Dreamt up by Salt Yard co-founder Simon Mullins and his wife Isabel Almeida Da Silva, Volta do Mar, which roughly translates as ‘return from the sea’, was inspired by the couple’s love of Portuguese cuisine.
Taking up residence in the beautiful double-fronted Georgian townhouse that used to house Strada Covent Garden, Volta do Mar has been designed to reflect the vibrant atmosphere of Portugal, with plenty of curiosities and artworks on display throughout the bright, wood-panelled dining room split across two floors.
The restaurant is under the direction of chef George Tannock (The Dorchester, The Fat Duck, Sexy Fish), who works closely with Simon and Isabel to serve up a frequently changing menu of classic sharing and large plates that celebrate the richness of Portuguese cuisine.
Diners can expect everything from classic staples, such as smoked ham hock feijoada, and Macanese arroz marisco served tableside from a traditional Portuguese cooking pot, to dishes inspired by ingredients symbolic of the country’s trading past, including chillies from Angola and Mozambique used to make the restaurant’s signature piri piri.
The restaurant’s wine list has been carefully assembled to showcase Portuguese wines, from the vineyards of the mainland to those of the volcanic Azores. Most are available by the glass or carafe, and for those who don’t fancy wine, port or Madeira, an exotic spirits list offers plenty of alternatives.
Volta do Mar also caters for diners seeking breakfast, a light lunch or pre-theatre meal thanks to its provision of fresh, hand-baked bread and pastries, and selection of charcuterie and cheese sourced exclusively from one of Portugal’s oldest and most respected family-run businesses.
Operating as a traditional Portuguese pastelaria as well as a restaurant means that commuters or those working or shopping nearby can drop in for a bola de berlim – a type of Portuguese doughnut – alongside a classic Portuguese espresso.