Yet another restaurant on Rua Santa Maria... which were drawn to by the proud Tripadvisor recommendation posted outside. We first looked at sitting inside with rather good piano player tickling the ivories with familiar tunes. Unfortunately, the temperature inside was like the boiler room on the QE2, so we opted to sit outside on the street. There was only one table left and we were ushered to it - the only one without a large umbrella over it. Ironically, in hindsight, I made a comment being about the target for the pigeons as we sat down. The waitress seemed to have difficulty with the concept of a children's menu - when I asked for one, promptly took away all the menus - bar the one that was in my wife's hands, and gave them to another table. This was soon rectified by a waiter who promptly replaced the adult menus and recited the children's menu of beef burger and spaghetti bolognaise. We decided my 6 year old could try our mains and just ordered her a plate of chips. Curious as to the "Goldenfish" - I ordered one, my wife went for the "cow chop" and my son ordered the belly pork. I have never tried limpets before so I ordered a portion of them to share, as a starter. After a short while a plate of garlic bread appeared. We had not been offered this at the time we ordered and I was aware we would pay for it but we accepted it. I noticed a couple of tables sending it away. I think its rather poor form to just bring something to the table and expect someone to pay €5.25 for it, when it hasn't been asked for. The limpets turned up and they were delicious - or at least I thought so - but ended up eating the lot as I was alone in my taste for them. I have never eaten them before so cannot compare them, however, what I had was lovely and it was a rather large portion for €6.90. Then the mains arrived. My Goldenfish was actually dourada, which I love, perfectly cooked and rather delicious, served with salad and boiled potatoes. At just €12.75, this was a snip and I was delighted. My 6 year old daughter also loved it as the bones are large and its easy to remove the flesh. My sons belly pork was rather salty but acceptable at only €8.20. My wife's "cow chop" was actually a beef chop and we can't figure out what part of the animal this came from, a little tough, but very nice. It cost €14.80 with most of the mains on offer under €15. To accompany this we ordered a bottle of Portuguese white at €14.75, on recommendation, which was very nice and quite unusual. This was poised to be one of the best meals for price, service, overall quality and atmosphere we have had in Funchal - and then a pigeon on the roof above us got a direct hit on my daughters arm, spraying the table with the fallout. Sadly our evening ended rather abruptly as it seems that six year old girls have a somewhat different outlook on being the victim of a pigeon, while having dinner. The waiter seemed to be apologetic but wasn't really offering to rectify the situation. I was rather irked as half of the main I was really enjoying was lost, so I asked for the bill, paid it, without leaving a tip and we left. On checking the bill later, I have realised none of the drinks were charged for. So, this is not the review I had planned to write either before or after the pigeon incident. To the waiter I say - let the customer know you are compensating him as I would have stayed and had a pudding. To you I say - if you are eating outside, where pigeons can perch - consider the consequences before you sit down, unless there is cover above you.
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