Leopold – Experimental kitchen in the heart of Mouraria
The old bakery in Rua de S. Cristóvão, Mouraria, has been closed for many years. The first signs that something was changing began to emerge in the window, were it was strategically placed large green lanterns. It was the start of Leopold, an intimate restaurant where experimentation is the key ingredient.
Tiago Feio, former souschef of Largo restaurant, is the responsible for experimentalist food, where he plays with the texture and presentation. One example is the dish Vegetables on Earth, that we had opportunity to taste, and where the carrot is presented in the ‘land’, which is nothing more than carob and cocoa. “These are ingredients that people know, like carrots, radishes or turnips, but what changes is the confection and presentation”, explains Tiago Feio.
In the kitchen, which is in plain sight behind a large marble counter, there’s no stove nor exhaust fan. All dishes are made-up vacuum, which keeps the flavour and nutrients from food. “For me, the food cannot be separate from funny or sophisticated presentation, is a mix concept,” admits Tiago Feio, which controls the temperature of the confection of food to the tenth grade, with the help of a Roner, a box with water where food is cooked vacuum. But why this concept? Tiago Feio and his girlfriend Ana Cachaço wanted to bet on a language in which they believe. “Since it’s a small and a place of our own, so we bet on a language in which we believe. We focused on the concept of sharing, where dishes come to the centre of the table and people are sharing and talking, trying new things”.
And why Leopold? The answer is displayed in the giant poster placed in one of the walls of the restaurant. “It was the poster that we had in our kitchen at home. When we received friends for dinner, instead of staying in the living room they ended up coming into the kitchen to see what I was doing and it was we were talk. We ended up putting a sofa in the kitchen (laughs). And as it was in this kitchen that the idea of opening a restaurant emerge “we felt it had everything to do with the idea that people are socializing in the kitchen”.
This has everything to do with us. That’s why we stop now there for Tiago’s special tasting sample specially made for us in our Downtown-Mouraria Food Tour.