Restaurant Reviews

I'm a Local Expat: 3 Must-Try Asian Restaurants in Cascais

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So I'm a Torontonian who moved to Cascais with my husband Thomas back in 2018. We're both foodies who basically feel like travelling and even date nights, well they should be all about good food.

Sometimes it takes a little bit of digging to figure out which the good restaurants are, especially living in Portugal. See the problem is - the locals know where the good food is at, but their reviews of the restaurants get drowned out by the tourists, who while well-meaning, to be fair, don't understand that the quality of food in Portugal is already a cut above the rest.

I'm serious. Go to a local grocery store - like Auchan - buy a tin of tuna - like the Ramirez Tuna Fillet In Olive Oil, and tell me that's not better than 99% of the tuna you've ever tasted in your life outside of Europe. Like better than restaurant quality.

So that's what you're competing against - a high bar of incredible ingredients that you can buy ready made, and ready to eat, from a grocery store. Now you see why tourists don't exactly get it right sometimes?

In any case, Thomas and I have had our fair share of testing out here, and while we do our best to stay at home and cook delicious things with the incredible ingredients at home, we will make exceptions for going out usually only to a few restaurants that we just can't help repeat visiting over and over.

Some of these are traditional Portuguese restaurants, some of them are Asian restaurants, others just qualify as impeccable quality seafood restaurants - basically they are a mixed bag and I really can't stick to one type of cuisine for the life of me or I will get bored, so it works out.

I'm going to share my top Asian restaurants in this article, and if you're interested in more round up posts like this and like my recommendations, have a browse around this blog. As a heads up, I haven't included any sushi restaurants in this list, as that in my opinion deserves it's own article, so head over here to see those recommendations.

My Top 3 Asian Restaurant Recommendations as a Local Expat in Cascais

1. Soya Noodle Bar

You literally cannot go wrong visiting Soya Noodle Bar. I'm pretty convinced it's impossible to not like this place - and impossible not to find it interesting.

Word to the keen foodie - if you're looking for some authentic Asian cuisine, you're not going to find it here. You're instead going to find dishes that are impeccably made using the freshest local vegetables, and presented in a way that's both delicious, healthy, and, well elevated in my opinion.

I may really love my Bibimbap super traditional tasting but I'm also completely and totally game for this restaurant's style of completely upping the ante on ingredients. It's different, but it's so, so good.

I've written a full review on Soya Noodle Bar restaurant here. If you just want me to cut to the chase and recommend... For those that are into something safe (which I am personally not but so many are) the Pad Thai is a very popular option.

For those are crazy foodies like me and just want the best thing on the menu period - it's the Ramen noodles with duck. Followed by the Bibimbap (you have to ask for the sauce on the side as a lot of people thought it was too spicy, so they have it separated now).

My husband is obsessed with the beef wraps (they're a starter) and we both looove the papaya salad. But we've tried practically everything on the menu and absolutely everything has been fantastic so it's really a matter of personal choice.

This place is not expensive so I wouldn't worry about budget here. And it's in the center of town, so super convenient and easy to get to. We'll typically grab a large glass of beer here with our meal, and even then, the pricing is completely reasonable.

2.  Shoyu Ramen & Izakaya, Cascais

This place is also fantastic, and from what I hear, also owned by the same people as Soya Noodle Bar.

It's got a completely different vibe, closer to traditional Asian food, less elevated and healthy, but still ridiculously healthy in comparison to alternatives, and just, well, delicious down-to-earth, and simple.

You can head over here to see my full review of this restaurant, but since I've been back here, I basically only get the Gyudon Beef Rice Bowl + the Karagee as both a starter and sometimes also as an encore/desert replacement (who needs desert when these things are so good??).

We used to get the noodles a lot here, but we prefer the noodles at Soya a lot more, which is why the Gyudon Beef Rice Bowl has become our default. The Tonpeiyaki is also noteworthy for being tasty, filling, and oh-so-worth the cost. It's one of my husbands' favourite starters on the menu, behind the Karagee, which to be honest, is unbeatable.

3. K Thai Cascais

Now, being completely honest, we have ordered from K Thai countless times, but only ever takeaway because there are very few things that takeaway quite well in the winter months since most things get cold before they get to you, and Thai Curry is definitely one of the ones that gets to you the best.

We've tried other Thai restaurants in the area. We just can't find one that beats this one, and the portion sizes for takeaways are so reasonable that we have even frozen and reheated a single curry to share between the two of us. Also the quality is super fresh and delicious, and this place sort of reminds me of Soya insofar as it's not really traditional, but ends up using the freshest local ingredients and sort of elevates the cuisine.

In any case, another restaurant where everything we've gotten from here is incredible. And highly recommend it even though I've never gone in person. This is probably our most bought restaurant on both Uber Eats and Bolt Food. It's incredibly good. And hyper consistent - always so delicious.

*4. Bonus Round: Favourite South-Asian Restaurant - Natraj

As Torontonians, we distinguish between Asians and South Asians, but I know that a lot of Brits don't use the term "Asian" in the same way. So I'm going to throw in my favourite South Asian restaurant in Cascais into the mix, but in another article, I'm going to go more into depth into my top 3, in case you'd like a little more detail.

I've eaten at a number of different South-Asian Restaurants in Cascais, and while I'm never actually disappointed (they are all quite good!), the single one that takes the cake every time is a gem that's outside the center of town, but worth the little extra drive to visit.

Natraj! We used to get takeaway from this place all winter long, and then finally decided to try it in person one time and, oh my was it worth it. It's good whether you get it delivered to your door or you show up at theirs. Only issue with going in person is it took quite a while to get our food - but it was a busy night, so it made sense!

Hope there are more excellent Asian restaurants I uncover in Cascais over time, especially if there are ever new ones created! But so far, these are the top 3 (+1 bonus) I'd recommend to everyone who lives here or visits.

Oh and - yes, they are in order, so please do try Soya Noodle Bar first if that looks good to you because it's fantastic.