Delicious open-air dining – with a playground
This wonderful restaurant is one of Lisbon’s longest-established vegetarian restaurants. It was opened in 2001 by Najma Saiyad, a doctor from Mozambique, and in the same year this busy businesswoman welcomed the Dalai Lama to PSI, who she had invited to the inauguration of her ‘garden of peace’ (Um jardim pela paz). A memorial stone still bears witness to this special event.
A piano conjures a melody into the evening. Green parrots fly screaming to the next tree. The call of a gecko almost goes unnoticed. A singing girl follows the rhythm of the swing.
Since we only live a few metres away from this small Zen park, we have been there very often. Especially in summer, we like to sit at one of the colourful tables next to the glass pavilion between the trees, enjoy some cool tea, get our fill of the seitan with papaya, which I often prepare in this way myself, or the roti with curd and olives, which Ana almost always orders for herself, relax, and watch the children as they tumble around in the small playground right next to us. Lia happily swings in the sun, dreaming of being a bird, and Laura looks down on her little world and at us from the slide tower.
We also owe it to Mrs Saiyad that there is a playground here at all. One summer day, while sitting in PSI with a renowned German travel guide publisher, she spontaneously sat down with us and told us that the playground had been a heartfelt affair for her, which she had drastically even defended to her doubting husband by making it crystal clear to him that a space without a playground would mean a space without her. We are very grateful to her for her vehemence, because this little playground is the closest and perhaps even the most beautiful in the surrounding area. It was eventually funded and built by the city and restaurant as a cooperation in 2015.
But back to the restaurant. In winter, you can mainly dine in the beautiful glass pavilion, while in summer, small tables and benches are set up everywhere. At lunchtime and in the evening (except on Sundays), vegetarian and vegan delicacies are served, which can also be ordered as daily menus with soup and tea. The only problem for us is that our children do not even want to taste these special creations, even though they are accustomed to vegetarian foods such as seitan and tofu. Recently, a small children’s menu has been added to the menu, but we have not yet presented the Roti filled with sheep’s cheese to our children and have little hope that it will convince them to expand their culinary horizons.
Until recently, there were no alcoholic drinks on the menu; instead, you could find delicious fresh fruit juices and lassis on the menu. But now, you can also enjoy a cool glass of green wine alongside the pleasant and relaxing live music. Whether it’s sitar music, jazz or bossa nova, on warm summer evenings such relaxing sounds enchant the little paradise opposite the Hospital Santo António dos Capuchos.
After your feast, you can take a little walk through the pretty little park Campo Mártires da Pátria, where you can watch the chickens and roosters fly into the trees in the evening to go to sleep and where a few turtles live in the smaller of the two ponds. You can also take a walk to the park Jardim do Torel, from where you have a wonderful view of the Baixa and the Tejo. The best thing to do after dinner is to order a delicious Italian ice cream from the very popular Mú ice cream parlour, which you will pass before you reach the park.
And if you meet a proud black and white tomcat in front of the entrance to the hospital that is escorted by the security service, then it is Don Capuchos, the cat king of the Hospital Santo António dos Capuchos, who has been honoured and fawned over by the whole hospital for several years.
PSI Restaurante Vegetariano
Alameda, St António Capuchos
Monday to Saturday, 12:30 pm to 3:30 pm and 7:30 pm to 10:30 pm
Bus 723, Bus 730
Website with menu:
Facebook-Seite von Don Capuchos: