If Portuguese Chef Nuno Mendes’ pride was in any way dented by the harsh review his London restaurant Taberna do Mercado received last year (click here), he can certainly take comfort in the recognition and praise he is receiving elsewhere.
His take on the traditional Portuguese custard tart, pastel de nata, is featured in a list of ‘London’s Best Desserts’ by bloomberg.com.
“Chef Nuno Mendes recalls his childhood in Portugal, when his grandmother would take him to cafés and order pastéis de nata that were so soft and runny, he would eat them with a spoon,” writes author Richard Vines.
He adds: “The buttery pastry contains a touch of pork fat, and the tarts are cooked at a high temperature so they are almost burnt, with a near-liquid centre.”
The praise certainly makes up for the upset caused by controversial British food critic Giles Coren who reviewed Taberna do Mercado with the opening sentence: “Portuguese food is the worst on earth.”
But then Mendes has received a lot of attention since the damning article.
Just a few months ago he was given his own food column in The Guardian newspaper (click here), and in February Taberna do Mercado was included in a guide to the world’s top 18 restaurants put together by Condé Nast Traveler magazine (click here).