Location: London, England
Despite how I look, how I sound, and where I live, I am indeed 50% Portuguese. My mother became an American citizen when she married my very much American dad. Previously, she lived with her family on the island of São Miguel in the Açores. One of the greatest benefits of this is access to amazing food. And yet, I kind have a skewed view of Portuguese cuisine because of all the island food! When I visited Lisbon back in 2014, I was amazed as how different Portuguese cuisine could be. Nonetheless, I realised that Portuguese food, whether from the islands or the mainland, is absolutely delicious.
Here in London, I have access to almost every cuisine in the world. Seriously. So when I wanted to celebrate becoming a Portuguese citizen by going to a Portuguese restaurant, it wasn’t too difficult to find the perfect place. Welcome to Bar Douro.
Petiscos / Snacks
We started off with some little salt cod fritters (pictured further below). Salt cod is one of my favourite things in the world, so I was more than excited. We also started with some Portuguese wine and I have to say the salt cod went beautifully with the white wine we chose.
Horta / Garden
I do love my veggies, so we ordered some Bar Duoro Potatoes and also the tomatoes with white wine vinaigrette. The potatoes are adorable little spheres served with a kind of aioli sauce. The tomatoes — OMG! Perfectly juicy and sweet, it was if we were eating dessert.
Mar / Sea
Our first meaty-y plate was the char grilled sardines with blistered peppers and shaved fennel (pictured above). Sardines are almost sacred in Portugal, so regardless you know they’re going to be delicious. The sardines are cooked in a very traditional way, just over a grill, but they are as delicious as ever.
If sardines are sacred, then octopus in Portugal must be God. We ordered the polvo with sweet potato (pictured below) and wow! What a combination! The sweet potato came in the form of spirals as well as a creamy sauce. It went amazingly well with the tender octopus.
Despite these seafood dishes being amazing, the pièce de résistance of the whole meal was the salt cod hash. It may seem, well, unassuming, but I’m telling you it is one of the most delicious things you will ever treat your taste buds with. Victor still jokes form time to time that he would have it everyday for lunch if he could.
Though we were stuffed, I had to have one of my favourite deserts in the whole world: Pastel de Nata. These creamy, egg custard tarts are ubiquitous in Portugal, but this exemplary tart was perhaps the best I’ve ever tasted. What a way of finishing my birthday dinner.
Are you dying to try some Portuguese food now? Check out my other cuisine posts for more great recommendations!