Eat this: Volta do Mar, celebrating Portuguese cuisine

Coming to Covent Garden, this new restaurant is shining a spotlight on everything from Iberian doughnuts to Macanese seafood rice.

30 October 2019
bakerymeatrestaurant openingseafood
  • The Gist: Traditional dishes from across Portugal as well as world influences from its trading days
  • The Chef: George Tannock
  • Location: 13-15 Tavistock Street, London WC2E 7PS
  • Food in 5 words: Morning tarts to evening meals
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How did we get here?

Husband and wife team Simon Mullins, formerly co-founder of the Salt Yard Group, and Isabel Almeida Da Silva, who is Portuguese and has worked at the likes of Marco Pierre White’s Mirabelle and The Wolseley, are bringing a taste of Portugal to Covent Garden.

Their new restaurant, called Volta do Mar (loosely translated as ‘Return from the Sea’) will open on November 11.

Born and raised in Portugal, chef George Tannock, who honed his skills at The Dorchester, The Fat Duck, Zuma, Treves & Hyde and most recently Sexy Fish, will take the helm as head chef.

The first-floor wooden panelled Georgian dining room has been designed with an eccentric merchant’s house in mind, while the ground floor will feature artwork, some available to buy. For a more intimate experience, a downstairs private dining room, with seating for between 10 and 20, will be complete with beautiful artwork and soft furnishings.

What’s different about it?

Volta do Mar will explore the regional cuisine of Portugal, from classic staples to dishes born of the country’s trading past with countries such as Angola, Goa, Mozambique, Brazil, Macau and beyond.

Chillies from Angola and Mozambique, for instance, will be used to make the restaurant’s piri piri, while vegetables from West Africa are already being grown for the restaurant in Dorset greenhouses. There’s also cod and octopus roe, which are being cured with salt brought from the ancient Roman salt pans of Tavira.

A frequently changing menu of both sharing and large plates will include dishes such as Iberico Pork Vindalho and Pão Com Chouriço, a dish of Goan smoked chorizo served in a naan.

For lighter lunches or an evening snack, a selection of charcuterie and cheese will be exclusively sourced from one of Portugal’s oldest family run businesses, Manteigaria Silva, founded in 1890.

Also open for breakfast throughout the week, Volta do Mar will operate as a traditional Portuguese pastelaria, with an in-house baker making pastel de nata (Portuguese custard tarts), bola de berlim, a type of Portuguese doughnut; and pão, freshly baked bread which can be enjoyed alongside a uma bica – a classic Portuguese coffee.

You’ve got to try...

Macanese Arroz Marisco, a seafood rice served tableside from a cataplana, a copper cooking device which is unique to the Algarve region.

Sparkie also likes...

The smoked ham hock feijoada, a traditional bean-based stew.

Go if...

You want to experience a European cuisine that is currently underrated.

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