Chef Hans Neuner from the prestigious two-Michelin star restaurant Ocean at Vila Vita Parc Resort in Porches has been awarded a ‘Platinum Fork’ for the third year straight in Expresso’s ‘Boa Cama Boa Mesa’ restaurant-hotel guide. The resort also received a ‘Platinum Key’ in the hotel category of the awards.
“This prize is recognition of the dedication and work of the whole team, which every day wants to perfect its knowledge about the country’s products and gastronomy and give them a stage to be presented on in their simplest form to all those who visit us,” the chef said in a statement to the press.
Neuner received the ‘Platinum Fork’ award for the first time in 2012, when the category was first introduced.
The award ceremony, held on Monday (June 14) at Quinta da Pimenteira in Lisbon, was led by Pinto Balsemão, president of Grupo Impresa which owns Expresso newspaper.
Ocean reopened in April with a new menu inspired primarily by the islands of the Azores, Madeira and São Tomé e Príncipe.
“Last year, Chef Hans Neuner surprised everyone with a trip around the country with the ‘À Descoberta de Portugal’ (Discovering Portugal) menu, which is now followed up by the ‘Edição das Ilhas’ (Islands Edition) menu,” said the resort at the time.
The new menu features a series of “charismatic dishes, typical ingredients and new rich flavours” from Portugal’s two archipelagos and the former Portuguese colony, but also from other parts of the country and other former colonies such as Cape Verde.
The Algarve town of Lagos inspires the first course of the meal with a combination of mackerel, tomato and basil, followed by a plate of Azores clams.
The list goes on and on, with other dishes including rump steak served with the Azores’ typical ‘bolo lêvedo’ (a sweet muffin-like bread), Madeira cheese served with ‘pitanga’ (also known as Suriname, Brazilian or Cayenne cherry) and apple, or São Tomé pork served with sweet potato and cinnamon.
All in all, there are 15 gastronomic “moments” to enjoy, each inspired by a different location.
According to the resort, the menu “respects” the seasonal quality of the products used, “not only because it is part of its sustainability philosophy, but also because it ensures the quality and authenticity of the flavours”.
The menu costs €210 per person, with wine pairing courtesy of sommelier Ricardo Rodrigues costing €140 per person.
Reservations can be made on the restaurant’s website (restauranteocean.com) or by telephone (+351 282 310 100).