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“Average food, careful about the bread plate” 2 of 5 bubbles
Review of Alfaia

Alfaia
Ranked #3,250 of 4,016 Restaurants in Lisbon
Price range: US$20 - US$25
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Local cuisine
Dining options: Dinner, After-hours, Lunch, Free Wifi, Outdoor Seating, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff
Neighbourhood: Bairro Alto, Bica & Cais do Sodre
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
132 reviews
56 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 62 helpful votes
“Average food, careful about the bread plate”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 October 2013

My hopes were high for this restaurant because it is in a nice location and I was really hungry. The server presented us with a bread basket with a nice selection of cheeses, meats, olives, and butter. The server mentioned nothing when the plate was placed before us and I was ready to reach for a roll when my wife caught view of the prices: Bread, £2. Butter, £1 per mini square. Each piece of cheese was £6. A tiny ramekin of olives, £4.50. A few slices of ham, £4.50.

The locals seem aware of this trick and didn't touch the offering. We followed suit.

The rest of the menu was fairly priced. I had sardines for £10 and my wife ate grilled vegetables for £12. Both were average, at best. When presented with the bill, we were charged for the bread and insisted it was taken off as it was never touched.

Perhaps it is a cultural difference about the bread and cheese offering but we felt cheated and spent the rest of the meal suspicious we were getting a heavy does of tourist trickery.

  • Visited October 2013
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank Wandering-Will-55
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lisbon C, Gerente at Alfaia, responded to this review, 2 November 2013
The Alfaia´s manager, agree and thank you for your feedback. Positive and constructives, or less positives, since they are truly.

Regarding your critic, we just remember you that, in Portugal, the prices are shown on the Euro currency, and not in Pounds, as you, our estimated costumer, referred.

The couvert service, is an option, and individual. And our costumer pays only for the goods he takes.

On Alfaia´s service, always when the couvert is set on the table, our costumer is informed.that this is optional, and individual. as well as the whole menu is shown outside, where you can check.
You have been advised about this service.

Kind Regards,

Hilário Castro.
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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670 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
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English first
Laie, Hawaii, United States
Level Contributor
12 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“DELICIOUSSSSSS”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 October 2013

Wow, for the first time I tried new food with confidence, the Raia Frita com Açorde de Coentros, never ate such delicious food. The sauteed batatas fritas, first time ever, so crispy and yummy. The wine list is incredible! On the next day I had the Picanha Fatiada na Brasa, OMG! I would go back in a blink! Prices are great also!

  • Visited October 2013
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank Nilma H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Level Contributor
142 reviews
81 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 148 helpful votes
“Huge red flag, stay away”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 October 2013

Huge red flag for Alfaia. This place is located in the Lisbon area of Bairro Alto, usually a very touristy place. Having some knowledge of Portuguese food from the years I lived in Portugal, Alfaia’s menu sounded very attractive with many typical dishes. We ordered octopus salad (‘salada de polvo’) as appetizer, which I have had many, many, times. ‘Salada de polvo’ is usually made of sliced boiled octopus. The slices are left marinating in olive oil, vinegar, parsley, and onion for a few hours. The problem here was that the octopus salad did NOT have any octopus, but a very cheap alternative called ‘pota’ in Portugal. ’Pota’ is a variety of the giant-squid that does not have the suction tips as octopus, nor does it have the characteristic consistency of octopus. Additionally, the slices from sectioning the octopus arms are circular, where the slices that we were served were quite oblong (please see photo). I spotted the trick immediately and informed the server “this is not octopus, but a cheaper alternative”. As expected, the server replied that he did not know what I was talking about. The maître had the same comment and asked me if I wanted a different appetizer. I replied that the problem was not what we had ordered, but the fact that the restaurant was fooling all customers by serving something different (and cheaper) from what was written in the menu. At the end I paid for the fake octopus salad. A few hours later I filed a complaint with ASAE, the local authority that deals with situations like the one I described here.

Three more comments - 1 - So many people come in and left during the time we were there that I thought there was something vey unusual about this place; 2 - The couvert is another tourist trap, simply overpriced; 3) the fish that I ordered was not fresh.

  • Visited October 2013
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
2 Thank nontroppo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sao Paulo, SP
Level Contributor
149 reviews
65 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
“Very dodgy.”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 October 2013

The meat tastes good and that is about it. The service is quite odd and the waiters are not really friendly. The menu just looks cheap with low quality photos everywhere. They pretty much only serve bottled wine, and upon asking for wine glasses I was looked down. But the couvert is the oddest part - they just come and put every single option on the table, inform you every item is charged individually and leave. Once they realized we weren't having it, they came back (good 10min later) and took it from our table into the kitchen. It just keeps me wondering if they trash the couvert that i could've sneezed onto or if they just serve to another table. Somehow I think the latter is more likely. The atmosphere is so odd that during our short dinner there, we saw many people coming in, checking the vibe and leaving. I wish we had assessed the situation better and done the same as well.

Visited October 2013
Helpful?
Thank oviajador
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lisbon C, Gerente at Alfaia, responded to this review, 2 November 2013
With all our respect to the feedback of our kind guests.
We are sorry for the fact of our service, that did not corresponds to the expectatives of you, our estimated costumer. But i would like to ensure, that we work daily, and with much effort, on the goal to satisfy all our costumers.

The couvert service, as you mentioned, is optional, and individually paid. It is served in whole restaurants in Portugal, when the costumer only pays for the goods he take.

As all these goods are packed and cared individually, the mentioned problem, never happens.
I hope i did make clear all your doubts.

Best Regards,

Hilário Castro.
General Manager.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Warsaw, Poland
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“the only place we did not like in Portugal”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 September 2013

The only place we felt fooled in Portugal, the waiter did not speak English at all and he was not communicative in any other way, he made our lanch frustrating and more expensive then we expected, according to menu. Before we saw the bill he left work, so we could not even complain really. The food was ok, but for sure not worth what we paid for it.

  • Visited September 2013
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank MonaK18
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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