Set in a magical corner of the Algarve close to Albufeira is a place of pine clad ochre cliffs, with wooden steps leading down to the magnificent Praia da Falesia.
Here and surrounded by tranquil groves of umbrella trees and manicured gardens you will enjoy a most delightful evening at the spectacular Al Quimia Restaurant.
A gourmet celebration for four and special dining delight, Villa Cascata experienced a magical and intimate evenfall, dining al fresco and overlooking the gardens and Atlantic pines.
We were greeted by Carla and the engaging manager Nuno, who much to our delight recited the menu and all of the elements, explaining our food odyssey and tastes to support our individual selections.
The Interior Design
The sophisticated interior, flawless presentation and crafted Portuguese cuisine together, with world-class Portuguese wines selected by sommelier Hugo Ribeiro combined to create an unforgettable evening for our family.
The restaurant has been exquisitely designed.
Reminiscent of a 1920s luxury dining carriage on the Orient Express with touches of Art Deco. Warm light, hints of brass and deep azure tones feature throughout the seating area, with crisp white table cloths and a nod to the most attractive wine glasses.
The glassware is mouth-blown by Zwiesel 1872, we noticed that each piece was as light and as delicate as a feather.
Our refined cutlery and accessories featured fine lines that were pleasant to the touch, with functionality and simplicity in mind the luxury cutlery Cutipol brand is crafted in Portugal, a nice touch we thought.
Portuguese Wine Pairing
We began the evening with a couple of glasses of Portuguese sparkling wine, and an introduction with the restaurant’s very talented and hugely knowledgeable sommelier, Hugo. As the evening unfolded, what a delight to have such skill and expertise to pair every course of our individual A La Carte choices, our individual palate and personal preference with Portuguese wine.
A La Carte Menu
The “experiences” to start the dinner are playful and the flavours fantastic. The stage was set for what was to follow, exquisite, fun and a creative way to set the scene for a fresh and tasty, light yet indulgent evening.
Our first gift from the Executive chef Luis Mourão, the Amuse bouche. It was with childlike delight that I popped the carrot and olive in my mouth and both exploded with flavour. The olive itself, a thousand olives, salty, savoury with a hint of fruity flavour wrapped in a delicate buttery outer layer.
A carob bread and olive bread with a selection of beautiful butter was presented in itself as a small work of art from the sea.
The carob bread had a delicate crispy outlet layer, with a soft inside and a taste reference to the local region, known as the Algarve’s dark gold, the pod from these ancient trees punctuates the landscape.
The olive bread, to me was perfect and further accentuated with the olive oil for dipping and finished with a dipping dust of ‘white sand’.
Works of Art
The presentation of each plate of food is a work of art, with attention paid to the minutest detail by the team of culinary wizards in the kitchen. Simply stunning. The food itself was perfectly cooked, mouth-wateringly delicious, the oohs and aahs could be heard I’m sure from the other side of Al Quimia, but it didn’t matter, simply well deserved!
Scarlet Prawn / Crab / Cozido a Portuguesa
Lobster / Water Lilies / Cozido a Portuguesa
Tomato / Tuna Basil
Turbot / Cauliflower / Champagne
Iberico Pork / Parsnip / Clams
Black Angus / Celery / Green Apple
Coral / Codium / Cucumber
Cupcake / Coffee / Cocoa
Delivery to the table at Al Quimia by Ines and the team was a work of theatre. The staff and service is outstanding; professional, engaging, warm with a level of true passion rarely experienced, they know their stuff.
We cannot overstate the genius, time and effort that goes into each course. If you want to delight someone for a birthday, anniversary or special occasion you will not be sorry you chose Al Quimia. It’s absolutely heavenly.
We recommend to anybody who loves great gastronomic cuisine. We came to Al Quimia looking for a fine dining experience and we got it. In total we were there for 4 hours and the time flew by.
With a sophisticated and comfortable atmosphere, Al Quimia offers respectful and attentive service without the rigidity of the limitations imposed by a traditional fine dining environment. With a passionate creative team, newly designed menus and fabulous décor, the restaurant is well poised to achieve one of its main goals — receiving its first Michelin star.
We can only say the total experience was overwhelming and warm in the right sense of the word.
Very many thanks to Hugo, Nuno, Carla, Inez, Nicole, the Chefs and brigade in the kitchen.