When we are on a golf holiday, we want to pamper ourselves. This does not stop at where we are going to play golf or the quality of the golf resort’s hotel.
I am almost 100% sure that when you evaluate a golf holiday offer or simply planning one you check the golf resort’s gastronomy offers.
We check them for various reasons, for instance, because want to eat local, gluten-free, vegan, vegetarian, halal, kosher, organic, etc. But also, because it can have a huge impact on our golf holiday’s success.
You might not believe, but taste, smell, and texture of food can bring back memories, not just of eating food itself but also a place. Food is an effective trigger of deeper memories of feelings.
Have you read John S. Allen’s The Omnivorous Mind book about this topic?
When I was preparing for this article, I checked the latest gastronomy trends. Let me highlight the most important ones:
- Asian cuisine,
- Mexican cuisine,
- Marine Munchies, Beyond Seaweed,
- Hyper-local (e.g. restaurant gardens, onsite beer brewing, house-made items),
- Zero-waste cooking (elevated cuisine using food scraps),
- Shelf-stable probiotics,
- Tracking food from farm to table,
- Food as a form of self-expression.
In my previous post, I highlighted that more and more golf resorts and clubs are offering to combine and wine experiences together around the world (e.g. PGA Catalunya Resort, Royal Bled Golf Club, Argentario Golf Resort & Spa Toscana, CordeValle, Verdura Resort, etc.).
I will highlight now only those golf resort restaurants that are really unique, trendsetter or at least follower and able to provide you exceptional gastronomy experience for you.
Here are those golf resort restaurants that really made up my mind:
- Monte Rei Golf & Country Club: headed by Executive Chef, Rui Silvestre, the youngest Portuguese chef to have been awarded a Michelin star. The resort has got 2 restaurants and a grill:
- The Vistas Restaurant offers a complete gourmet experience – fresh, locally-sourced ingredients.
- The Veranda Restaurant: you can enjoy a mix of the Mediterranean and international cuisine.
- The Grill offers simple fresh regional and international dishes that are bursting with flavor.
- Pine Cliffs Resort
- Their Cooking School offers internationally renowned cooking classes, wine tastings, and family activities. Excellent to learn everything from local to haute Michelin-star cuisine and taste wines from all over the world, in a fun, hands-on environment.
- Mirador Champagne Bar: a terrace on the edge of the cliffs, overlooking the Atlantic Ocean makes the Mirador Champagne Bar the perfect spot to enjoy Champagne and cocktails. An ‘insta-perfect’ photo place.
- The Maré at Pine Cliffs: offers a selection of grilled fresh fish, seafood and local dishes paired with fun cocktails and sangrias.
- Piri Piri Steakhouse offers a wide selection of prime meat from all over the world, grilled to perfection and paired with the best Portuguese wines selected by our sommelier.
- Yakuza Algarve by Olivier is one of the finest Japanese Restaurants in the Algarve. A menu of traditional Japanese specialties with a touch of Mediterranean flavors served at an outdoor garden setting.
- Quinta do Lago: You will find 12 high-quality restaurants in this resort. These are my favorites:
- Bovino Steakhouse (since 2015) was awarded for Best Restaurant Bar at the Drinks Diary Bar Awards in Lisbon in April 2019.
- Casa do Lago serves fresh seafood bought from the local markets. Famed for its exquisite cuisine, the restaurant features an outdoor terrace, pool and fire pit.
- Casa Velha: Casa Velha’s new head chef Alípio Branco has refined the á la carte menu of tantalizing, handcrafted dishes with fresh, local and seasonal flavors. Perfect for a romantic dinner. Listed in Michelin Guide.
- The Shack (with live music) mimics the authenticity of a fisherman’s shack, standing on the shoreline of the lake, overlooking the nature reserve and sea beyond.
- GIGI’s: you need to cross the wooden bridge that overlooks the tidal lagoon. Located on the sand dunes, the wooden house sits on a stretch of white sand and boasts idyllic views of Ria Formosa National Park.
- Vale do Lobo: the resort has 15 restaurants and bars, where diners can enjoy international cuisine ranging from Asian to French, Italian to Portuguese and seafood specialties:
- Cantina del Lobo, offering a true taste of Mexico. Fresh, vibrant and modern Mexican cuisine with all the favorites from Tacos and Burritos to Fajitas served on a sizzling hot plate. Mexican cuisine is one of the hot gastronomy trends in 2019. Ask for papalo, tajin, or sandia loca.
- Another food trend according to Datassential in 2019 is Asian cuisine: Asian whiskeys, cheese tea, katsu sando. This is why worth visiting Ken Lo’s Memories of China restaurant. The late Ken Lo, author of over 30 books on Chinese cuisine.
- Spikes makes being health conscious easy, with appetizing salads, fresh vegetable soups and grilled meats served with vegetables, which taste so good they make watching your diet enjoyable!
- Another fine dining option is the Teahouse Oriental. It is an Asian-fusion restaurant where you can taste culinary experiences from Japan, Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Vietnam.
- Don Filipa Hotel: The menu of contemporary creations is designed to delight, inspire and deliver a delicate fusion cuisine that is based on traditional Mediterranean flavors, the cultures we visited and embraced… and the rich Portuguese history we built along the way.
- Penha Longa Resort:
- LAB by Sergi Arola with a Michelin Star, transport diners on a highly innovative and emotional gastronomic journey;
- Midori, awarded with its first Michelin Star offers a Japanese gourmet cuisine; Spices our new Pan Asian restaurant inspired in four different cuisines: Chinese, Japanese, Indian and Thai. Midori is one of the 3 Portuguese restaurants with a Michelin Star.
- Arola also with the signature of Chef Sergi Arola, where tapas are recreated in a trendy and relaxed atmosphere.
- Quinta da Marinha: Rocca Restaurant is a gourmet Portuguese restaurant that inaugurates their new menu, opening the doors to Mediterranean cuisine with strong flavors from the north to south of Portugal. I recommend tasting the local wines of Alentejo.
- Palacio Estoril: this is the only golf hotel where I found offers in their restaurants especially for those who want to eat gluten free or dairy free or low carb or detox or vegetarian or simply care about nutritional facts. You will find these in the Healthy Menu of their Grill Four Seasons restaurant and Bougainvillea Terrace Restaurant.
The sixth film of the James Bond saga was shot here in 1968. It was the inspiration for the plot of his first novel Casino Royale.
- Praia del Rey – The Emprata restaurant proposes a contemporary and creative approach of Portuguese cuisine that incorporated products, ingredients, and traditions of the region. They offer personalized service as well.
- Vidago Palace – Chef Vitor Matos won several awards, including Chef Cook of the Year 2003 (Editions of Taste), Chef of the Year 2013 (WINE Magazine Awards), Best Cook of Portugal (Arctic Gastro Awards) “2011 Chefs de l’Avenir” (Académie International de Gastronomie, Paris).
- Estela Golf Club (near Braga, North Portugal) – They are using local raw materials in their restaurant. Estela Golf Club’s restaurant offers regional culinary experience.
Share your Portuguese gastronomy experiences and recommendations in the comment box!
This article is brought to you by Tee Times Golf Agency.