Restaurant Review – Quatro Aguas, Tavira (Update)
We revisited this upscale restaurant last week, so decided to review it in full as an update to the mention it got in a round-up of Tavira restaurants a while ago in the blog.
The restaurant is located slightly out of Tavira town centre, near the jetty the boats use to travel out to the beach at Isla De Tavira. It is a very beautiful spot but a car or taxi is really required to get to here. The tourist train that does the circuit around Tavira also comes up here.
The place is very big and has a choice of seating – inside, under a canopy, and completely exposed to the elements.
We ended up in here with relatives on a Saturday night, admittedly because our first choice, Vela 2 (see review here) was full. The restaurant was busy and hectic, and it did seem we had caught them unawares by turning up without a reservation and quite late in the evening. All of the staff were polite and pleasant, but flustered, and our wine had to be ordered twice as the first waiter who took our order then finished his shift and didn’t tell anyone what we had asked for!
The food here is of a very high standard and we weren’t disappointed after our high expectations from last time. I had a starter of migas de lingueirão which stood out particularly. Chopped razor clams and bread, formed into a long sausage shape – I initially thought “what on earth is tihis,” but it was truly delicious, as my companions who tried it agreed.
Other starters we ordered included some piri-piri prawns and a vegetable soup, both of which went down very well with those that ordered them.
For the main event, the hallmark shellfish cataplana was the order of the day, and I had very high expectations. The cataplana I had here last time is the cataplana against which I measure all others! Just like last time it was very rich and full of tomato flavour, whereas a bad cataplana can be rather tasteless and light in colour. Containing generous chunks of lobster, prawns and langoustines, this very extremely nice BUT fell just short of the cataplana I enjoyed on my last visit. The reason: uninspiring and tasteless crab-claws. Yes, it is perhaps a touch pedantic, but what stuck in my memory about the last cataplana I had here was that every last bit of shellfish in the cataplana was perfect.
It took nothing away from the experience, but warrants a mention as this is a high-end restaurant, which charges in excess of 50 euros for a cataplana for two people.
All in all though, a wonderful meal, topped off with excellent chocolate mousse (I really need to start trying desserts other than chocolate mousse in the restaurants I review!) This place still gets my recommendation for special occasions.