Although I am not in the habit of rushing to try out the latest fashionable London restaurant – a far too expensive game even if I could be bothered. However, we made an exception for Lisboeta in Charlotte Street, which is full of restaurants.
So at 5pm last Friday found six Lisbon fanatics seated in the first floor of Lisboeta ready for dinner or should we say a slightly late Spanish lunch or a traditional High Tea… You might wonder why 5pm. The simple answer is that this was the only time we could book for six people on the condition that we vacated the table after two and half hours.
The first task was to chose a bottle of white from the almost entirely Portuguese wine list. The list is certainly interesting but choosing a bottle at a reasonable price is somewhat of a challenge. There is one bottle priced at £28 – a Vinho Verde. Then 10 wines in the £30 range after that prices rise steeply.
With desserts, coffees the bill came to £400 – so £80 a head. I did say this is an expensive game! Would I go back? Probably not as while it was good to be out once again meeting friends over a meal and the staff were very friendly and professional I don’t think even bearing in mind the cost of running a restaurant in the centre of London I don’t think Lisboeta offers value for money.
It was striking that as we left a little after 7.30 pm on a Friday almost all of the many restaurants had plenty of customers. This despite soaring energy prices along with inflation and the increasing cost of money due to rising interest rates. Contrast these full restaurants with the growing number of food banks – the haves and the have nots – so stark!