Ararate: The Armenian Food Restaurant That Conquered The Portuguese ♦ Ararat Restaurant invites you to try traditional Armenian dishes and the dishes of the Caucasian countries bordering on Armenia, with new Portuguese character added by the owners. The food is local, the vegetables are ripe and the fresh meat enriches everything with the Armenian millennial culinary experience, traditional spices and a mixture of fragrant mountain herbs delivered from the valleys of the Caucasus. Secrets From Portugal is here to tell you how you can travel to Armenia by smells and flavours… but do us a favour: as soon as you try it, let us know what you think.
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Named after a hill on the border between Turkey and Armenia, Ararate is the first restaurant of this cuisine in Portugal. In the menu, there are kebabs, lamb and veal from the Azores. Armenia is one of the oldest centres of the world’s civilization; it was this country that became the first Christian state, ahead of Rome and Greece. The main symbol of Armenia is the sacred mountain Ararat, to which, according to the Bible, “in the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month” after the start of the Flood, Noah’s ark moored. This is the mountain that gave its name to our restaurant.
Businesswoman Karine Sarkisyan, 39, was born in Russia, her mother’s country, but the fact that her father is Armenian made her have a strong connection with this former Soviet republic. From the age of three, he spent three months of summer vacation with his paternal family in Armenia. The mother learned the typical cuisine through an aunt, so she began to live with her father and passed on all the teachings.
At the age of 34, after having vacationed several times in Portugal, the woman with a background in management and work experience in public relations decided to start opening restaurants in Portugal. The most recent challenge was Ararate, the first Armenian cuisine restaurant in Lisbon. Almost a year after opening doors has no doubt: has already conquered the stomach of the Portuguese.
For the first letter, he chose Armenian dishes that had flavours similar to typical Portuguese food, such as kebabs and stews. Now, as she already has many regular customers who come to the restaurant two to three times a week, the Ararate owner has decided to start introducing, in the new summer menu, dishes with more typical flavours of the country.
To drink, if you want to continue trying new palates, you should opt for the traditional pomegranate wine of the house. It is widely sold in the restaurant, with some Portuguese customers ordering pallets every month.
“In Soviet times, all the grapes grown in Armenia went to the production of brandy and wine production dropped a lot, only made wine at home. Then other fruits began to be used to make wine and the first one they chose was pomegranate. They make the production as if it were a grape wine. This wine we have here has 70% pomegranate and 30% grape, which makes it a little smoother, ”added the businesswoman.