Food & Drink

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Our primary offering is an eight-course tasting menu. Additionally, at the Wine Bar, we provide a small à la carte menu featuring snacks and small plates. We source our produce from regenerative farmers in Portugal, ensuring no wastage in our menu creation process.

SEM Restaurant Dish

Creating in absence: a cuisine driven by zero-waste innovation.

SEM Restaurant Dish
SEM Restaurant Dish
SEM Restaurant Dish

To Drink

Portuguese and European wines make up our list. Low intervention wines created by small-producers who share our values and our passion for the natural. Wines in cans, bag-in-boxes, magnums and kegs become more and more present on our shelves as we strive for labels with alternative packaging that have lower impact on the environment.

We partner with Barona Brewing Company for our craft beer and Toca da Raposa for the custom cocktails created with wild ingredients and by-products from our kitchen. Our non-alcoholic drinks are created in house, an extended arm of our kitchen into the bar, where kombuchas, shrubs and infusions are the vehicles for transforming fruit peels, herb stems, leaves, barks and spices into delicious drinks.

A deep dive into how we think about food

George is a big believer that the small things matter. The food is always complex without being complicated, minimal and simple to look at, but always igniting those moments of “oooh, what is that?!”

Being a zero-waste kitchen means that when we look at creating new dishes and new menus, we consider the past, the present, and the future. The kitchen team tirelessly comes up with ferments and preserves with by-products from the current menu to be used in the future.

So to make a new dish, George often sits on the bench facing the wall of ferments as a good starting point. Once a main element - usually a vegetable - has been selected, it is then looked at as a whole: what is useable now, what can be used later and what is inedible.

The next step is to find a match with something from the wall, something we refused to discard from a previous menu. And of course, to open the foraging calendar and see what is growing wild.

A great example from our current menu is the yacon. We are lucky enough that Jorge, one of the farmers we work with, produces this incredible South American tuber with great success in his farm in Leiria. Our winter yacon dish is served raw, seasoned with its own juiced skin and trim, which, after being reduced, is seasoned with our beer foam vinegar and a lemon thyme stalk vinegar. It sits over a sunflower seed praline, amidst a ginger broth and topped with a little fermented celery. Simple, yet complex.

We are not a kitchen that will use high-end products such as caviar, foie gras, or tuna belly. We see a higher value in the skill that has been used to transform something that is normally overlooked and turned into the star of the show. Chefs, after all, are a creative bunch of people and with the right mentality and skills, can transform simple ingredients into high level and interesting food.

Being in the heart of Alfama, you couldn't be further away from a farm… having a close relationship with the farmers is paramount for George and the kitchen team. Getting weekly videos and having conversations about what is happening on the farm, beyond the weekly vegetable list, is a huge dictator of the menu.

Not having waste from the produce we use isn’t nearly enough for us. Waste exists at the farm level, whether it be from excess production, not conforming to aesthetic standards or due to climatic consequence. If our farmer tells us she has a lot of New Zealand spinach in the next two weeks, we take as much as we can and implement that into current or future menus.

When you align yourself with people who have the same mentality, it is easy. To convince others is the hardest yet most rewarding part. Beyond this direct relationship with our farmers and the closed loop cycle that stems from that, we love working with wild food. Our natural surroundings are full of beautiful, delicious edible species which exist in excess simply because they don’t sell in supermarkets.

Foraging makes up a huge part of George’s culinary identity and wild foods are present in every menu he creates. So much of the wild food we use overlaps with another hugely important bedrock of our cuisine: using invasive species as much as possible.

Invasive species are one of the biggest threats to our biodiversity, yet so much of it is edible and just as importantly, delicious. Enter the zander, an invasive species of river fish that has been causing a devastating impact to freshwater habitats, from France to northern Africa.

Extremely fast, highly adaptable and with no predators, this fish is such a problem in Portugal that there is a law that forbids you to return a fished zander to the river. Lucky for us, it is an outstanding product - delicious and highly versatile.

The zander has been a staple in our fish course for over a year now, and we have not used fish from the sea in our kitchen since 2022. Inevitably, the question of what the future of food will be is constantly on our minds.

Using wild and invasive species are a pillar of this vision and further evidence of our perspective on food waste: waste is what exists in excess – to be zero-waste is not only about what we throw away, but mainly, perhaps, about what we don’t use.

Our challenge is to elevate the intrinsic value of the unappreciated.