Ele and Ela

Social media is a great tool.
It lets you know what people are thinking and what people are doing.
But my favourite use of social media is finding out where people’s favourite places to eat are.

So when we were planning our trip to Carvoeiro, Portugal, I leapt on Twitter to see if anybody had any suggestions. I wasn’t expecting many replies, as I know when people visit Portugal they generally tend to head towards Lisbon or Albufeira, but as luck would have it @Samtravelled had been and he hit me up with a few suggestions worth checking out, amongst which was Ele and Ela.

Ele and Ela is an independently owned restaurant in the centre of Carvoeiro.
It’s decor is relaxed with seats in the back for larger tables, and seats at the front which are situated under a covered terrace – perfect for those that enjoy a warm breeze with their meal.

S and I are two such people, and after taking our places at our table our drink order was taken and we were handed menus. But a word to the wise – they serve their drinks strong.
I have no idea whether it was the brand of Gin, or if they free-pour, but my taste buds weren’t quite ready.
No complaints, of course, but be ready!

The menu is short, sweet and screams “eat me”.
However after walking past the night before (we had wanted to go a day earlier but they were fully booked!) and spying their menu we knew exactly what we wanted.
Or so I thought.
Turns out you can look at a menu prior to your arrival and still be confused about what to order when you get there.

The dishes are made with Mediterranean ingredients however many include an oriental twist.
But even though the menu is select, there’s something on there to suit every palette.

We started by sharing some chicken samosas which were served on a bed of salad with tzatziki drizzled over. Which was absolutely delicious. S isn’t a salad fan whatsoever, however his fork actually reached back into the bowl for salad seconds. A first in all the years I’ve been with him!

We decided to share mains.
Partly because I’m generous like that, but mostly because I really like trying a little of everything when going out to eat.
S chose pork with a rich barbecue sauce served on a bed of champ mash.

However we both decided that the real winner of the night, was the dish I chose.

Moroccan lamb shank served with champ mash.
The lamb was so tender that I only had to nudge the bone for the meat to fall off.
The sauce was so deep, rich and flavoursome that I could have happily eaten the half I promised to S.
But yano.
Relationships require sharing and all that.

My only complaint is that towards the end of the meal service started slacking.
Having worked in busy restaurants before I could sympathise, especially as they were fully booked and I could see there was only one person running food. But still, waiting twenty minutes for the bill when all you want to do is go out and eat more gelato was definitely a little annoying.

They don’t have a website, but I do suggest booking if you’re in the area.
That lamb is just too good not to have in your life.