Down Under by Justin Jennings, Lisbon: a great fusion cuisine experience…Australian in Portugal

For this first evening in Lisbon I was looking for something original. I was going to have enough time in the following week to test the local gastronomy and, besides, the few gastronomic ones I had in mind like the 100 Maneiras were already full. The risks of planning a trip at the last minute.

So after some research I let myself be tempted by the Down Under by Justin Jennings whose menu looks as creative as it is affordable so the risk is worth taking.

#TypeSubject
1FlightParis Orly-Lisbon, TAP, Business Class
2HotelMoxy Lisbon City Center
3RestaurantDown Under by Justin Jennings, Lisbon
4RestaurantElevador, Lisbon
5HotelSheraton Cascais & Resort
6HotelPenha Longa Resort, Sintra
7LoungeTAP Premium Lounge – Lisbon
8FlightLisbon- Porto, TAP, Business Class
9FlightPorto-Paris Orly, TAP, Business Class (Operated by Portugalia)

The concept

This is an Australian fusion restaurant. That said, when we say fusion, we mean fusion between two cuisines…here I saw the Australian side, a little European side and if there was to be a Portuguese side, it was hard to find it.

The setting

The restaurant is so discreet that you can walk past it (almost) without seeing it. The room is sober, without distinctive signs. It’s clean, it’s simple but it doesn’t reflect any particular personality. I counted 14 seats.

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The Menu

Due to Pandemic, it was only available in digital.

Starters

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Side dishes and desserts

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Main courses

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The tasting menus

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Malgré le remarque faite plusDespite the remark made above, it is nevertheless very creative. As usual I will take the tasting menu.

The service and the dishes

The welcome is really very cordial. The room is not full, far from it, and will fill up little during the evening.

I ask for a Negroni as an aperitif, they don’t have the ingredients to make it. But I was suggested a Whiskey Sour. Let’s be crazy !

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The drink will take some time to arrive. It will be very correct, something rare for a restaurant where there is not really a cocktail specialist. It would have been nice to give something to nibble on the side.

We start with the pea Panna Cotta, shrimps, Mango sorbet, lemon and chili.

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Too bad, it arrives barely 2 minutes after the aperitif which will force me to drink it a little faster than expected.

As for the dish, it has a lot of taste, it’s fresh, it’s very good.

Then comes thecrocodile, Asian salad and squid ink mayonnaise.

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Very interesting. According to the waiter, the mayonnaise gave the crocodile a fishy taste…without going so far as to say that it did not taste like meat either. It’s original but good. Surprising. In fact, it is the salad and the sauce that do all the work. Why not after all?

Then a classic: the ceviche. It is based on salmon with a ginger mousse and coconut milk to balance the acidity.

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Tasty and spicy. The coconut milk is a good idea.

Corvina, pea and mushroom puree with truffle.

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I really like the skin, very crispy. Nice to have put truffle but it remains in the background.

Pork belly, aioli and caramel chili.

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According to the waiter, the caramel aioli sauce is the most powerful in the restaurant. The skin is crispy, the meat melts under the tooth and the sauce is divine. It’s small in quantity but makes a huge impression.

A little sweet, a little salty, it almost looks like a dessert.

Duck breast with spices, smoked carrots, fig compote.

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Very correct but after the pork this dish looks too mild.

Kangaroo, romesco sauce.

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Excellent meat, perfect cooking and perfect marriage with the sauce.

And to finish the dessert, the chocolate pie, salted caramel, cream, lime.

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There’s popcorn on the caramel.

I am given the procedure: open the pie, squeeze the lemon over it.

I will finish with a homemade mint tea.

A treat.

I really enjoyed this meal. It is at the same time exotic, creative, fine and very well presented without being too exotic.

I specify of course that if you eat a la carte, the dishes are available in normal size, creative, fine and very well presented without being too exotic.

The atmosphere

I couldn’t feel it too much because of the low number of customers. Given the setting, I imagine it to be quiet.

I found the music maybe a little too loud. Alone it was fine, if I was not it might have bothered me.

The service

Some slowness at the beginning, but otherwise very friendly. Très bon contact avec le serveur. I really liked it.

Bottom line

The choice of this restaurant was anything but natural and I absolutely do not regret it. Creative, fine, surprising, excellent service…what more could you ask for?

The 62 euros asked excluding drinks are more than deserved.

Bertrand Duperrin
Bertrand Duperrinhttp://www.duperrin.com
Compulsive traveler, present in the French #avgeek community since the late 2000s and passionate about (long) travel since his youth, Bertrand Duperrin co-founded Travel Guys with Olivier Delestre in March 2015.
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