Gourmet à la carte

\\ Text João Afonso Ribeiro

Champagneria, in Luanda, is the ideal place for a business lunch, a dinner with your family, for a milk shake with the kids or for relaxing with a double whisky after a long day at work. Luís Catilho is the driving force behind this project, which opened its doors in 2015, and he is also the man, who, ten years ago, opened Chill Out, which boasts a substantially different concept to that of the recently-opened Champagneria. «Champagneria is smaller, but more exclusive than Chill Out, which is more of a beach club», explains Luís Castilho.

With a seating capacity of around 65, Champagneria is split over two floors and has two cosy dining areas, which very subtly take on a contrast between modern and classic styles. In the large dining room, the classic chairs and tables dotted around happily rub shoulders with modern details, while on the second floor, a graffiti-covered wall stands out from the more conservative style featured in the rest of the space. «We invited an artist to come and bring some colour and add an urban concept, to break with the classic feel», Luís Castilho explains.

Taking a look at the menu, the concept amazes, since at Champagneria the most sophisticated of dishes are joined by gourmet options based on simpler, yet no less astounding dishes. From chuletón, to scallops or the classic foie gras, the restaurant also offers a large range of gourmet experiences, such as special hamburgers or pizzas. «The aim is for every dish to have gourmet ingredients, giving a touch of exclusivity and sophistication to the food», the concept's mentor tells us. Chef Inga Mendes is responsible for the delights and flavours of a restaurant, which, apart from three or four imported products, is proud to have a menu based on home grown products.

The choice of services is vast and includes affordably priced executive lunches, à la carte dinners, and varied entertainment, lasting well into the night. In all of this there's also room for ?C Hour?, offering a long list of milk shakes and cocktails, which can be enjoyed between lunchtime and dinnertime. «We can suggest to people to have a meal, encourage them to stay, to enjoy a drink and see what the night brings, having fun to the sound of our DJs», says Luís Castilho, satisfied with the success the venue has enjoyed during its first six months of existence: «The outcome is pretty positive».