Sometimes you find a little place that embodies all you look for when travelling: beautiful views, great food, nice people and relaxed atmosphere. And when that happens you come back as much as you can. And once you’re back home you remember it with nostalgia and a big smile on your face. Well, we found all this in a tiny restaurant hidden in a tiny cove in Algarve.
Located outside the picturesque seaside village of Ferragudo, Rei das Praias specialises in great sea food and fish, amazing sunsets in its terrace and long naps in the bright white sunbeds that the restaurant offers in Praia dos Caneiros. During our recent holidays in Algarve it became our happy place. Even the sun shined while we enjoyed two scrumptious lunches in this incredible restaurant. And we mean it literally, because the rest of the time the weather was like this.
We were welcomed by spicy cheese, warm bread, olives and pickled carrots, a great view of the beach (sadly the terrace was closed but we can imagine how wonderful dining there in a Summer night must be) and polite staff who handed us a very promising menu. We decided to start with the most amazing tuna and mango salad to share. Fresh, zingy, sweet, salty… delicious. The tuna was merely sealed in the grill and buttery soft in the center.
Afterwards, we had the most spectacular seafood rice. The portion was huge, but fear not, we ate the whole pan. It was impossible not to… so creamy, full of flavour and with a lovely, fresh coriander touch. One of the best dishes we’ve ever eaten. We savored the food slowly, while planning new trips and enjoying a glass of chilled rosé. After a few rainy days the sun came out and the tiny dining room was filled with joy. The white, blue and silver decor was brighter, even the rocks that surround the restaurant became lighter.
We weren’t leaving without desert. So we shared a perfectly sweet creme brulée and ordered a couple of surprisingly good espressi. We said goodbye and headed back to our hotel. We knew we had found a gem… so we came back the last day of our holidays. This time, we couldn’t help but ordering simple yet outstanding grilled fish. Sea bass for her and golden bream for me, beautifully prepared with a side of vegetables. A light lunch, compared to the one we had in our previous visit, but equally delicious. After all, we had had a week of incredible, hearty breakfast and our waistlines were struggling…
We can’t recommend this restaurant enough: both for big, celebratory meals or light lunches by the sea, the food will never disappoint you. What could seem a typical beach bar is actually an elegant restaurant, a perfect example of understated luxury. You will see the fresh catch of the day at the entrance, you will smell the sea in every corner but the attention to detail of the service will make you want to come back over and over again!