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Restaurante Parreirinha

Restaurante Parreirinha
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Cost
R130
Ambience
Hip & happening
Food
Portuguese, Pub fare, Seafood, Steak, Vegetarian
Payment
Amex, Mastercard, Visa

Critic's review

Lentswe Bhengu

Food
Known for "the best prawns in Joburg", Parreirinha welcomes you to feast on their succulent seafood dishes and other Portuguese dishes available in their extensive menu. Parreirinha is hearty family-orientated Portuguese food experience.

First up, Mama’s famous prawn cakes: they are crispy and filled with an unctuous sauce of prawn mixed with a dash of tomato, onion, chilli and garlic. These live up to their reputation! Also good on the starters section are the chicken livers made with their homemade bottled peri-peri sauce. The star of the show, the prawns come with chips and a selection of sauces. Other items available include Portuguese steak, espetada com pimentas, peri-peri chicken, trinchado and prawn curry. Desserts include Barril De Natas, chocolate mousse and crème caramel.

Drinks
There is a light super bock Portuguese beer to compliment any of your meal choices, or you can opt for the local beers and wines on offer. If you want to spice up the night, the shooter menu offers traditional favourites such as the TopDeck, Pancake, Suitcase and more. There is also a variety of liqueur coffees available.

Service
The staff is efficient, polite and knowledgeable about specials and they even make recommendations. The food arrived after a satisfactory wait.

Ambience
The restaurant is an old-style Portuguese restaurant located in a converted police station in the South of Johannesburg. Don’t be put off by the dodgy location. Parreirinha is consistent, reliable and unpretentious. There is a formal non-smoking section and larger smoking section packed with a buzz, with very few people smoking in sight. The place is packed with history, as it's been a family-run business since 1975.

And…
There is a cigar menu featuring rolled ones from the USA and Cuba.

(September 2016)

Eat Out reviewers dine anonymously and pay for their meals in full. Click here to read our editorial policy.

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  • Food
  • Zodwa Khumalo-Valentine

    Food
    If you’re looking for a real Portuguese experience, Parreirinha serves up wholesome and hearty Portuguese fare in a warm and family-oriented environment. A warm welcome waits in the form of warm rolls and, as amuse bouche from the starters menu a rich prawn cake. Also good in that section is the slightly crunchy and spicy sliced chouriço served with chips; the same goes for the liver (small or large portion), which you can spice up with their homemade bottled peri-peri sauce. The dishes are rich, prepared with generous lashings of butter and oil. This is no time to be watching your waistline. It is recommended, especially for larger tables, that you order dishes to share so you can eventually make your way through all the not-to-be-missed mains and desserts. There’s a strong seafood offering: indulged in perfectly barbequed Portuguese sardines, served three on a plate with red and green peppers, onions, olives, tomatoes and boiled potatoes. The kingklip – prepared grilled or piteu, in a spicy onion and tomato base – is also popular.
    Butterflied prawns are a highlight – tiger, king, queen and regular-size prawns are available, as is langoustine or lobster prepared grilled or thermidor-style. Meat options include espetada, Portuguese steak topped with a fried egg, steak a Parreirinha (rump dressed with ham and asparagus) as well as T-Bones and fillets. The restaurant’s barril de nata (custard-filled pastries) are delivered daily from the bakery down the road and without being too rich, and split between two people, they round off a meal perfectly.

    Drinks
    Try the creamy but light Super Bock Portuguese beer to compliment any of your meal choices, or opt for the local beers and wines on offer. Or even a sneaky shooter from the Shooter menu, which offers traditional favourites such as the B53, Pancake, Suitcase and more.

    Service
    Staff members are efficient, courteous and knowledgeable about specials and specialties. Food arrives timeously and they are happy to make recommendations.

    Ambience
    The name of the restaurant originates form the words “a little grapevine”, and there still is a little grapevine in the restaurant’s courtyard. This family-run business (started by two brothers in 1975) has been in existence for 40 years and the lunchtime rush seems to attract jovial business associates and colleagues, couples, friends and families. Nestled between residential homes in and old neighbourhood, the restaurant accommodates a separate bar complete with sports screens, a more formal non-smoking area at the front of the space, and a larger and cooler smoking section in the rear. The 285-seater also caters to private gatherings. The ceiling is adorned with hundreds of ties. A waiter explains that the tradition started when an enthusiastic diner threw his tie up on the roof in excitement and it has since sparked many after him to donate their ties. The collection of faded ties that hang on the rafters of the dining area adds to the relaxed and slightly offbeat ambience.

