Winner of the Portuguese edition of Top Chef, Chef Alexandre Silva has become one of Lisbon’s most exciting Chefs. Having headed Bocca, one of Lisbon’s top restaurants, before becoming a familiar face in Top Chef, he opened his Loco restaurant in late 2015 and has been delighting the most demanding of foodies there since.
An olive tree inside, a suspended couvert, a kitchen that is bigger than the room and absolutely no clear distinction between main dishes, starters or anything else, really, Loco is an absolutely unique restaurant in Lisbon; it has no à la carte menu, what you get is what the Chef purchases that morning from the local market.
Deriving from the Latin in loco – and not Spanish for crazy – it is named this way as much of the process happens in loco; in front of the client. The “moments”, as they’re called, instead of dishes, can be ordered through the Loco menu (18 moments, 85€ per person) or the Discovery menu (14 moments, 70€ per person), are called this way because most dishes aren’t, well, served in dishes. The spoon with quinoa and lemon is served directly to the client’s mouth by a waiter; “open your mouth and close your eyes”, he says… and the couvert comes suspended by a hook and line from the ceiling.
That’s the best part of it – most everything is a surprise. No one knows what the menu will be tomorrow, or what inventive, crazy way the Chef will find to present his food to you; it’s just such an exciting proposition and a restaurant you can’t help but want to go back to, time and time again. The view into the kitchen is superb, and really allows you to immerse yourself in this experience, as it’s unlike anything the city has ever seen.
So sit back, relax, and leave yourself in the capable hands of the Chef, for a truly memorable gastronomic experience, which can take up to three hours – so don’t go if you’re in any sort of rush.