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Don’t be put off by the narrow, unprepossessing exterior in a suburb that’s seen better days. Inside is a warm, lively and expansive Portuguese family restaurant that’s been famous for good times and good-value food for over 40 years.
All the basic Portuguese favourites are here – moist, grilled prawns in all sizes, served with chips and rice, garlic butter sauce or lemon sauce, soft Portuguese rolls and a legendary chicken peri-peri. Start off with fried prawn cakes or steaming kale-and-potato caldo verde soup with thick slices of chouriço.
Follow up with a chunky rump espetada or a traditional sirloin steak topped with fried egg. On the fish side, try bacalhau, the quintessential Portuguese dish of braaied codfish, grilled sardines or line fish. Vegetarians may struggle here but there are a few simple fresh salads – and mounds of moreish chips to keep hunger at bay.
Finish your feast with the lightest barril de natas – custard tartlets –served with a sinful dollop of cream or one of ‘Mama’s home-made favourites’, such as crème caramel, chocolate mousse or crêpes suzette.
Plenty of beer, including minis of Super Bock, and of course many bottles of Vinho Verde, rosé and tinto. There’s also a selection of popular local wines ranging from moderate to expensive. Shooters and Dom Pedros are favourites and for the smokers there are even imported cigars.
Dishes zip out of the kitchen at a pace, and a slew of practised waiters weave expertly through the crowded tables to get everything to your table piping hot and to keep you hydrated.
Atmosphere in spades. The restaurant, which was once a jail, consists of non-smoking rooms, some still with bars on the windows, surrounding a covered central courtyard. The courtyard is the popular heart of the venue, festooned with hundreds of ties donated by patrons over the decades. Tables with plastic coverings and cruet sets pack every available space.
Casual, value-for-money meals for working men and groups of friends with lots to talk about over an extended lunch, lively nights with family and friends, and office celebrations. Watch out for special promotions, particularly during their birthday month in July.
Eat Out critics dine unannounced and pay for their meals in full. Read our full editorial policy here.