I've lived in London six and a half years. I think the restaurant scene is a lot more interesting now than when I arrived. There are new models out there, people doing it their own way instead of following the rules.
My most memorable meal was my first time at Noma in 2008. It's the only restaurant I've been to that I remember pretty much every course I had. I still look at their menu all the time.
I couldn't live without fish and seafood. I guess it's in my DNA; I grew up in Portugal and seafood is still one of my favourite ingredients to use.
There are a lot of chefs that I really look up to. Massimo Bottura for his creativity, Andoni Aduriz — the way he looks at food is amazing — René Redzepi for pushing forward and embodying the new Nordic cuisine, Magnus Nilsson for what he does with tradition and Alex Atala for bringing parts of the Amazon to life.
My favourite food destinations are Japan and San Sebastián. With Japan, it's the purity — Tokyo, for me, is the most exciting city for food. In San Sebastián, the old part of town, or Parte Vieja, is amazing for pintxos — the food is so strong everywhere you go and the products of the region are amazing. It seems like it's hard to get a bad meal there.
The Loft Project (theloftproject.co.uk) is one kitchen and a communal table, 16 guests and different chefs from around the world come in to cook amazing food, showcase their work and their philosophy. It was in my house in East London and I've sold it, so it will re-launch in my next place.
The secret to a successful restaurant is to offer something unique and something that is your own. When you show people your view, some will like it, some won't, but it's easier than figuring out what people want you to do.
Nuno Mendes will be at Taste of London, Regents Park (tastefestivals.com/London), with his restaurant Corner Room from 21-24 June. townhallhotel.com/corner_room
Interview: Lucy Thackray