Style and ambience
Combines the elegance and touch of class you would expect from a restaurant that won its second Michelin star in 2011 with the relaxed atmosphere of the Algarve. With a maximum of 30 seats, the attention to detail is perfect. Excellence is the byword and you just know you are in for a treat.
What to eat?
Hans Neuner, the Austrian chef, is still only in his thirties, and is an exceptional talent. He is brimming with enthusiasm, creativity and energy, and you can feel it on the plate. His passion for locally-sourced produce is bordering on an obsession and his mantra of ‘keep it simple’ might seem at odds with the normal Michelin philosophy. However, whilst technically perfect and exacting, he does allow the food to speak for itself. A seasonally changing menu will feature a variety of Algarvean and Portuguese produce, and although he buys beef from America (the best place, he says) and foie gras from France (where else?) you will still see local crab, barnacles (a huge favourite), codfish, rabbit and of course locally-caught fish from small boats - and he has spent the last few years nurturing a special relationship with the Algarve’s fishermen. His strong belief that vegetables and fruit simply taste better from the Algarve drives him to seek out individual farmers, growers and specialist suppliers, many of them friends and family of the large staff that work within Vila Vita Parc.
What to drink?
As you would expect there’s a superb wine list, but our advice is to trust the wine recommendations and go for the pairing, where a glass is recommended for each of the courses.
Hans arrived in May 2007 to a brand new kitchen and worked alongside General Manager Kurt Gillig to personalise every item in the restaurant, hand-pick his team, and aim for its first Michelin star, which duly arrived two years later. The kitchen was expanded and the restaurant remodelled in 2015.
Vila Vita Parc also has its own butcher who works with Hans to source and identify the best of the best, which can also include making German-style sausages to Hans’ exacting requirements.
Ocean continually welcomes guest chefs from some of the world's finest restaurants, for one-off gourmet evenings or during the hotel's Fine Wine & Food Fair.
Anything that clients should know about?
Reservations are essential.
Dress code - casual elegance.
No children under 12.
Within the Residence at Vila Vita Parc hotel near Porches. Park at the main hotel and you will be taken to the restaurant in a golf buggy.
For dinner only, from 19:00 to 22:00. Closed Mondays and Tuesdays. The restaurant often closes over the winter. Check with the hotel for details.
There is the choice of set 3, 4 and 6-course Culinary Moments menus, although with the number of amuse bouches and chef's special treats that also come your way, you will probably stop counting! The menus are priced respectively at €95, €135 and €175. The associated wine pairings cost €65, €75 and €95.