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Eat & Drink Lifestyle

Palaphita: A Culinary Journey to the Amazon

Palaphita Cascais Portugal

Situated along the picturesque coast of Cascais, Portugal, Palaphita is a culinary oasis that transports us to the heart of the Amazon rainforest.

This restaurant perfectly combines the Portuguese coast’s charm with the vibrant flavors and ambiance inspired by the lush Amazon.

 My recent visit to Palaphita was a true gastronomic adventure, combining the essence of two worlds.

Palaphita: In communion with nature

The outdoor setting of Palaphita restaurant in Cascais, Portugal
The outdoor setting

When I entered Palaphita, the first thing that caught my eye was the restaurant’s decor. The interior is adorned with the Casa da Guia forest vegetation, wooden details, and earth tones, creating an enveloping atmosphere that mimics the natural beauty of the Amazon rainforest.

Accompanying it are three domes that make this eco-lounge cozy, even on the coldest winter days.

The attention to detail in the design immediately signaled that this was not just a place to eat but a portal to a different world.

Fusion of flavors and cultures

Palaphita’s menu is a testament to the culinary creativity that emerges when Amazonian and Portuguese influences collide. Each dish, designed by Chef Natacha Fink, is a harmonious fusion of flavors, showcasing the diverse ingredients found in the Amazon rainforest. From fruits to products from the indigenous past, each bite is a celebration of the region’s biodiversity.

Brasilian typical pastel served in Palaphita

To start my gastronomic adventure, the typical Brazilian “pastel” dishes were served on the table: duck and apple, vatapá (typical of the Brazilian Northeast, but with African roots), and black pork with banana from the Azores. The desire to fuse Brazilian roots with ingredients with a strong presence in Portuguese culture immediately came to the fore.

“When I arrived in Portugal, I started researching Portuguese products and began to build the menu based on inspiration from the Amazon and quality Portuguese produce. So our menu has icons such as cod, black port, and octopus, the face of Portuguese cuisine. But if you try it, you’ll see that everything has a different touch, there’s a sauce that changes the experience,” says Natacha Fink.

For the main course, I was presented with two of the stars of the new winter menu: the bobó de camarão (made with prawns), the base of which is the cassava root, the number one food of the traditional peoples of the Amazon, and the estufadinho do Pala, a black pork stew cooked in wine, on a bed of purple potato puree and farofa made of banana-pão from Madeira.

The explosion of flavors was invigorating, and the fusion of Portuguese and Amazonian culinary traditions was a true feast for the senses.

In fact, Palaphita changes its menu every season, which gives you the chance to try new dishes adapted to the weather and the seasonal ingredients.

Where does the name “Palaphita” come from?

“Palaphita” comes from one of the building systems used in the Amazon, a dwelling built on logs or pillars. This type of construction is common in flooded areas, leaving the house at a height where the water cannot reach it.
Curiously, near Tróia, in Portugal, there’s also the Carrasqueira Palaphite Pier, a group of small fishermen’s constructions that feature this same system.

Palaphita is thus a culinary journey that unites continents and celebrates the richness and diversity of cultures.

In a unique refuge, you can immerse yourself in the flavors, aromas, and spirit of the Amazon without ever leaving the stunning Portuguese coast.

About this food article…

Dining experiences featured in this blog may or may not include invitations from restaurants, but my opinions are solely based on genuine encounters, ensuring an impartial and authentic exploration of each culinary journey. While I strive to provide accurate insights, please note that individual experiences may vary, and I cannot be held responsible if a reader’s experience differs from my own.

Marlene On The Move

Marlene Marques

Marlene is the creator of Marlene On The Move. A journalist by profession, she created the blog to share her adventures around the world. It is not unusual for her to set off to discover new countries and cultures with a surfboard as luggage.



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