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“Could do better”

Estamine Restaurant
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Ranked #67 of 343 Restaurants in Faro
Price range: $24 - $35
Cuisines: Portuguese
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Restaurant details
Good for: Local cuisine
Dining options: Breakfast, Reservations
Description: There are very few places where one can appreciate the freshest fish and shellfish among other genuine algarvian specialities, set in a background of a desert island and a sight of an ocean until the eye can see. The Estaminé is more than just a restaurant. It is a unique experience of the natural beauty that surrounds it.The new Estaminé, totally made of wood is the only building built on the Ilha Deserta (Desert Island). The restaurant is involved in the tranquillity of the Island, and through the panoramic windows, the view joins, the Dunes, the Coast and part of the Algarvian Mountain Range.The restaurant serves, apart from Gilt-headed Sea breams, Breams and Groupers a variety of other fresh Fish too: Clams, Prawns, Cuttlefish and traditional “Estupeta” salads of Tuna or Octopus. These are cooked using their very own recipes or refined from experiences of algarvian generations.There is a snack-bar at the Estaminé where we serve sandwiches, ice-creams, jars with sangria and other cool drinks.
Reviewed September 3, 2013

This is since place on a fantastic island but they do take advantage of the fact that they are the only restaurant on the island. Large chunk of the menu is crossed out, even fish dishes, and its still a lottery of what else is available.

We wanted a Razor Clam rice, which is a bit of a local speciality, and it was not available. We then managed to get some clam rice, but even that took a quite a lot of coaxing of the staff. Their "green" wine selection is small but very nice and the waiter steered us towards a very nice bottle at only EUR16.

I would not travel to the island to eat at this place but if you make it to the island, and you should, you will not be disappointed.

The island itself is very nice with beaches on both, ocean-side and land-side and I would definately recommend the land-side unless you are into surfing.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
1  Thank Eddieha
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Marcio A, Public Relations Manager at Estamine Restaurant, responded to this reviewResponded July 25, 2015

Dear customer,

We appreciate the comments about your experience at Desert Island. Besides serving a food that follows the Algarve cuisine at Estaminé Restaurant , the menu is constantly renewed and improved, which maintains extensive range of options and prices.
No monopoly. We are located in the island before the Natural Park been established, if no other company can build here, it is not our guilt. They can complain to the government. Even we had any other competitors their price should not be different because is not really easy to keep a company in a deserted island.
No Surprise. Our pricing list board is located outside the restaurant, so people can check it before order a meal. From snacks to special dishes, we have different price and we have available 5/6 return trip during the day, that means people can eat at any other place in Faro.
No Island Owner. Deserta Island belongs to Faro Council, then we are not responsible by the beach outside from our granted area.
I also personally hope to have the chance to restore your faith in our services on a future visit.

Best wishes,
Marcio Alexandre

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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86 - 90 of 254 reviews

Reviewed August 20, 2013

A wonderful location with ocean views. An amazing place to find food of such exceptional quality and they sell my favourite wine - Barranco Longo oaked rosé! We were seated on the south western side of the restaurant which was hot and we were promised a change of place when one became available. This happened fairly quickly. The wine and couvert were served quickly. The wine was well chilled and the olives were excellent. We ordered two starters each and salads rather than ordering a main course. We were able then to sample a variety of flavours. My cooked prawns in garlic were excellent. Even the simple foods like goat´s cheese and muxama were served with style and my husband´s gazpacho was delicious. The two different salads we had were exquisitely dressed. Unfortunately, the mackerel was sold out so we shall have to return. The service was friendly and efficient.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
2  Thank lynne b
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Marcio A, Public Relations Manager at Estamine Restaurant, responded to this reviewResponded August 26, 2014

Hi Lynne,

Thanks for your review and kind words.
We're glad you found the place and like what you found.
Also, as you are an avid TripAdvisor contributor, I'd like to say how important it is for us that people take the time to say what they think, as I'm sure it is for other premises, so much respect from us to you for your wider contributions.

