Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Santini - Lisbon, Portugal

Lines are intimidating. Raised in a society that emphasizes convenience, long lines are frightening. We want things now not later. Even if we're starving or want what others desire, we're more likely to take the least resistant path. Santini, near Lisbon's center (a short walk from the Restauradores' metro stop), seems such a place. The word "gelati" is delectable, their red and white decor inviting, but the line acted as an UNO reverse card.
Coupled with this long line was my previous experiences with Portuguese inefficiency. This could be a 30 minute wait, but the ice cream looked so good. I stayed.
The line was moving well, a good sign. Another excellent sign appeared - the sight of additional fortification. Desserts, coffee, and a sign proclaiming "the best chocolate cake in the world".
There it lies. A chocolate cake, its world's bestest claim untested. If you make it to Santini, please let me know if it matches expectations. The line was moving remarkably fast and the reasons why were soon apparent. You order first and get a ticket which you'll present at the gelati counter. This was great production flow and similar to another great gelato place in Barcelona.
I could nearly savor my future ice cream. Successful customers were walking past with their colorful ice cream. I wanted to take an ice cream troll toll, but I resisted such lowbrow reflexes.
Several people (4-6) manned the gelati counter quickly taking orders and swirling them into cups and cones. Right before you get to the counter, there's a display board to the left listing all the varieties. One complaint - you can't see the ice cream before ordering. They are in silver containers and always lidded.
Meloa (honeydew) and abacaxi com hortelã(pineapple with mint). This cost €2.50. The meloa was so good and the mint subtly came through the pineapple flavor. I'm a huge fan of honeydew melon and they nailed the flavor.

Abacate (avocado) and Doce de ovo com pinhão (egg cream with pine nuts). This also cost €2.50. The avocado was nicely fatty, the doce de ovo struck a good balance. The pine nuts were few but present. I'm glad they didn't overpower.
Good to the last drop, I recommend Santini's. The line moves rather quickly, so don't be intimidated as I was two weeks ago. The decor is pleasant and inviting with its red and white colors. They have approximately 20 flavors to try. It's reasonably priced especially considering the ice cream's superb flavor and taste. And the line only took 10 minutes or less - Brava! Read the English scoop on this place here.


  1. Ohh great !! this looks so yammmy..I enjoyed Santini - Lisbon, Portugal.It sounds good..Keep posting..I want more on this topic..And waiting for your next update..Thank you..Santinis Bistro

    1. Glad you enjoyed Santini. When you say more on this subject, do you mean ice cream or Portugal? I will hopefully return there in the spring. Thanks!