The penultimate night at O Dragoeiro, Funchal

O Dragoeiro, Funchal, Madeira, Restaurant, Dragon Tree, Decor,
We could see the neon sign and some of the outdoor seating for O Dragoeiro from our hotel room balcony, and after a quick look on Trip Advisor, it was obvious we were definitely eating there. In fact, it’s the only night we didn’t eat at our hotel, which made it all the more special – not only did it live up to expectations, nothing could be faulted!

The service was second-to-none and began right away as we were handed a complimentary glass of Madeira wine as we were directed to our table. As the waitress brought over the menus, another member of staff got a highchair for Alfie. The wine was a lovely sampler and the first of several lovely little touches at O Dragoeiro.
O Dragoeiro, Funchal, Madeira, Restaurant, Menus, Madeira Wine,
Looking at the menu took a while, not only was there two set menus and an a la carte option to choose from, I was also sidetracked by the beautiful surrounds. Set in a tropical garden, with a large dragon tree as the centrepiece, covered in fairy lights, you were certainly lucky if you got a table underneath the tree. When lit up, it was just so romantic, especially when the gorgeously scented flowers fell from its branches. We believe they’re a variety of frangipane, and so fragrant.

As mentioned, there were two set menus to choose from: the tourist menu at 17.90 for three courses, or the special menu, priced at 27.90. As it was a special occasion (I guess you could call it that), we both opted for the special menu. Alfie had a dedicated children’s menu and we knew we would always order him the spaghetti bolognaise. Because I was so set on the special menu, I didn’t look at the a la carte section, but I would imagine at those prices, most diners would go for the set.
O Dragoeiro, Funchal, Madeira, Restaurant, Smoked Salmon, Food,
O Dragoeiro, Funchal, Madeira, Restaurant, King Prawns, Food,
To start, Ash chose the smoked salmon tapas, which of course, sounds a little vague. I’m not sure what he expected, but I don’t think either of us could have guessed what the starter would be. Slices of smoked salmon with melba toast, slices of raw onion and red cabbage – it was certainly a light bite. I chose the sautéed shrimp with garlic and was pleasantly surprised, not only with a large Portuguese portion, but beautiful king prawns, cooked in olive oil and garlic. They were so juicy and flavoursome, cooked to perfection. My poor tummy will never accommodate Portuguese portions and I have to admit to starting to feel full before my main course arrived.
O Dragoeiro, Funchal, Madeira, Restaurant, Steak on a stone, Food,
It was steak on a stone! A beautiful fillet steak, again cooked with garlic, served with three sauces (which I think were mustard, peppercorn and béarnaise, but I have no idea as I didn’t try them – the meat was just perfect on its own). I loved that I could cook my steak to my own personal preference, although the waitress asked if I needed help carving it. I declined, but on reflection, the help was needed! My main came served with a large jacket potato and medley of vegetables, which I barely left a dent in – I also would have much preferred chips and a salad, but didn’t ask if that was an option.
O Dragoeiro, Funchal, Madeira, Restaurant, Octopus, Lagareiro, Food,
Ash totally surprised me when he ordered his main course – octopus. He had never tried octopus before, but was clearly feeling adventurous. Cooked lagareiro style, which means in the oven with potatoes and herbed garlic oil, it was reminiscent of a stew. It looked delicious and I have to admit to a little food envy, but I couldn’t even try a little bit. He said in places it was a little chewy, but very tasty – and also agreed that the portions were huge, meaning he didn’t even touch the side salad.
O Dragoeiro, Funchal, Madeira, Restaurant, Pineapple flambee, Ice cream, Food,
But still we ploughed on and chose dessert – we both went for the flambéed pineapple which was lovely and light. Two slices of griddled pineapple, with honey ice cream and the most beautiful sauce. I have no idea what it was, but it was so silky smooth, sweet and sticky... just warming and heavenly! I’m hoping it contained Poncha (a traditional Madeiran drink) as I wasn’t able to sample it on holiday.

Alfie had a passion fruit pudding and loved it. He couldn’t manage it all, but did have a rather large portion of bolognaise and was starting to tire. It wasn’t long before he wanted to get out of the highchair. Of course, he then made friends with the (English) diners behind us, waving and smiling. I was too full to try his pudding too, although I managed my own.

While we ordered coffee, we received an after-drink menu – again complimentary. With a selection of around 18 spirits and liqueurs to choose from, there were so many new drinks for me to try. In the end, I opted for an almond liqueur to complement my coffee. It was so smooth and certainly went down a lot easier than say, Disaronno.

I wish we had visited the restaurant in the week as I’m sure we would have returned. I think our meal came to under 100, which also includes a bottle of white wine and still water. We ended up tipping quite generously, because the food, service and overall experience were just exceptional. If you’re staying in Funchal, namely the Lido district, I cannot recommend O Dragoeiro enough. Travelling with children? Don’t worry, Portuguese restaurants are so family friendly and everywhere we went, everyone loved Alfie! If we returned to the island, there’s no doubt we would eat at O Dragoeiro again.

Love, Lucy xx

1 comment

  1. Thank you so much for your feedback.
    I'm so happy you have a great experience with us.
    We try to give our best everyday to all our customers.
    These reviews just gives us the strength to carry on.

    Best wishes
    Nuno Henriques.


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