Steakhouse & BarmapPin


Last modified: 26/09/2022

Portuguese cuisine is known for its hearty, meaty dishes and of course, salted cod. And yes, we can definitely confirm that food in Portugal can be on the more rustic and meat-focused side. The upside to this is, that they know how to perfectly grill steaks, and some of the best steaks we've ever had were in Portugal or prepared by a Portuguese cook.
During our last trip to Porto, there was one food experience that stood out to us on all levels, including the best steak we've ever gotten the chance to try. This restaurant does not only have a stunning interior, professional and forthcoming service, but it also serves incredible cuts of meat. We're talking about Cúmplice Steakhouse & Bar.
Located just off the centre of Porto, Cúmplice can easily be reached on foot if you are staying in central Porto. From our accommodation, Almada 333, it was only a 12-minute walk. We booked our table a few days in advance, and reservations are definitely recommended at this place because it is so popular. However, booking your table can be done very conveniently via e-mail and staff speak multiple languages. They have two dinner services. One from 7pm to 9.15pm and a second one starting at 9.30pm. We opted for the late service and got our table confirmed very quickly, and the day of the booking the hostess gave us a call to make sure that everything was in order with our booking.
Walking up the street, the entranceway does not give away what a stunning place lies behind it. The restaurant is very atmospheric and warm and is spread out over three different levels: two indoor floors as well as a glass annex in the backyard which is accessible via a small bridge. Warm colours and lights as well as quality materials were used to create a classy yet cosy place. We got very lucky and got a table in the glass annex. The large window facades reflect the lights of the restaurant, creating a very glamorous yet wholesome atmosphere. The perfect setting for a romantic date night.
After being seated at our table by the lovely hostess, we were given a homemade apéritif as well as a bread basket with different types of butter on the house. This is quite unique in Portugal because, like in other Mediterranean countries, you are charged a small fee for the "couvert" in restaurants and in return you receive a small bread basket with butter. We really appreciated this small gesture, and it had us off to a good start.
The menu is relatively small, and the focus clearly is on the meat, but we were very pleasantly surprised to see that they have included a fish as well as vegetarian option on the menu, which actually both sounded great. So don't hesitate to take your vegetarian/pescatarian friend to this place. The starters as well as the desserts were surprisingly creative, whereas the main highlighted different quality cuts of meat and some complimenting side dishes.
We just want to take a second to highlight the quality of service at Cúmplice again. Every staff member goes the extra mile and truly stands behind the food and the kitchen. If something is not perfect or to your liking, they even urge you to send it back, so they can make it perfect. Friendly, yet professional, discreet, yet forthcoming; during our visit we were made to feel right at home. Our server helped us choose the perfect cut and side dish and gave us some really great (wine) recommendations. Porto is not far from one of Portugal's most famous wine regions, the Douro valley, and the restaurant has a very nice selection of Portuguese and international wines, at all different price points. So we asked for a recommendation and settled on one of the bit pricier options, a Douro wine from Quinta Vale D. Maria, one of the best wines we've had in a restaurant. We even hunted a bottle down in a shop in Porto to take home with us.
Our starter knocked it out of the park: tender veal cheek tacos with a crispy, runny panko egg. This dish ticked all the boxes: crunchy, rich, meaty, crispy - and the egg was perfectly cooked.
The main dish left us spoiled for choice: filet, black Angus rump steak, ribeye, T-bone, prime rib, tomahawk...the cuts you can choose from leave nothing to be desired. Staff members will gladly highlight the different features of the cuts and help you choose the best piece according to your taste. In the end, we opted for a ribeye for two - grilled medium. As this is a very fatty cut, it has a lot of flavour, but it can quickly become chewy and uneatable due to unrendered fat, if not prepared correctly.
The ribeye simply blew us away. High quality meat with a perfect crust, juicy fat pockets and topped with flaky salt; this was the best steak experience we've ever had. Incredibly flavourful and juicy, with great marbling, and the fat was perfectly rendered and melted like butter in your mouth. We still dream about it to this day. So far, a couple of restaurants have come close, but none have been able to replicate this steak experience. Hats off to the kitchen, they have perfected grilling steaks and really let the piece of meat speak for itself.
As a side dish, we chose the oven rice with smoky sausage, a rich and savoury side dish with perfectly cooked rice. For the dessert, we skipped all the tempting chocolate desserts and chose a refreshing melon and coconut dish with a lot of different textures and which was the perfect conclusion to our meal. This was one of the best restaurant experiences ever - from start to finish. The only note we have about this place is that because the meat and the side dishes are so rich, it would be nice to have something sharp and fresh on the side to cut through the fattiness, such as pickled onions or chillies to balance out all the flavours and clean your pallet.
C- Inside-or-Outside Posts Restaurants Cumplice Cumplice-Dessert-2-BLOG
The owner of Cúmplice does not only have one restaurant, but they have two more great quality restaurants in Porto: MUU & tascö. Whereas MUU is a very famous steakhouse with an industrial look which is great for a visit with friends or a larger group, tascö serves tapas-style food with a focus on seafood. The same care that went into developing the concept for Cúmplice also went into the other two restaurants, with the same quality food and service. If you cannot get a table at Cúmplice or if you simply prefer the menu at MUU's or tascö's, we can really recommend any of these great restaurants.
Cúmplice is a must-try when visiting Porto. Treat yourself to an unforgettable steak experience in a beautiful setting. You will leave this place full, happy and wanting to come back for more. We actually already have a table booked for our next visit!