We hope to see you again soon.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 15, 2013

Went last year August. fun boat ride over but the restaurant pressures you into ordering a whole bass that is 3 times the cost at most local restaurants. Service was ok that day. When we came back a few days later we ate at the snack bar side where you pay the price of a meal for a snack. My food sat on the service window for over 10 minutes. When I finally said something, I got my food and a bad attitude. We talked with management and he seemed like he did not believe us. Very worst experience in Faro for sure! Everywhere else was better and less cost. Will be in Faro in six weeks and will definately avoid this tourist trap like the plague!

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
3  Thank Robert H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Marcio A, Public Relations Manager at Estamine Restaurant, responded to this reviewResponded July 25, 2015

Dear Robert,

Maybe you've never been in a sustainable restaurant before, and you got no idea about how a business like this works on a really deserted island.
Our pricing list board is located outside the restaurant, so people can check it before order a meal. From snacks to special dishes, we have different price. Why did you order even knowing the price?

Even so, let me tell you what most of people maybe don’t know is:

No suppliers vehicles at the door:
Our suppliers deliver products from 10 km away from the Island. The restaurant customers rarely must have imagined the logistics needed for the food arrives at their table in good condition: delivery at the pier, storage and transportation of products through boats from Faro to Deserted Island. We pay for it.

No Public structure:
We had to build our pier, and even our competitors use it. We made boardwalks to avoid people step on the dunes just for environment matters. We paid for it, but it’s free to every single person who visits the island, with their boats or our boats.

No Fresh Water:
There is not public water pipes, our company are directly linked to sustainable development; we produce our own water with osmosis filtering system and this is not cheap.

No Sewerage:
We made our own system, for toilets, showers and is free for everybody that visit the island, regardless they are our customers or not.

No Public Garbage
We paid more than 11.000 euros every year to remove garbage from the island, with a proper boat, it´s not simple as some other company drop their rubbish at the street garbage bin.

No Electricity
With Solar Photovoltaic (PV) panels we generate our own clean electricity, which means the power sources such as solar energy is helping the country reduce its projected carbon emissions.

No Seasonal Employment
Even we have no profit after the summer season, we are open all year round and most of our staffs keep working with us, because they have family and we support them. But most of people don’t care about that.

No monopoly
We are located in the island before the Natural Park been established, if no other company can build here, it is not our guilt. They can complain to the government. Even we had any other competitors their price should not be different because is not really easy to keep a company in a deserted island.

No Island Owner
Deserta Island belongs to Faro Council, then we are not responsible by the beach outside from our granted area, we are not responsible to control the rubbish in “all” the island.

No Prison
We have available 5/6 return trip during the day, that means people can eat at any other place in Faro.

We hope to improve every day and we are working with our suppliers so that we can acquire high quality products with best prices and thus a more satisfying experience for everyone.
Again I want to say that I find it very regrettable that things do not run so! If you now want to come after all one more time, then we make an extra effort to make you feel!

Kind regards,
Marcio Alexandre

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 14, 2013

Two food-loving couples stumbled into this unbelievable place by mistake... which only proves that life sometimes deals you a good hand... We had the most incredible day at the beach (white-clean sand, not crowded at all, water crystal clean) and then headed to the restaurant for a late lunch. I have to admit I was a little bit on the fence because of the "tourist trap, devil's island" review... I didn't really read it, it was just the 1st one and it kinda scared me...

The restaurant is truly an oasis in the middle of the desert!... a fresh breeze runs through the open glass doors creating the most comfortable atmosphere that completes the amazing view... The food is the real thing!! I've been in Portugal multiple times and I can honestly say that this was one of the best (if not the best) meals of my life!
We had "beach shrimps", "choquinhos", clams and mussels as entrees. Everything was really good!! not one thing to point out! the shrimps are to die for... We drank "sangria" which was delicious.
For main course we had a beautiful, almost 7 lbs, coal-grilled sea bass with clam-rice. The fish was super fresh, perfectly grilled and the rice tasted like heaven...
I had the rice pudding for dessert... please make sure, if you go here to ask for the rice pudding (aroz doce) it is the best I have ever had, by a long stretch!! My husband had a house-special which had almonds, ice cream and some kind of home-made hot caramel, it was delicious too.