    And …
    Smoking patrons have the pleasure of ordering cigars from the cigar menu featuring rolled ones from the Netherlands, USA and Cuba, and enjoying a few puffs at the table. The Mercado menu also offers a little of the restaurant’s market to take home with you – from peri-peri sauce, green and black olives to frozen prawn cakes and dressed chickens.

    October 2015

  • Zodwa Kumalo Valentine

    Food
    If you’re looking for a real Portuguese experience, Parreirinha serves up wholesome and hearty Portuguese fare in a warm and family-oriented environment. A warm welcome waits in the form of warm rolls and, as amuse bouche from the starters menu a rich prawn cake. Also good in that section is the slightly crunchy and spicy sliced chouriço served with chips; the same goes for the liver (small or large portion), which you can spice up with their homemade bottled peri-peri sauce. The dishes are rich, prepared with generous lashings of butter and oil. This is no time to be watching your waistline. It is recommended, especially for larger tables, that you order dishes to share so you can eventually make your way through all the not-to-be-missed mains and desserts. There’s a strong seafood offering: indulged in perfectly barbequed Portuguese sardines, served three on a plate with red and green peppers, onions, olives, tomatoes and boiled potatoes. The kingklip – prepared grilled or piteu, in a spicy onion and tomato base – is also popular.

    Butterflied prawns are a highlight – tiger, king, queen and regular-size prawns are available, as is langoustine or lobster prepared grilled or thermidor-style. Meat options include espetada, Portuguese steak topped with a fried egg, steak a Parreirinha (rump dressed with ham and asparagus) as well as T-Bones and fillets. The restaurant’s barril de nata (custard-filled pastries) are delivered daily from the bakery down the road and without being too rich, and split between two people, they round off a meal perfectly.

    Drinks
    Try the creamy but light Super Bock Portuguese beer to compliment any of your meal choices, or opt for the local beers and wines on offer. Or even a sneaky shooter from the Shooter menu, which offers traditional favourites such as the B53, Pancake, Suitcase and more.

    Service
    Staff members are efficient, courteous and knowledgeable about specials and specialties. Food arrives timeously and they are happy to make recommendations.

    Ambience
    The name of the restaurant originates form the words “a little grapevine”, and there still is a little grapevine in the restaurant’s courtyard. This family-run business (started by two brothers in 1975) has been in existence for 40 years and the lunchtime rush seems to attract jovial business associates and colleagues, couples, friends and families. Nestled between residential homes in and old neighbourhood, the restaurant accommodates a separate bar complete with sports screens, a more formal non-smoking area at the front of the space, and a larger and cooler smoking section in the rear. The 285-seater also caters to private gatherings. The ceiling is adorned with hundreds of ties. A waiter explains that the tradition started when an enthusiastic diner threw his tie up on the roof in excitement and it has since sparked many after him to donate their ties. The collection of faded ties that hang on the rafters of the dining area adds to the relaxed and slightly offbeat ambience.

    And …
    Smoking patrons have the pleasure of ordering cigars from the cigar menu featuring rolled ones from the Netherlands, USA and Cuba, and enjoying a few puffs at the table. The Mercado menu also offers a little of the restaurant’s market to take home with you – from peri-peri sauce, green and black olives to frozen prawn cakes and dressed chickens.

  • Jodi-Ann Pearton

    Food 
    The cuisine is authentic and delicious. The menu is well set out and offers an array of classic Portuguese dishes. On the first page of the menu you will find the restaurant’s recommendations. It is not an enormous menu, but there’s enough variety to ensure that you will have a great choice, starting with the fresh, crispy Portuguese rolls on the table and the accompanying (and mouth watering) homemade peri-peri sauce.

    The best idea is to order a selection of items for the table to sample. The rissois de camarao (prawn cakes), chorizo, livers and squid as entrées are all superb. The caldo verde (traditional Portuguese cabbage soup) is amazing. When ordering main courses, be sure pick a few to sample, because they all taste so good. The prawn dishes are excellent – the prawn curry has a lovely creamy note; the grilled prawns and chips is a winner; and you absolutely have to order the bacalhau à bráz (salted cod fish), which is superb. Steak trinchado cassaola is a great option, too, but be warned that all these portions are massive, so you might end up taking home some of it.

