree that finished the plate off perfectly.The pineapple chunks were a statement in themselves but totally unnecessary.Sorry but I dont do fruit with savoury,but thats just me.Duck a lórange,fie.

Duck breast with grilled pineapple chunks and gorgonzola purée

The repeated message that came across quite clearly with practically every course was that if you have the finest ingredients they will shine through without too much interference from what ever else is on the plate. I have to say for one who is not a"pudding person" the pudding that shone for me was the combined textures of a maracuja( passion fruit) mousse,chocolate and a coconut ice cream.Genius on a plate.

Maracuja mousse,chocolate and a coconut ice cream

"Please sir, may I have some more".I am just going to have to be patient and wait till this fantastic menu is launched in June.Thank you,as always, from all of us to Paolo, Sandra and of course Marco and the team.


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