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Xerem

Name of establishment

Xerem

Style and ambience

Traditional Portuguese - located in a large converted house. Wood, stone and local artefacts set the tone for the decor. Cosy and welcoming.

The food

Described as fusion cuisine, but in essence a modern(ish) twist on regional flavours and ingredients.

Sample dishes include:

- Sardine fillets roasted with oregano and flor de sal over regional bread toasts with olive cream and a small gazpacho.
- Grilled black pig spicy sausages.
- Regional tomato soup with crumbed egg, olive oil toasts and coriander.
- Sautéed prawns with sliced garlic and piri-piri, flamed with cognac and served with toasted bread.
- John Dory fish fillets, with bread stew of tomato, prawns and clams.
- Argentinean tenderloin, over a crust of herbs, cooked with purple onion, smoked ham and goat cheese, and served with sweet potato gratin and red wine sauce perfumed with tarragon.

The restaurant takes its name from the traditional Portuguese corn porridge, and this - in a variety of recipes and flavours - is often served as an accompaniment.

The drink

Small but select range of Portuguese wines, plus beer, spirits, soft drinks, etc.

Why do you like it?

The menu at some ‘traditional’ Portuguese restaurants can be predictable to say the least. Xerem does things a little differently.

What could be improved?

Perhaps the waiting staff need a touch more pizzazz?

When to go?

The cosy ambience lends itself better to evenings and/or winter lunchtimes, rather than summer lunches, as there is no outside seating area.

Insider knowledge

Before setting up Xerem, chef Ezequiel Viegas worked for more than 20 years at the Hotel Quinta do Lago.

They often have fado evenings on Fridays, plus occasional jazz performances and wine tastings. Check the Facebook page for details.

Size

Seats around 55 inside.

Location

On the road from Ferreiras to Paderne, about 6km outside of Albufeira. If you’re coming from Albufeira, it’s on the right-hand side of the road. Look out for a bright orange building. Ample parking.

Address: Sitio do Cerro do Ouro, 8200-465 Paderne-Albufeira.

GPS: N 37.14648º, W 8.22817º

Cost

Very reasonably priced, both for the food and wine.

Opening times

Year-round (closed January for holidays).

Open 6.30-11pm Tuesday to Sunday for dinner, and Sunday from 1-3pm for lunch.

Closed Monday.


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