The staff was wonderful, very helpful and always with a smile on their faces. At the end of our meal, the manager came to ask us how everything was and we got to chat for a while. What a lovely lady...
We didn't think it was expensive at all. We had a wonderful meal and paid a very reasonable price. In fact, I have paid a lot more for bad meals in the Algarve....

What a gem! I'm definitely coming back!! Maybe as soon as this winter... Highly recommend it... hands-down, the best in Algarve!

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
3  Thank Jess K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Marcio A, Public Relations Manager at Estamine Restaurant, responded to this reviewResponded August 26, 2014

Hi Jess,

You are a wonderful person, that's why everything wonderful happens with you.

We appreciate the positive comments about your experience at Desert Island. Besides serving a food that follows the Algarve cuisine at Estaminé Restaurant , the menu is constantly renewed and improved, which maintains extensive range of options and prices.

Let me tell you what people maybe don’t know is:

No suppliers vehicles at the door:
Our suppliers deliver products from 10 km away from the Island. The restaurant customers rarely must have imagined the logistics needed for the food arrives at their table in good condition: delivery at the pier, storage and transportation of products through boats from Faro to Deserted Island. We pay for it.

No Public structure:
We had to build our pier, and even our competitors use it. We made boardwalks to avoid people step on the dunes just for environment matters. We paid for it, but it’s free to every single person who visits the island, with their boats or our boats.

No Fresh Water:
There is not public water pipes, our company are directly linked to sustainable development; we produce our own water with osmosis filtering system and this is not cheap.

No Sewerage:
We made our own system, for toilets, showers and is free for everybody that visit the island, regardless they are our customers or not.

No Public Garbage
We paid more than 11.000 euros every year to remove garbage from the island, with a proper boat, it´s not simple as some other company drop their rubbish at the street garbage bin.

No Electricity
With Solar Photovoltaic (PV) panels we generate our own clean electricity, which means the power sources such as solar energy is helping the country reduce its projected carbon emissions.

No Seasonal Employment
Even we have no profit after the summer season, we are open all year round and most of our staffs keep working with us, because they have family and we support them. But most of people don’t care about that.

No monopoly
We are located in the island before the Natural Park been established, if no other company can build here, it is not our guilt. They can complain to the government. Even we had any other competitors their price should not be different because is not really easy to keep a company in a deserted island.

No Surprise
Our pricing list board is located outside the restaurant, so people can check it before order a meal. From snacks to special dishes, we have different price.

No Island Owner
Deserta Island belongs to Faro Council, then we are not responsible by the beach outside from our granted area, we are not responsible to control the rubbish in “all” the island.

No Prison
We have available 5/6 return trip during the day, that means people can eat at any other place in Faro.

We don't manipulate nature
We can’t control the tides, number of birds, wind, rain, proliferation of invader plants, sea gulls, insect (bees, wasps), etc.

We hope to improve every day and we are working with our suppliers so that we can acquire high quality products with best prices and thus a more satisfying experience for everyone.
We hope to see you again soon.

Marcio Alexandre

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 13, 2013

This was our first visit to Ilha Deserta. Read the reviews and booked the restaurant in advance. Lovely location, lovely view and the food was just fantastic. Fish was VERY fresh. As our group all love fish, we all were very satisfied with the quality and the service. Definitely would go back next year again!

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
2  Thank kaymet
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Marcio A, Public Relations Manager at Estamine Restaurant, responded to this reviewResponded August 26, 2014

Hi there and thanks for taking the time to give us a review.

We want everyone to feel welcome, and of course, everyone is welcome!
We hope to improve every day and we are working with our suppliers so that we can acquire high quality products with best prices and thus a more satisfying experience for everyone.
Sure, we are proud about our staff. That's why we keep them working with us all year round. Even we have no profit after the summer season, we are open all year round and most of our staffs keep working with us, because they have family and we support them.

Thanks again for your kind words and hope to see you again soon.

Marcio Alexandre

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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