8 Oct – 10 Dec
Tuesday to Saturday
12 pm – 8 pm
Lisbon Architecture Triennale HQ
Campo de Santa Clara 145, Lisboa
Phoi-Cavalo is the new resident cafeteria at the Triennale HQ, marking the welcome return of Chef Hugo Brito.
The Pho (soups), Banh Mi (sandwiches) and ice-cream are based on traditional Vietnamese street food dishes and given the particular Boi-Cavalo twist. True to the Vietnamese street food tradition, the Triennale space encourages patrons to take their food outside or even home. The cafeteria will be open to all until 10 December.
Phoi-Cavalo partners with artisanal companies of renown in this endeavour: the ice-creams are made with Cláudio Corallo coffee and the craft beer is by the Lisbon-based brewery Dois Corvos.
All the food items are made by Phoi-Cavalo (except for the bread for the sandwiches, which would be impossible to reproduce in the conditions given). The pho noodles, pickles and broth are prepared on a daily basis to assure maximum quality and freshness of every ingredient.
The Phoi-Cavalo menu:
Pho €6.00 Large/ €4.00 Small
Aged beef, Cod or Vegan
Bahn Mi €5.00
Vietnamese sandwich with porc loin, paté and pickles
Soft serve coffee and cardamom ice-cream with puffed wild rice and pomegranate caramel toppings €2.50
Dois Corvos Pilsener beer (limited production, exclusive) €1.50
Iced tea €1.00
The counter attendants, both chefs, deliver the soup, sandwich or drink to the client and receive the payment. Everything else, including collecting the napkins and eating utensils, choosing fresh garnishes and collecting the ice-cream, the guests do themselves. Every soup can also be served with gluten-free noodles (industrially produced).
Phoi-Cavalo also offers workshops, by booking only and planned in advance.
All the recipients, napkins and utensils are produced in biodegradable material.
There is no debit or credit card payment available.
All other kinds of meals can be produced and delivered by Boi-Cavalo.
How it all started:
The return of the prodigal son
Boi-Cavalo was born at the Lisbon Architecture Triennale in 2013. Not fully formed like Athena, but pretty close to it. The cafeteria at the last edition of the Lisbon Triennale served as a rehearsal studio for a lot of the things that have come to define Boi-Cavalo: the constantly changing menu; an approach to Lisbon cuisine that is extremely permeable to the influences of the many communities that live here; the almost total opening up of the kitchen to the diners; the sometimes tense marriage, between signature cuisine and an intentionally laid-back atmosphere (with good music playing).
Beloved as it is, Boi-Cavalo wants to return to the home where it was born with a simpler but original idea: We, as chefs, love Pho, the Vietnamese soup where impeccably cooked pasta swims in a fragrant broth, together with thin slices of meat and fresh herbs.
Much to our discontent, for those of us who have had the privilege of travelling a little and have been able to try this authentic wonder, there is no Pho in Lisbon. Well, perhaps there is, but it’s terrible, because the city lacks a Vietnamese community that cooks it and eats it, and, for that reason, what does exist is a pale copy that is an embarrassment to one of the best street foods that very little money can buy.
We can’t accept that – having to go to Paris or London just to get a good noodle soup. Do we citizens of Lisbon not also deserve to benefit from what the great Diasporas of our times have made possible? Schengen = Pho, if not what’s the point?
So if there’s no Vietnamese community, we will just invent it. Chefs can be great pretenders, and we at Boi-Cavalo, who are always looking to blend Portuguese ingredients and techniques with those of others cuisines, whether they are recent newcomers to our city or have been here for a long time, will not let something as trivial as that hold us back. So bring on the Pho.
Hugo Brito, chef