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Everything starts with a good story.

Once upon a time two restless souls....


Márcia and João first met in 2007. Back then their life was totally unrelated to the actual one, both of them were professionals with long and established careers but in common, among other things, they shared the love for food and a adventurous spirit.

In a heartbeat they left their previous lives behind and moved to Brazil, to a small village full of history where Brazilian cuisine and Portuguese heritage blended in a glorious cauldron of flavors.

It was time for a learning process with many trials and errors, but slowly they became noticed, got a nomination in the most important food guide in Brazil and soon they were invited and became a regular presence in the largest festival of Brazilian gastronomy.

Always eager for more they returned to Lisbon in 2014 and opened an unlikely restaurant in the most unlikely place, 18 seats in a space beneath street level and a tiny kitchen literally inside the dining room. It was a time to experiment, playing with flavors from both sides of the Atlantic and soon they ended  up with three awards hanging on the wall to remind that there is always space for improvement.

Meanwhile they discovered Ireland and became regular visitors. And one day they visited Galway and on the same day both of their hearts surrendered to the the indefinable magic of this city and agreed that this would be the next place to call home. In May of 2019, after long weeks of hard work, they took the final look to their new creation before opening the door for the first time.

As in everything they do it is always a work of love, every detail has a heart behind it and they are passionate about serving great food coupled with a great service because the most important feeling in any restaurant is the feeling of being at home.

João was born and raised in Lisbon but his roots are in the rugged mountains in northern Portugal, well known for bodied wines and hearty food. In his life he went from Arts School to Technical College and became  a software developer and project manager for two decades.

Being a self-taught chef he also studied gastronomy while in Brazil and that lead to his keen interest in both cuisines. He likes to play with flavors, jumping from the most traditional recipes to more contemporary creations based on both gastronomic cultures which have much more in common than what sets them apart.


Márcia is Brazilian by birth and Portuguese by heart. In her life she was involved in the tourism sector, accountancy and management before developing a special love for the restaurant business.

Passionate about detail she puts herself in every small thing. She is the face of Apoema Bistro and responsible for all the warmness and cheerful atmosphere because we believe that a restaurant is much more than just a place to eat something, it is a place where love should be present in every detail.

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