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Jan 19, 2008 06:37 PM

Portugese food in London?

Alright, seeing as the Portugese immigrant community is VERY VERY sizable here, there must be decent Portugese food. A great many of this city's restaurant jobs are filled by Portugese workers and at this rate about 90% of Portugal's male population will be trained waiters or Italian line cooks in a few years. So where is the bacalao at? A place on Brixton Station has bacalao for 5.50 and most entrees are around that. It's frequented by local Portugese workers and I might give it a try. Another stretch on the route of the 2 to Brixton is loaded with Portugese businesses and I've been meaning to check it out when I don't have ridiculous amounts of groceries with me.

Any suggestions?

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  1. The obvious places are in Stockwell and around The Oval tube. O Cantinho De Portugal is worth a punt. Sunday is a good day to go when they have suckling pig on the menu

    A real little treasure is The Gallery on Brixton Hill

    It looks like a take away and you have to ring a buzzer to be let into the back room where they serve clams and very good plates of grilled meats.

    Worth a visit, although, I have to admit I have not schlepped down there for a while. Let me know what you make of it


    6 Replies
    1. re: Simon Majumdar

      Awesome, The Gallery it is!

      Could you please post the exact address so I can get directions to it or directions would be fine as well. The last time I left my house with a vague idea of where a restaurant was I ended up in the city instead of South Ken. Ask Howler. He thought it was hilarious. Directions from Brixton Station, that is. I'm down there a lot.

      1. re: JFores

        256 Brixton Hill
        Brixton Hill
        London ,SW2 1HF
        020 8671 8311

        Head up Brixton Hill towards Streatham

        There is a bus that goes up there ( no idea of the number) but it is about a 15 min walk

        It is on the right hand side. If you see Holmewood Road on your left, you have gone too far


        1. re: Simon Majumdar

          Awesome, thanks. I'll just walk it. Is there a good day for it? I'm usually there on Saturdays but I'm lugging around about 20 kilos of groceries in a large gym bag on Saturdays.

          1. re: JFores

            Caution. When I was last there, a month or so ago, there was a sign saying that the restaurant was only open on, I think, two days a week. Never mind, the take away chicken is excellent.

            1. re: TLC_Tim

              Oh boy. I'll have to give them a call...

              1. re: TLC_Tim

                BTW, what did you order? How is their bacalao and cod related stuff? Do they do a pig roast on weekends? I definitely want clams and I'm considering what else. I noticed the girlled meat selection above and that might work seeng as I'll be in a group.


                Justin (I need to call them...)

      2. "seeing as the Portugese immigrant community is VERY VERY sizable here, there must be decent Portugese food."

        I guess size is important here. Our last Census showed just over 36,000 Portuguese-born people living in the whole of the UK. Doesnt seem such a significant community that it would impact much on society and it's food. That said, I see that on another thread, you reckon that if London's Portuguese and Italian restaurants closed, there'd be no fine dining in the city - so presumably you've now found soem good restaurants.

        However, if you want to find part of the country where there is a significant presence/impact of Portuguese people, then you need to go to Jersey. Most come from Madeira and seeing as both islands are outside the European Union, it is somewhere the Madeirans can easily migrate to.

        7 Replies
        1. re: Harters

          Everyone here is from Madeira. The little Portugese bread cart guy and every nearby business are from Medeira. While the pop doesn't seem terribly large, it is definitely concentrated in London and in the food industry.

          1. re: Harters

            Also, I didn't say restaurants I said if the Portugese and Italians left fine dining here would close. The cooks are overwhelmingly Italian, Polish or Portugese and the same frequently goes for the waiters if its a Med. restaurant. Much like the Mexicans that I seriously miss from back home!

            1. re: JFores

              Canela in covent garden is more brazillian that properly portugeuse but lovely for fejouda & pastis de nata as well as coffee & steeper teas...pretty good pre-theatre & lunch. lovely service.

              1. re: condimentqueen

                When I lived in Kensal green there were several Portuguese establishments- a social club and a restaurant. Also, near the top of Portabello market there is a nice Portuguese bakery with those delicious egg custard tarts.

                Also, while walking along Hoxton St last night, on west side of street, I noticed an internet cafe/cafe that had a hand written sign in the window saying that they have fejouda.

                1. re: relizabeth

                  Where's Hoxton St? I know the other areas, but not that. Thanks!

                  1. re: JFores

                    Hoxton St. is a few blocks east of Old St. Tube. Walk east on Old Street and make a left (shoreditch town hall is across the street). It runs north/ south. There is a market there on Saturday (and maybe also wednesday?) the place I was thinking of is no more than a 10 min walk up from Old Street.

                    Also, a block east of Hoxton St. is Kingsland Rd. (also north/south) There is a sweet little family run cash only Vietnamese grocery store (in addition to about 10 vietnamese restaurants; we love the lemongrass tofu at Tay Dao Cafe). This is my local go to place for SE asian groceries.

                    Also in this neighborhood (walk south on Kingsland, it turns into Shoreditch high st) , on Calvert Ave is Lenny's. I used to get lunches from Lenny's Larder which was pretty good, my husband is a big fan of Lenny's Restaurant. At Leila's Shop they made sublime ham and cheese sandwiches with cornichons. Also, very good peasanty bread for sale. They are primarily caterers, but several years ago would make these sandwiches and coffee.

          2. The Gallery is great, but I like a new little place that's opened in Brixton. It's called Brazas and is near Brockwell Park. The owners are very friendly, and I had some great ribs there the other day. My boyfriend loved his piri-piri chicken, and the prices are pretty reasonable (for London).

            2 Replies
            1. re: greedygirl

              I'll use this if The Gallery isn't open on Sat-Sun. Thanks!

              Get anything with pork or bacalhao?

              1. re: JFores

                My boyfriend had some excellent salt cod fritters, and I had ribs, also excellent.