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Fat Sardines!

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Salalah, Oman
Destination Expert
for Marmaris
posts: 5,348
reviews: 127
Fat Sardines!

We had a lovely morning tour of Sintra with Carla Carita of Mywaytours.

I will review this at a later date when I have more time to go into details.

Suffice to say for the moment that Carla turned out to be a lovely Portuguese lady who speaks good English and is a fount of knowledge when it comes to the country she so obviously loves!


On arrival back at our hotel we were tired after all the stairs in the two palaces we had visited so had a lazy afternoon.

"Fat" sardines!

Although I had read the posts mentioning "Fat" sardines I had not fully understood this. I have eaten many sardines of several varieties in Oman and had enjoyed them all. However, last night I realised the difference.

We took a taxi to Praca Comercial and sat at the Beer Museum for a pre dinner drink. After a recommendation on TA I had intended for us to try Cafe Marthino da Arcada. However, watching the restaurant from our vantage point at the Beer Museum. I observed two waiters parading outside with menus and trying to entice people into their restaurant. This is the kind of thing you see in Turkey and it rather put us off!

So we walked up the street alongside the restaurant, crossed over to the next street on the right and came to a small local restaurant with a small board outside. Although it was written in Portuguese I understood enough to see they had prawns and sardines on the menu. Items that Jean and I had already decided to eat.

We went inside to meet the owner, Mario and his wife. There were four other people seated at 2 tables and a table of four. This just about half filled the restaurant.

Quickly seated our drinks order was taken and menus presented. Jean and I ordered the house red. This turned out to be nice and light and delicious. It was also a very generous serving coming as it did in small, stemmed beer glasses filled to the brim.It was so good that unusually I had a refill a little later.

Jean ordered the prawns in garlic butter and I ordered the sardines Portuguese.

Whilst we waited we chatted with Mario and the other patrons and nibbled on the bread rolls that are a fixture on any restaurant table.

When the food arrived we were once again surprised by the generous portions.

In a hot earthenware dish Jean had 16 large prawns that were glistening with butter and crystals of sea salt. They tasted very fresh and were nicely cooked so that they retained a little firmness and were not at all soggy.

On my plate were 6 very large sardines and some nice boiled potatoes.

It was now the revelation came! Although they were of a similar size to the larger sardines we get in Oman they were indeed "fatter", both in size and in "oiliness".

The girth was probably a good 50% greater than what I have been used to and once the skin was slipped off, the flesh shone with their natural goodness. They were a true delight.

We finished the meal with coffees and a glass each of a local liqueur.

The bill was a stunningly cheap €35.

For anyone who would like to try this very genuine and not at all touristy restaurant, here are the details.

Restaurant Bar Coffee House.

Rua dos Fanqueiros, 161.

963288906 916838248

P.S. Mario also runs a taxi service. Which is handy.

We loved the atmosphere and the food so much (to say nothing of the price) that we will probably be there again tonight.

Peter & Jean. :o)

Mississauga, ON
posts: 2,298
reviews: 87
1. Re: Fat Sardines!

Peter - Thanks for another positive update. Sounds like you are having a fantastic visit.

The Beer Museum? Curious to hear more as my DH enjoys beer and sounds like a spot we might enjoy.

Those "tats" really put me off a restaurant as well. Sounds like you found an even better replacement! But no dessert?

Destination Expert
for Azores, Lisbon, Portugal
posts: 9,411
reviews: 43
2. Re: Fat Sardines!

Lucky you, to get nice fresh sardines at Baixa, the last place where I even think about try it....

Salalah, Oman
Destination Expert
for Marmaris
posts: 5,348
reviews: 127
3. Re: Fat Sardines!


If you stand in the Praca Comercial with your back to the river, the Beer Museum is in the right hand corner away from the river.

We sat outside and listened to two young guys playing some swing and jazz music. One on guitar and one on clarinet. They were very good.

We did not go inside but the beer glasses were interesting. They were plastic and the outside a normal glass shape but the inside shaped like the inverted top of a bottle. When empty this is not very noticeable but when full you get the effect of a bottle top in your glass.

I drank dark beer. Very nice and nutty. In fact we will be off there tonight.

@ 64, they said they were having fresh sardines as they were getting ready for tomorrow nights party and expected to sell many!

Peter &Jean. :o)

Edited: 1:43 pm, June 11, 2013
Destination Expert
for Marmaris, Armutalan
posts: 11,033
reviews: 42
4. Re: Fat Sardines!

So this is where your hiding lol!! by the look of this forum your having a great time all the best to you and Jean for the rest of your hol :)))


Salalah, Oman
Destination Expert
for Marmaris
posts: 5,348
reviews: 127
5. Re: Fat Sardines!

Hi Stevie,

Yes as usual we are feeding our faces and drinking far too much.

Tomorrow night there is a huge party in Lisbon to celebrate their saints day.

We have already reserved our seats in a great little local restaurant.

So watch this space.

All the best,

Peter & Jean. :o)

Costa Blanca
posts: 10
reviews: 18
6. Re: Fat Sardines!

Thanks for this rec. We're staying in a flat very close by and will certainly try Mario's place sometime this week.

Durham, United...
Destination Expert
for Durham, Armutalan, Marmaris
posts: 7,777
reviews: 27
7. Re: Fat Sardines!

Hello Peter & Jean

Pleased your having a great time & looking forward to your next update.

Alan :)

Edmonton, Canada
posts: 1,688
reviews: 181
8. Re: Fat Sardines!

So Peter, let us know how the deserts are if you go back :)

Salalah, Oman
Destination Expert
for Marmaris
posts: 5,348
reviews: 127
9. Re: Fat Sardines!

Hi John,

We went back again last night. We both fancied meat for a change. Jean had the turkey breast which was, she said, moist, tender and tasty. I had the sirloin with pepper sauce. The meat was tasty but a little tough. But not so much as to be uneatable. The sauce was nice although not as peppery as I would have liked. Both came with a huge portion of nicely cooked homemade chips. I was a bit tipsy when we arrived as we had once again visited the Beer Museum first and inadvertently ordered a large carafe of Vinho Verde for myself rather than a glass. I made a valiant attempt at drinking it all, but I lost! Jean once again had a glass of red.

@ Canadian Boys, they had several homemade deserts in a chilled cabinet including the usual "pudding" crème caramel. But neither of us had room to try them.

@ Alan, nice to see you on here. :o)

I am afraid that I do not remember paying the bill or what it was. I am not even sure that I did pay it. however as we have been invited back there this evening for the big party, I will be able to make amends!

Mario had his taxi outside so we had no trouble getting home.

Sardines again tonight and I might have room for a pud!

Peter & Jean. :o)

Mississauga, ON
posts: 2,298
reviews: 87
10. Re: Fat Sardines!

I find it's usually that one glass of wine too many. Just one! Never mind how may have come before!

Glad to hear the good times continue!