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Quality of what is unique, unique, only; what is peculiar to an individual and not to others; extraordinary way of proceeding or thinking; eccentricity; singular thing, action or word. To these definitions of uniqueness, which appear in the Priberam Dictionary of the Portuguese Language, I add ‘a menu that combines witches from Cascais and oysters from Setúbal with truffle from Alba and caviar from the Amur River, in China, in a single night’.

The singularity takes place this Saturday, November 20th, at the hands of Tiago Penão (ex-Midori and ex-Praia no Parque) who is in charge of the kitchen at Kappo, in Cascais. Divided into two times (maximum 18 people in each), the dinner follows a menu with ten moments and pairs national products with some stars of international haute cuisine. The dinner is in the hands of the chef and the starter is made with torus uni tartar, with caviar and white truffle. Dark chocolate, Dulcey chocolate and white truffle make the closure.

Everything happens around the counter, under the leadership of Tiago Penão

photo hayley kelsing

In between, you travel through the intersection of Japanese haute cuisine with French references, such as french toast with perfect of bird livers, sea urchin and white truffle, or guinea fowl foie gras, with wild mushrooms, white truffle and consumed painted, for example. At the time of writing this chronicle, the time of 7:30 pm is already sold out, with some places remaining at 9:30 pm. But the uniqueness of the experience at Kappo does not debut or end on this night.

Since August, Tiago Penão and his team (mostly coming from Midori, at Penha Longa) have presented their approach to the Japanese concept Omakase (‘to stay in the hands of the chef’). The name of the restaurant, that one, is not chosen at random. Kappo means ‘slicing and cooking’ and also refers to Japanese cooking style. kappo which is characterized by being a meal with several dishes, at the discretion of the chef. Here, the criterion depends on seasonality, as Kappo works with seasonal products. The ingredients or dishes on the menus can change daily and without prior notice, depending on what is best available on the market.

Kaykon Black Mirin sake, with 20 years of age, is the 'secret weapon' of Japanese pudding

Kaykon Black Mirin sake, with 20 years of age, is the ‘secret weapon’ of Japanese pudding

photo hayley kelsing

For those outside the lucky 36 group, there’s more life and menus beyond this Saturday’s unique experience. From Tuesday, Kappo returns to normal with à la carte service or with one of the three tasting menus (Omakase for lunch, Saikai for dinner and Danketsu for both meals). The differences between them are related to the number of moments (four, six and 10), and Omakase literally follows the concept of ‘choice of chef‘, since the content of each dish is not previously defined. There are two snacks, two sashimi, 10 nigirizushi and a dessert, the result of what Tiago Penão thinks about and due to the best products of the day. Common to all menus are matured fish (national, except for Spanish tuna) and rice that complies with traditional rules (cooked at 37 degrees with sake must, which gives it a sweet taste), for example.

The uniqueness extends to some condiments, which travel directly from Japan, such as the 20-year-old Kaykon Black Mirin. This very rare type of sake (sweet and with a caramel and coffee flavor) is the ‘secret weapon’ of the purine, Japanese pudding made with egg, milk and sugar. soy is koikishi (with eight years of fermentation in Japanese barrels over 100 years old) and seaweed kombu It’s rishiri, which ranks among the best in the world and comes from the island of Hokkaido, the second largest in the Japanese archipelago. Another of the rare ingredients used in Kappo’s cuisine is white algae, practically non-existent in Portugal and which has the particularity of not being fermented.

Azores squid sashimi is simple, but what's behind it is time-consuming

Azores squid sashimi is simple, but what’s behind it is time-consuming

photo hayley kelsing

The concept kappo it has another, more emotional dimension, which emphasizes the physical closeness between the one serving and the one being served. It’s less formal than the kaiseki (banquet with traditional precepts) and more elaborate than the izakaya (small portions that accompany drinks). In Japan, restaurants that follow the style kappo they are small and cozy, frequented by regular customers and known for their word-of-mouth. Whether there or in Cascais, the experience has a strong counter component, where the chef cuts and cooks in front of the customer.

In Kappo’s room, not only the counter but also the design and decoration of the interior refer to the Japanese atmosphere. To the mahogany wood, there are neons (pay attention to the bathroom entrance) plus the three arrangements ikebana, apparently stripped down but that translate the millenary art of assembling flowers, branches and dry plants, following their own rules and symbolisms. What you see is simple, but what is behind it is time-consuming and elaborate, respecting time and other times. Like the creations of Tiago Penão.


Alba & Caviar Truffle Menu

November 20, at 7:30 pm and 9:30 pm

€295 (10 moments, with wine pairing)

Avenida Emídio Navarro, 23A

2750-337 Cascais

Tel.214 844 122

[email protected]

Source: Expresso by

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