    For a sweet treat with coffee, spoil yourself with a crème caramel – it’s absolutely delicious.

    Drinks 
    The great drinks list offers a fabulous selection of local wines and brews as well as Portuguese wines. The list is very well priced, and there are also beers, shooters, good coffees, a great selection of Dom Pedros, spirits, and  a fine cigar list to complement the perfect Portuguese meal.

    Service 
    The service staff have all been around forever and they know their food; they’re happy to steer you in the right direction. The service is really excellent and you won't feel neglected for one moment. This is a very well established restaurant in the heart of Johannesburg South that is frequented by locals, and the staff know how to look after their patrons. Book well in advance to reserve a table.

    Ambience 
    Step into a flamboyant and fun-filled environment that you’ll want to return to again and again. The restaurant is divided into a bar area for fun seekers and two more dining areas for the more serious clientele. There’s a feeling of familiarity and respect amongst the diners and the establishment that’s missing in so many newer places these days. The energy and vibe is great, thanks in part to great music playing in the background. Hundreds of old ties hanging from the roof adds a quirky décor touch.

    And… 
    On your way out you can purchase homemade peri-peri, prawn cakes, olive oil, coffee beans, olives, prawns and chickens to have a little taste of Portugal at home.

    (July 2014)

  • Food
    If you eat nothing else in this restaurant – and it is doubtful that anyone has that much will-power – be sure to have a huge plate of prawn cakes. They are rich, juicy and full of plump little prawns. There is an array of traditional Portuguese dishes such as Bacalhau na Braza (cod on the braai) or Bacalhau a Braz (strips of cod with finely chopped onion and thin fried chips in an egg mix). Try the fabulously grilled sardines served simply with boiled potato.

    Wine
    A good selection of mature red wines is available, such as Plaisir de Merle Cabernet Sauvignon 1995, and Portuguese wines such as Gatao, Gazella, Casal Garcia, or a Vinho Rosé Português Lancers, while the whites include Tierhoek Chenin Blanc. They offer a whole page of cigars, not only the obvious Cubans such as Partagas Mille Fleurs or Hoyo de Monterrey Petit Robusto, but also some from the Netherlands and America.

    Service
    No fuss service from a team that handles hundreds of customers daily. If fancy is required, they are able to bring prawn cakes to the table with silver service-style aplomb. Look out for the guy called the Silver Fox, he’s pretty enough to eat!

    Ambience
    This establishment is reigned over by the Da Cunha family, with a kindly matriarch every so often taking a good look at her patrons from the kitchen door. It is a restaurant filled with laughter and lovely memorabilia: myriad ties hang from the rafters of one section and provide an interesting talking point.

    And...
    They have a little mercado (market) offering home-made peri-peri sauce, prawn cakes, olive oils, coffee beans and chickens that come either raw and undressed or dressed with their secret marinade. (HF, October 2012)

User reviews

  • 8 Queen prawns - dried out, overcooked for R312! For that money you could go to a proper restaurant. When asked the waiter why he did not inform us when we ordered that it was so expensive, he said management does not want to put the price. So we're not the first to complain, it's a common problem, and they're purposely tricking the customers. Waiter could not care less, so terrible service on top of it. Will never go there again.
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  • Loved dining here! Ordered all their specialties: starter platter, prawn cakes, seafood kebab, chocolate mousse. Everything was superb. Admittedly, their prawn cake is the star of the show, whilst everything else great, I still salivate thinking of those prawn cakes. And you can order them frozen to enjoy at home! The restaurant was packed, had a great atmosphere, and a rustic, offbeat charm. Wait staff were efficient, although not the friendliest. The area is totes dodge, but this added to the experience. A definite must if you enjoy Portuguese cuisine.
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  • Simply the best you can get. Prawns the best I've ever tasted
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  • Have been going here for 20 years, and will keep on going. Mother Da Cunha is in the kitchen, and everything she makes is magic. You feel like part of the family in this restaurant. Just awesome! :)
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  • Love ur chicken n prawns
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  • Eaten at Parreirinha off and on for past 30 years.
    Prauns are as good as you are going to get!!!!!
    GREAT FOOD
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  • Great food great friends perfect evening

