The menu is nice and small, with enough Portuguese classics like pregos, chicken livers, the most succulent espetada and a Portuguese salad for vegetarians.
The delicious Traditional Chorizo dish, grilled and flambéed in 1920 brandy, is presented sliced and on the back of a ceramic pig. For mains, tuck into a sizeable pot of feijoada – a traditional bean-and-pork stew with beef and chorizo slices – with rice. All the individual flavours combine well with the succulent meat. It tastes like home.
The trout – with crispy skin and perfectly flaky flesh – takes 20 minutes, but it’s worth the wait. It’s grilled and served with chips and a herb-and-butter sauce.
The service is quick and efficient, with an accommodating smile and willingness to personalise the experience. The owner walks the floor, picking up errant cutlery, serving espetadas and dishing out gentle humour.
Warm, homely, authentic Portuguese with memorabilia and a soundtrack to match.
The wine list is comprehensive, with a good mix of reds and white, both Portuguese and local. Prices range from R160 to R 540 for local wines and from R119 to just under R2000 for wines like the Glenwood Unoaked Chardonnay.
This is a lovely surprise for first-time visitors, worth the drive into Randburg. Booking is recommended.
Eat Out critics dine unannounced and pay for their meals in full. Read our full editorial policy here.
The food here is intended to be Madeiran rather than mainland Portuguese food but, thanks to demand, Manny and Paula Barbuzano are obliged to have things like LM prawns on the menu. While the food is always excellent, it is not madly expensive. The Madeiran style of trinchado is not the dried-out dish you know, but has the beef cubes marinated in wine with bay leaves garlic and chilli, then pan-fried and served with Madeiran round-cut chips. Another good starter that is often on the menu is the 1920 chorizo that is braised with onions, chilli and peppers. A salad makes a lovely starter too, especially something different like the one of crispy grilled brinjals, melting inside, with ricotta, onions and baby tomatoes.
Something utterly outstanding as a main is Chanfana. Tender, delicious goat meat is slowly cooked and served with fried sweet potatoes plus some jasmine rice for mopping up the flavours of the meat. And, instead of the usual old prawns you can get anywhere, try the big shelled ones that Paula readies in a beautifully Madeiran-style curry sauce. Something not always on the menu but memorable is Arroz de Pato, a rice dish of shredded duck meat and chorizo. The whole thing is served with a meltingly tender confit of duck leg on top. Vegetarians will also find lots to eat at 1920.
Desserts change weekly and can often include a very delicious almond tart and a crème caramel.
Apart from the two rather lovely Vinho Tinto Madeiran wines, the drinks consist mostly of Portuguese beers and wines.
The service is efficient – Manny tries to be everywhere and manages that quite well.
The restaurant is warm and homely, featuring lots of family portraits, soccer photos and bright Madeira embroideries. It’s not particularly Instagrammable but does buzz with nationals and internationals.
The place has been around for ages but don’t forget to book. You will not get in otherwise. It’s full for the same reason you’ll be back.
Eat Out critics dine anonymously and pay for their meals in full. Read our editorial policy here.