There’s something fishy going on in Portman Square this summer…

Expect cocktails in tuna cans and Portugal’s finest delicacies at Lisboa Jardim pop-up. Peter Morrell reports

Canned fish is something of a preoccupation in Portugal, it’s quite normal to find a shop stacked with tins of tuna, sardines, mackerel and squid. The packaging is always bright and eye catching but rather than going home to eat the fish you can sit in the shop with fresh bread and pickles for an impromptu meal.

This fun style of eating is now available in London as the hotly-anticipated Lisboa Jardim pop-up is now officially open. Inspired by Lisbon’s exhilarating vibe and the bold colours of Portugal, the pop-up has launched just in time for summer on the streets of West London at The Terrace. With views overlooking Portman Square Gardens, this pop-up is fresh and relaxed and you can expect everything from carefully crafted cocktails served in tuna cans to some of Portugal’s finest local delicacies; the perfect summer setup.

Choose from a selection of three punchy cocktails packaged in hand-sealed tuna cans, whilst enjoying an array of Lisbon inspired light bites. From tinned fish served with pickle pairings, local sourdough bread and pastel del nata (custard tarts) for those with a sweet tooth. The little tarts have a fascinating history, they were invented by nuns who used egg whites to starch their headwear, this left them a lot of egg yolks to use up and pastel del nata was the solution.

There’s no doubt The Terrace will be this summer’s social honey pot for those wanting to experience the very best of Lisbon, without the cost. Four other cocktails, including a signature blend of white port with lashings of vermouth have also been curated to quench the thirst of all those that stop by ‘for just that one drink.’

I recently went along to Lisboa Jardim to try the food and relax in the laid back atmosphere, the al fresco terrace was the perfect spot for dining on a warm summer evening.

The negroni from a tuna can was the perfect cocktail mix and the accompanying nibbles of spicy broad beans and the black truffle potato crisps with their unique aroma were just right.

Portuguese canned fish is rarely plain which adds a lot of interest to the food. I sampled the spiced mackerel fillets which were delicious and the calamar a la ravigote, squid in a satisfyingly highly flavoured spicy tomato sauce. Mopping up the left over juices and sauce with genuine Portuguese sourdough bread was an added pleasure. To balance the richness of the fish it was served with pickled silver skin onions and caperberries. The finale was pastel del nata for which we owe the nuns a debt of gratitude for inventing such a gratifying dessert.

Lisboa Jardim has been curated by DEN LDN (the brains behind the sell-out Woody Bear winter pop-up). With a Lisboa blue colour scheme, it’s sure to catch the eye of any curious traveller wanting to sit, work, enjoy evening drinks, or simply watch the world go by. In Portugal’s capital, “Lisboa Jardim” is a garden for the curious; a place that catches your eye and stops you in your tracks, so this pop-up will definitely live up to its name.

Open 12pm–10pm from Wednesdays to Saturdays, reservations aren’t required at this 100 capacity venue, but it is also available to hire for private events throughout the week. Whether you’re looking for a place to enjoy a drink with friends or bask in the summer sun, there’s no doubt the Lisboa Jardim will transport you out of West London and into a melting pot filled with the very best Lisbon has to offer.

Lisboa Jardim is located at The Terrace, 22 Portman Square W1H 7BG and is running from 7th June through until the end of September.

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