There were quite a few choices, but the man at the reception recommended the Casa de Fados (the restaurant where you can hear Fado), called O Faia, without hesitation.
So we asked him to book a table there for 8pm.
To get straight to the point, it was really good.
This was our third time hearing Fado, but I can say without hesitation that this was the best time.
First of all, before the Fado was starting, we had dinner, which was really good.
On the menu it said that the minimum charge per person is €50, but considering that the performance was included, it was certainly very reasonable.
We decided to have 2 courses, main and dessert.
We both had lamb for the main : I chose the rack of lamb and my husband had baby lamb.
The way they grilled and seasoned the meat was perfect.
The wine, which was recommended by the waiter, was very good, too.
The wine list was sorted by the different regions in Portugal.
Around the time that we finished eating our mains, at about 9:30pm, the Fado performance started.
According to the information on the menu, they do not know exactly what the origin of Fado is.
Some people say that it originates from Islamic music, emphasising nostalgia and melancholy.
Another theory is that it came from Troubadours, Portuguese medieval songs, mainly about love, friends, scorn and cursing.
There is another theory that its origin is “Lundum”, the music of slaves from Brazil, who came to Portugal around 1820.
Apparently, Fado is the Latin word for fate.
The recurring themes are love and city, but often, fate is the important part of the songs.
It is the tradition that they perform in the dark, so in the darkness the singer, the players of Portuguese guitar and ordinary guitar came in.
The first female singer, who sang 3 or 4 songs, had a unique voice, which made me think that this was the speciality of Fado.
The second female singer had a bit of a rough character to her voice, which was cool.
The third singer was an experienced man with a well-tailored jacket.
He sang expressively.
All those three were very good, but when the fourth singer performed, we all forgot about the previous singers.
This last female singer was so impressive.
She had a very powerful voice, so much so that I felt like covering my ears.
Her presence was overwhelming.
Her singing resonated through the internal organs of every member of the audience.
Her name is Lenita Gentil and she is 70 years old.
Because we were so amazed and impressed, we bought one of her CDs and she gave us an autograph.
However, when listening to the CD, her voice does not reach my organs, so I want to listen to her again in person when we go back to Lisbon.
At one interval between the performances, they served our dessert.
My husband had a banana cake and I had a meringue cake, which was much better than expected.
After the performances and dinner, we asked them to call a taxi for us and we waited for it in the bar area.
There, the first three singers were hanging around without doing anything and they were not talking to each other either, which made me feel sorry for them.