Oriental Bafon

Between so many ornaments, the neon sign installed in one of the walls close to the stairs is almost unnoticed but hints at something more, a lower floor… We leave the noise at the tavern, we dive in the almost obscene intimacy of the oriental bas-fond.
A narrow and poorly lighted corridor gives access to the bar and to four reserved compartments, each with a single decor and light and with the capacity of four to six people. In the rooms Kimono, Bambu (Bamboo), Seda (Silk) and Veludo (Velvet) the mystery also has a seat on the table. The whole environment of this floor, with its deep reds, old golds and wooden panels skilfully trimmed by hand by the craftsman Luís Souto, points to a certain decadent luxury. A tenuous and intoxicating sensuality looms in the air and the watchful eye of the dragon that the illustrator and tattoo artist Miguel Brum engraved in one of the walls can’t be ignored.


Not being a Japanese restaurant, Soão dedicates one of his menus to the Japanese kitchen ex-libris. With its Sushi & Sashimi Menu, Soão honours the profile and the professional path of the chef Luís Cardoso, who was born with a silver spoon regarding oriental gastronomy, or Japanese. He was the first Portuguese to take the lead of the legendary Aya, from the master Takashi Yoshitake, an icon in Japanese kitchen in Lisbon.

Talking about the Bar Menu, Vasco Martins, the restaurant’s head bartender, took his time researching Asia’s most traditional drinks with the purpose of creating a Bar Menu that was genuine and faithful to the Asiatic traditions. Through sakês he arrived to the universe of the Japanese whisky and to the less-known distilled, such as shochu, soju and baijiu. The cocktail menu drinks inspiration from the courses: it’s the countries they come from that inspire every tailor-made cocktail, thought as an extension to the gastronomic options. In addition to these, there are yet three more classic cocktails, as the Osakini, inspired on the Bellini, and the Sojito, inspired on the Mojito. The gins, rums, vodkas and beers are equally from Asian origin. The tea also deserved the attention of the bar team. From a unique partnership in Portugal with the tea sommelier Sebastian Filgueiras, founder of Companhia Portugueza do Chá, resulted Soão’s six teas, ideal to pair with the course, and also three surprising harmonisations of tea and whisky.

In Soão’s Main Menu it is possible to travel around the world and taste specialties from India, China, Vietnam, Thailand, South Korea, Indonesia and Laos. From India come the typical samosas, from Thailand the aromatic pad thai and from Vietnam the famous pho; the dim sum take us on a journey to China, the spicy kimchi makes us jump to Korea. The spicy sambal udang, with prawns and clams, comes directly from Indonesia, and the duck soup with rice noodles tastes like Laos, but also Thailand.


Sushi & Sashimi