    Thanks
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  • Our all time favourite restaurant!! The food is impeccable, the atmosphere fun and happy, and the da Cunha family feel like we belong to them! We love going to "Parries"
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  • Returned last week after an absence of 4 years, three of my party had fillet steak - the best fillet I have had in a restaurant period. Same goes for the rest of my party, all very satisfied, tried to book again but closed tonight, will book tomorrow.
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  • Disappointed. Chicken was dry and the prawns tasted clike yesterday's special
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  • Disappointed. Chicken was dry and the prawns tasted clike yesterday's special
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  • Been going there EVERY Thursday for the past 14 years. Fantastic food, outstanding service and above all great memories with true friends. This restaurant is unparalleled in my honest opinion. You won't regret it!

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  • Now living in Canada but miss Parreirinha in Rosenttenville! FromSouth African Tony
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  • I have been going to Para regularly since the early 80s so that's about 30 years. I had my 21st there and so have two of my daughters. I think it is a Johannesburg institution. We are always searching for new restaurants but regard Parreirinha as a benchmark for great food and great value.

    Most restaurants have one or two great dishes, but almost everything on their menu can become your favorite. The food has been consistently good.
    In this world of hyped fad restaurants and franchised artifice, it's great to have a real family run restaurant (with Mama still running the kitchen) around.

    Some of the things we like are... (According to the family)
    Prawn cakes
    Prawn curry
    Prawns (can't be done better that this)
    Chicken peri peri
    Chocolate mousse
    Cosy, feels like home
    It has soul.
    Nice Fado in the background (if you ask)
    Happy waiters.
    Happy Mama in the kitchen doing her thing!

    Enough already, give it a try...
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  • Those ties have been there for over 30 years collecting grease and are a health and fire hazard.

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  • We've gone there about 6 times now, service is faultless, and the food was amazing! Our favorites are the prawn cakes and king prawns with their secret herbs and spices. The prawns just melt away in your mouth. The wine selection is top notch and having a nightcap in the bar area after dinner was just as enjoyable.

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  • If you can eat! Arrived at 6,30. Restaurant was empty. 2 adults plus a kid coming from JHB...1 hour drive. The guy outside was drunk and bored you more than anything else when you park. Inside they tell you they are fully booked. 1 hour drive wasted. But at least you know that in this kind of place when the wheel will go down, you are not gonna cry for them! Don't recommend for sure!

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  • We went for supper 24th April. This place is a gem. Well worth the trip down from northern suburbs.
    Service and hospitality was faultless and food was great, best prawns outside Mozambique.

    Will be back soon.

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  • I may be somewhat biased but this has got to be the best Portuguese Restaurant in Gauteng if not Souh Africa. The most unpretentious atmosphere with the tastiest chicken livers, epsetadas, prawns and Portuguese Steaks complete with fried egg and chips. Don't for a minute let the prices fool you into thinking you are having a cheap experience - the ambience is such that you will 'sit and kuier' for hours.

    Don't let the area fool you, it's whats 'inside' that really matters!
    10/10
    Curt

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  • Fantastic! A 5 star rating from me!
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  • Without a doubt my favourite place in Johannesburg. Living in Cape Town now I crave their seafood rice which is truly out of this world! A true gem. Fantastic food, festive atmosphere, great service, down to earth people! Just the perfect combination for a long lunch.
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  • The baby chicken is the best.
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  • One of the best in Gauteng. I look forward to every visit! I have never been disappointed with the food or service here.
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  • Some 20/25 years ago this was a meeting place for a group of guys every Saturday morning from around 10 till late afternoon for Kings famous chicken giblets, prego rolls and beer.We also had our Christmas year-end party here - around 12/15 electricians and wholesalers for a feast of LM prawns.All of us donated a tie, this went on for many years, prior to the fire.If any of the guys read this please contact meBrian Sparrow (York Electrical).
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Facilities

  • Accepts credit cards
  • Alfresco
  • Booking required
  • Child friendly
  • Dinner
  • Food
  • Functions
  • Licensed
  • Lunch
  • Parking
  • Serves food
  • Smoking
  • Takeaways
  • Wheelchair

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