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“The Retreat”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of Armazem do Sal

Armazem do Sal
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Ranked #15 of 606 Restaurants in Funchal
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $0 - $33
Cuisines: Mediterranean, European, Portuguese, Contemporary
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Local cuisine, Large groups, Families with children, Business meetings, Special occasions
Dining options: Dinner, Late Night, Lunch, Accepts American Express, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Full Bar, Highchairs Available, Outdoor Seating, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Level Contributor
9 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“The Retreat”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 16, 2013

Starting at the street gateway, we walked up the slope past an old workshop and gradually the restaurant revealed itself to us. First the outside tables under the brollies then a left turn into the large stone walled cellar. Huge timber beams supported the ceiling and the bar was to our left.
The comprehensive menu was available for €37 including a select wine for each course. The fish soup was wonderful and the duck cooked to precision.
Last night, the music was from a competent accordionist who took requests for favourites.
The experience defines the ethnenticity of Funchal.

  • Visited November 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank John E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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2,692 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • Finnish first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Hebrew first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Norwegian first
  • Polish first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Level Contributor
52 reviews
27 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
“Wish I could give 4 and a half stars!”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 15, 2013 via mobile

We came here on friends' recommendation that this is the best restaurant in Funchal. We certainly agree that it is the best food we have had - by a very wide margin. Certainly 5* food, but this was let down by the service, and really falls just short if the full 5* review.
Arriving bang on time, we were led straight to our table by the guy who took our booking at lunchtime. We were then visited by 5 different members of staff, who took drinks order, food order, brought bread, brought (wrong) drinks then brought right drinks, and brought 'amuse bouche'.
Starters were superb. Crispy prawns with guacamole - excellent, and calamari, really good. With the set menu, the wine that came was fresh and light, and the waiter (who gad brought the wring aperitifs) generously gave me two large glasses. The Duck breast was also really good as a main, while I had the filet mignon, which was cooked to perfection. This came with a nice oaky wine (Rioja?) but they didn't say what the wine was, and rushed off before I could ask. Again, they generously refilled my glass - but with a very different wine, which was a bit of a shock to the system.
The desserts were really good, too, and came with a lovely sweet Madeira. I went for the panna cotta, light and delicious, and my partner had the chocolate volcano, which was 'more lava than volcano' but was eaten with relish.
When the bill came, we were surprised how cheap it was, then realized they hadn't charged for the aperitifs, the sparkling water, and one dessert. When we pointed this out to the Maitre D, he just said "Oh!" and went to get a correct one, no apology, or thanks for the honesty. He did make a gesture and said 'the water is on the house'.
Ok, but a digestif 'on the house' would have been more welcome!
So, great food, but the staff need to pay more attention to the needs if the customers; they need to be more serious about serving the wine, and they need to try a little harder to make the guests feel special.
If they did that it would really be a 5* experience.

Helpful?
Thank Chris N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
armazemdosal, Manager at Armazem do Sal, responded to this review, November 21, 2013
Dear TripAdvisor member,

Many thanks for your review, which we have taken under great consideration. Our apologies for not being able to offer your a 5 star experience this time. Thank you for pointing out what requires our immediate attention.
Your opinion is very important for us to correct our faults and prevent them from recurring in the future.
We are constantly working on ways to improve our service performance and overall quality, striving to offer exceptional services and the ultimate experiences to all our guests. We hope to be able to exceed your expectations next time and look forward to welcome you again at Armazém do Sal!

Best regards,

The Manager at Armazém do Sal
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Level Contributor
7 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Best Restaurant on Madeira”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 14, 2013

My wife and I were invited by friends who live on the island. We were a little sceptical at the prospect of a gourmet evening having witnessed on TV similar cooking and having come away from some UK restaurants feeling hungry after such a meal. However we had the set price menu which did give choices and were completely satisfied. You do need to be careful about accepting the wines which are offered - a different one for each course. The Madeira wines are not to everyones taste and can clash with the other wines served. The deserts are fantastic .We have been coming to Madeira for many years and have not yet found anywhere else on the island to match such quality. We have tried many other restaurants and you can eat cheaper at lunch times but the food and service at the Armazem do Sal cannot be bettered.
The only small criticism is that the live music could be better placed. The musician is put in a corner away from the main area and not visible to many diners.

  • Visited October 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Trryhly1971
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Barmouth, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
51 reviews
21 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
“A Thoroughly Civilised Night Out”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 13, 2013

My wife and I have eaten here twice in the last week and on both occasions there was simply nothing to complain about. Tonight I dined on Foie Gras and the most sublime Octopus I have ever eaten, but with matching wines, aperitif, digestif, coffee, bread and water, and all for €37 ! I have no idea how they do this quality for this price but I am very pleased that they do as they have provided the two eating out highlights of our holiday so far.

I only booked here because of the TripAdvisor reviews but frankly they deserve the number one spot. Wonderful. Simply wonderful.

  • Visited November 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank brynmelyndavid
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Stockton-on-Tees, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
38 reviews
25 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
“Forget the rest this is best”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 12, 2013

For 3 nights we ate at the usual tourist places. We found these expensive and poor quality. Using trip advisor and goggle maps we found this place a littlle gem.
We ate 2 times here in the week and were not disapointed. Service and quality for excellent. Prices were the same as the poor tourist places we ate at. I am not too sure how they can serve the quality of food and wines so cheap but they do. The place is full everynight and having to turn away custom.
Booking essential or turn up early. 1 tip give the name of your hotel or room number as surnames can be written down wrong and cause confusion.

  • Visited October 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Orchardmews
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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