Portuguese star chef Jose Avillez's two-Michellin-starred Belcanto was elected one of the best 100 restaurants in the world for 2015. He has five restaurants in Lisbon and one in Oporto. His has won many awards and accolades and he writes bestselling cookbooks and hosts TV and radio cooking shows. See joseavillez.pt.
WHAT'S YOUR FAVOURITE TABLE IN LISBON?
It's a difficult question but maybe Cervejaria Ramiro because it offers the best seafood in Lisbon. I always go for the clams then I move on to the grilled giant tiger shrimp and end with a delicious steak sandwich. See cervejariaramiro.pt.
THE LOCAL FOOD DISCOVERY OF THE PAST YEAR?
Loja das Conservas (house of canned foods) at Rua do Arsenal (near Cais do Sodre). A beautiful gourmet canned food store with hundreds of types of different high quality canned fish from Portugal (tuna, mackerel, sardine and more). (No website; 1200 182 Rua do Arsenal 130.)
WHAT IS LISBON'S BEST-KEPT FOOD SECRET?
Because Lisbon is such a small city I don't know if there are many food secrets, but I love going to Manteigaria Silva to buy cured ham from black Iberian pigs and genuine Serra da Estrela cheese. Or after going to the theatre I love to stop at Gambrinus restaurant, sit at the counter and have some late night snacks. See manteigariasilva.pt; gambrinuslisboa.com.
PLACE TO GO ON A DAY OFF?
I love going to the beautiful Alentejo countryside. Alentejo means the land beyond Tagus. It's a very serene area. Here you will find nature, beauty in pure form and amazing food. See visitalentejo.pt.
FAVOURITE INDULGENCE IN LISBON?
Lisbon is a very beautiful city. I love to see the view from Memmo Alfama Hotel or to walk by the river at sunset or to walk around Chiado neighbourhood early in the morning. I also love Tram 28 (but please be aware of the pickpockets), an unforgettable ride through old Lisbon. See memmohotels.com.
WHAT SHOULD A VISITOR AVOID, FOOD-WISE, IN LISBON?
Visitors should avoid restaurants with illustrated menus by the entrance and restaurants with waiters who try to persuade them to go inside. Most of these restaurants are near Rossio (Baixa area). The service is not good, and you will end with a misconception about Portuguese food.
WHAT'S HOT IN LISBON RIGHT NOW?
Maybe I shouldn't say because we own it, but definitely Mini Bar restaurant. Mini Bar is an ultra-cool restaurant that offers a much different dining experience considering Lisbon's food scene. The dishes are packed with flavour and excitement. See minibar.pt.