A happy surprise
Posted on 07 / 01 / 2010
I was happy to find this restaurant through the Happy Cow on my first and recent visit to Portugal. It was the first vegetarian buffet I have ever been to or even heard about (and I seek them out vegetarian places in the U.S.). I appreciate it's existence!
The food is a good sized buffet; not huge, but quite enough, and the menu changes daily, as I recall. The food was good healthy vegetarian fare, which I enjoyed, though I would have preferred a few some stronger flavors (spices, sauces, etc.). That said, what I ate for the main meal was quite good, and included seitan, vegetables, brown rice, several mixed grain salads, tofu, and other vegetarian/vegan standards. The dessert was remarkably good: I had a passionfruit mousse that was simple and yet incredibly enjoyable.
The price, which I think was 7.50 euros, was quite reasonable for a buffet. My only complaint might be that it was warmer inside than I prefer, to the point where I was sweating a bit during my meal, though still better than the very hot day in Lisbon; on cooler days, I'd guess the temperature inside the restaurant would be fine. And even with a bit of warmth, I'd eat there like that again.
The person at the counter (the owner, I think) seemed to be a nice and approachable fellow who cared about how the restaurant ran. It's clear from the elegant decor of the place, the name, design style, etc., that some thought has gone into Paladar Zen. I'm glad it has. If I were a Lisbon resident living or working downtown I would eat there probably once a week or more. It's too bad I could only go once, since the buffet offerings would be different on other days.
good value, friendly staff, fabulous dessert