Hey People, I am back from my FAM trip of Thailand and believe me it was one delightful trip. I was part of the media group to cover Songran Festival (Thai New Year) and I had a fun water party. Of course there will be detailed accounts of it and I will talk about all my adventures in length and breadth but before that let me introduce this new restaurant that I visited last Wednesday before leaving for Chiang Mai in Thailand. This one deserves a mention.
I relish variants of Chicken dishes…
I have been a big foodie since childhood. Restaurants were always my favorite hangouts though my Mum would cook the best meals. With age the love for interesting flavors has grown and my taste buds are always on a lookout for interesting platters. I am non-vegetarian who loves well cooked spicy chicken more than anything. Aske me for any of it- juicy/crispy/flame-grilled/Tandoori/Roasted chicken variants any day and I am game for it. In fact a few years ago when I dated my vegetarian husband all our fights would get resolved instantly if he took me out for a chicken treat. 😉
A Week Ago when I visited Barcelos….
When I had a chance to explore the dark and mysterious flavors of peri-peri flavored, flame grilled delicacies at Barcelos recently, I was quick to accept the offer. Before I delve deep into the taste and flavors, I must talk about the brand which is world famous. With its footprint in 17 countries with over 120 outlets, Barcelos was originally founded in Pretoria, South Africa in 1993. Now, it has stepped in the Indian subcontinent with this 18th outlet.
Flame grilled menu with peri peri sauces stands synonymous for Barcelos. It makes for some authentic Portuguese offerings laced with chilly and spicy flavors. Well the claims can be too tall but for a restaurant to rise and shine, the taste and flavors have to do the talking. When I landed up at Barcelos, I had only one thing on my mind and that was I wanted to treat myself to some really nice peri-peri flavored, flame grilled chicken variants with lingering after-taste.
Whats in the name?
Barcelos is a district in the north of Portugal. The rooster is the famous symbol of the town. And there is a story behind it too. (Read the below pic)
First things first that caught my eye…
- Woods and Green made for its interiors and lively ambiance
- Interesting Mock-tails on the menu
- 4 sauces that meet you at your table setting- Tangy Lemon, Mild Peri, Veri Peri and Supa Peri
- If you know about Nandos, you are quick to conclude that this one is a cousin to it
- A rich and interesting vegetarian segment with 40 percent of the menu making for it
- Signature Portuguese delicacies and Lebanese dips
- Esptada available in three variants i.e. veg, chicken & fish
- Arabic favorites too-Humus and Baba ganoush with Pita and Arabic mezze platter
- Interesting burger combinations and I am told very soon you will be able to make your own burger on an app on the table (sounds cool, right?)
- Its a South African restaurant but the food menu is about Portuguese cuisine
- Last but not the least, the prices surprised me because they are no where near high-end even though the restaurant is in Khan Market
What I ordered….
With no second thoughts I wanted a Kaala Khatta in my glass. My friend (Pooja) ordered a grape fruit punch. I am fond of sizzlers and thus we settled for a chicken sizzler first without taking much time. Cheesy with chicken, rice and veggies it was a good one to start with. Next I ordered some drumsticks and chicken wings because I love my chicken in this form. As I read the menu deeper, I was glad to find some Arabic cuisines too. I was tempted to order some hummus and pita as well.
When it all came one by one, it looked as below…
I am sure the pictures have got you hungry by this time. Now, if you are wondering what is Peri-Peri, let me throw some light on the origin of the dish. Swahili word Pili Pili has given birth to Peri-Peri that conveys a combination of pepper/spicy chili. These dishes are enjoyed spicy in nature. Now, it all depends how you would want your chicken to be cooked. Every time when you place an order at Barcelos, they ask you whether you want your dish as Mild Peri, Veri Peri or Supa Peri. (The first one is mildly spicy as the name suggests and then the strength grows in order)
The Flavors and Taste…
I would say the sizzler was good but I thoroughly relished the tantalizing drumsticks. They were juicy and just rightly grilled. The chicken wings were interestingly done too and I enjoyed the flavors in every bite of it. I am told that Barcelos is particular about its real taste and thus 24 hours prior marination is done before the chicken goes for the open flame grill. The strength of its flavors come from its marinades and sauces. I liked the Pita bread too. It was soft and fresh and the Hummus was just rightly prepared for Indian taste buds.
If you love your chicken minus the rich oily and greasy curry, if you savor its grilled form, if you have been wanting to indulge in something really spicy, go for a treat at Barcelos. It makes you high on chicken quotient. However, vegetarians should not be put off because Barcelos has successfully reinvented and come prepared for this segment as well with lots for them too. In fact next time I plan to take my husband along so that he can have his view on the veggie food and flavors.
Next time in Khan market, you know where to go. Hope the video takes you around Barcelos virtually..