With spectacular Atlantic views, Ocean offers the perfect combination of sublime food, seamless service and an atmosphere of casual elegance, and has held two Michelin stars since 2011 – a tribute to Hans Neuner and his team. The decor, based on a palette of blue and golden shades is the reflection of peaceful seaside scenery, and the magnificent corals which fill up one of its sidewalls, as well as the Murano crystals resembling medusas by the entrance, are a clear clue to the inspiration behind Ocean’s philosophy. CovetED had the pleasure of visiting Ocean Restaurant for the second time to meet the new executive Menu by the Chef. Entitled “Discovering Portugal”, the executive Menu promises to bring a new definition to the Portuguese traditional flavours.
Leading the kitchen since 2007 is Austrian-born Hans Neuner, Portugal’s Chef of the Year in 2009 and 2012. By his side, a dedicated and talented team that helps to develop the remarkable gastronomic creations based on the best local ingredients and products that make up its seasonal menus.
The wine rack, separating the room from the kitchen, is made of around 900 national and international references, carefully selected by Sommelier Ricardo Rodrigues, that constitute one of the largest private vintage wines collection in the Iberian Peninsula.
“Chef of the Year”, in 2019, Hans Neuner, responsible for the Ocean restaurant, of the Algarve resort Vila Vita Parc, presents this summer a tasting menu inspired by “typical Portuguese recipes collected from the south to the north of the country”. It is an invitation to “discover Portugal”, the award-winning cook, born in the mountains of Tyrol, assumes.
It is one of the most international restaurants in the Algarve thanks to the awards and distinctions accumulated over the years. At this moment, Ocean boasts two Michelin stars, renewed the Platinum Fork, in the 2020 edition of the Boa Cama Boa Mesa guide, and Hans Neuner, who leads the kitchen, distinguished as “Chef of the Year”, in 2019. Born in the mountains of Tirol, moved to the Algarve in 2007 to lead the gastronomic project of the Vila Vita Parc resort. Two years later, the Ocean restaurant won the first Michelin star and, in 2011, received the second, which it maintains today.
“From a personal and creative point of view, Hans Neuner learned to know, first, the Algarve, and then, the whole national territory, learning and absorbing everything about Portuguese products and gastronomy. This knowledge began to play a major role in his cuisine, which already worked with the Algarve’s fish and seafood splendidly. The evolution is notorious, as well as the confidence in daring and, often, being disruptive in the approaches. Today, each dish is a work of art, with humour and public warning messages, for example, for the protection of the oceans ”, read in the guide Boa Cama Boa Mesa, justifying the title of“ Chef of the Year ”, in 2019.
Throughout the winter season and the obligatory closure of restaurants, Hans Neuner took the opportunity to perfect the new menu for the summer season and, at the same time, transform the menu into a public compliment to Portuguese cuisine. Since the 1st of July, the “Descobrindo Portugal” menu arrives at the Ocean table, described as “a refreshing experience of typical Portuguese flavours, ingredients and recipes collected from the south to the north of the country, continuous evidence of the wealth and essence of Portuguese gastronomy ”. In this menu, each dish is a unique step with the influence of specific regions, “either through the reinterpretation of a typical ingredient, traditional recipe or even a harmonious encounter between these various Portuguese elements”.
The selection of wines, with more than 900 references, is the responsibility of sommelier Ricardo Rodrigues, who pays special attention to the “unique and exclusive findings of small producers and small productions, both national and international”.
The “Descobrindo Portugal” menu, which costs € 195 and offers a wine pairing option for € 125, is served by appointment, from Wednesday to Sunday. The Ocean restaurant (Vila Vita Parc, Rua Anneliese Pohl, Alporchinhos. Tel. 282310100) only serves dinner.
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