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“Fantastic 'till we were pooped on”

Tasca Literaria Dona Joana Rabo-de-Peixe
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Ranked #112 of 688 Restaurants in Funchal
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: US$18 - US$37
Dining options: After-hours, Breakfast, Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: After-hours, Breakfast, Reservations
Reviewed 5 August 2014

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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2  Thank gemunu_peries
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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178 - 182 of 414 reviews

Reviewed 23 July 2014

It was the decent attitude of the waiter which made us stay. We simply liked that we were given some time to have a look at the menu on the street on our own instead of being immediately approached. Traditional starter bolo de caco followed by a good portion of scabbardfish with banana and passion fruit were a delicious experience that was completed by live piano music. Thanks to the food, service, atmosphere and reasonable prices we do strongly recommend.

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1  Thank Viliam85
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 June 2014

I am surprised by the lack of great reviews for this restaurant, one of the few to have live Music and great food each time we Went there. It did help that we had a Maderian friend with us who spoke with the waitress and established which dishes were good.

Tasca Literária Dona Joana-Rabo-de-Peixe opened for business in 2011, and was the epicentre of an art project – Art e Portas Abertas (Art Of Open Doors) in this old .

The tapas bar was named after a book by 78-year-old Portuguese artist, writer, and politician, João Carlos Abreu, who grew up in Rua de Santa Maria.

Local and international artists were invited to paint the doors of shops, houses, and garages to turn Funchal’s poorest and most neglected neighborhood into a contemporary art space.

This restaurant was the first to receive a renovation, by Marcos Milewski who created an image of a bookcase stacked with colorful novels to reflect the author, who remains enthusiastic about the Art Of Opens Doors initiative.

This was the second time we have been here and had a great experience . We ate a multiple of dishes including sausage sizzled at the table, and assorted Tapas.

We also drank Lime Ponchas . A good time was had by all as they say.

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1  Thank Adaroc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 June 2014

We took a walk down the old town to find a place to eat and to seek out all the artwork in the area. The walk through the old town is very interesting particularly with all the doors to these businesses having art on them. You do feel a bit like you are running the gauntlet but it is all part of the experience. We were stopped all along the way by staff trying to entice you in and came in this restaurant because we were hungry and because we quite liked the door! Inside the cave like atmosphere is interesting and it's decor adds some interest though it's difficult to grasp what the character of the place is. It's definitely a case of an identity crisis. Dusty books sit with old plates, shoes, wine bottles, everything really. There was a pianist playing cheesy tunes fairly well but is seemed to add to the character of the place. The food that followed was ok although the menu was uninspiring so it took us a while to decide what to have. We both opted for soup. Although the soup I had was really fresh and seasoned well, my husbands was forgotten. We didn't complain but shared rather than spoil the experience. For mains I chose tuna, hubby chose steak Béarnaise. The veg were overcooked (as was my tuna) and the Béarnaise sauce was out of a packet. Shame but then we noticed there were three cooks all working in the tiniest kitchen area we've ever seen. The chips were replaced with polenta as I'd asked (wonderfully fresh) but the salad was out of a packet and old. The merlot was expensive and awful, not off but it had oxidised slightly so it had a lot of sediment in the bottom. All in all an expensive meal that wasn't worthy of its price tag and not an experience we will repeat again soon. Lovely waitress and interesting pianist but still not enough to take me back in there.

1  Thank Delia P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 May 2014

I selected Lamb Cutlets from the menu, with chips and vegetables. My wife selected Grilled Prawns, with potatoes and vegetables.The Lamb Cutlets were as tough as old boots, possibly from a ram that died of old age and my wife's single,large Grilled Prawn wasn't much better. Both lots of veg were soggy, possibly boiled since last Christmas, but the chips and potatoes were quite good.

Thank lin g
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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