The third in my semi-regular series of posts spotlighting the cafes, bars, and restaurants I love in Dili — see my fluorescent favourite Queen Tundriee here and glamorous beach-view Nari’s Korean here.
Tonight, we’re going to Metiaut’s elegant Nha Casa restaurant, for one drink only: a passionfruit caipirinha, drunk at sunset by the water.
Nha Casa is golden light and quiet clinking glass and rainforest plants and tealight candles and a breeze coming in as you settle by the sea. It is, in my uninformed and declarative opinion, the fanciest restaurant in Dili — elegant, expensive, with beautiful refined food cooked carefully by its owner, a woman named Zaida, who is from another former Portuguese colony, Guinea-Bissau.
It is entirely worth its price tag for a beautiful meal — I’ve eaten here twice before and enjoyed luscious creamy pasta and a fragrant, fresh curry — but for a more rational budget, you can still enjoy the atmosphere with a sunset cocktail. (This is a business I like to support and I do urge you to buy dinner, too, if a $15-$25 meal is within your reach.)
Nha Casa has an extensive (and beautifully hand-written) drinks menu covering wine, beer, spirits and cocktails. No need for me to look at it, though: step one is to have a bad day or a flustered drive, step two is to enter the restaurant and ask to sit out the front, and step three is to order a passionfruit caipirinha, which will come promptly with complimentary peanuts and olives, and there, suddenly, everything is perfect.
Service is lovely — subtle, reserved, but not absent or inattentive. The staff know the food and wine they’re serving, and are pleasant and accommodating. If you’re ordering food, expect it to take a little while if the restaurant’s busy — owner Zaida is solo on the stoves — but if you’re coming for drinks, your peanuts and olives will materialise quickly.
The drinks are flavourful, sweet and fruity without being sickly, and strong enough to give you a buzz without knocking you out first gulp. I mean what I said above — these drinks, and this place, are so good they can genuinely cure bad days, ease tempers, and right wayward emotions.
Go to Nha Casa on a bad day, go on a good day. Go.
Visit Nha Casa
Nha Casa is in Metiaut, directly on the beach road, on the side closer to the ocean, not the hills. If you’re heading east and you hit Sunshine Divers or Hotel California, you’ve gone slightly too far.
+670 7792 4707