I have been craving for a good Portuguese style grilled chacoal chicken for weeks on end now. So when my friends Vince and June asked to take me out for dinner on my birthday recently, I tell Mysaucepan that we should nominate a restaurant where there is grilled charcoal chicken.
We eventually decide on Angelo’s Portugalia because the menu looks really good and best of all, this restaurant is also in the 2011 / 2012 Entertainment Book for Sydney where diners get a discount of 25% off their bill up to a maximum of $40.00
We make a booking for 8pm on a Saturday night and when we get to the restaurant, there is a queue inside where diners are waiting to be seated at their tables and also groups who are waiting for takeaways.
The restaurant is packed to the brim and despite our booking, we wait for about fifteen minutes to be seated.
While waiting, I ogle at the rows of butterflied chickens being grilled over hot coals and this aroma emanating from the grills is enough to make my belly rumble.
Our Frango De Churrasco or grilled chicken arrives and the smoky charred aroma immediately catches our attention. The chicken skin is grilled to a golden brown outside and the meat is tender and juicy inside.
Being a chilli fiend, I cannot get enough of the spicy peri-peri sauce that brings out all the wonderful flavours of the chicken.
We spot a special on our table where a whole portion of Angelo’s char-grilled chicken is only $13.90 on Tuesday nights when it is normally $19.90.
Even without this fantastic offer, grilled chicken this good is enough to entice me back because I know charcoal grilled chickens in Sydney suburbs famous for this Portuguese style chicken is serving a whole chicken for around $24.00.
The Portugalia rice that accompanies the grilled chicken is a must – it is fragrantly cooked in chicken stock and dotted with bits of diced carrots and peas.
Our next dish of Ameijoas ‘a Portugalia or Portugalia clams arrives in a large bowl with a fragrant herb butter broth and topped with continental parsley.
The clams are fresh and only gently cooked while the beautiful broth was waiting for an extra serve of soft dinner rolls to be soaked up.
We order a 2006 Di Giorgio Cabernet Sauvignon as I have tried this beautiful wine during a Spanish paella party at home. Its soft and beautiful tannins would be a great complement to some char-grilled red meat that we are contemplating.
As good as the food is tonight, table service is hapharzard as we are told ten minutes later that the wine we ordered is not available only to be told again that it is.
Our wine eventually arrives only to be greeted by wine glasses of different sizes because we are told the restaurant is short of red wine glasses. We drink our first glass on wine in different size glasses until this issue is eventually sorted out when more glasses were available.
A Bife Na Braza or charcoal grilled steak arrives where a skewer of six char-grilled cubes of prime Angus rump is hung and rested, its dripping juices being caught by a small piece of bread on a plate below.
The sight of grilled red meat dangling in front of me is enough to make me wriggle in my seat in anticipation. The meat is nicely charred on the outside and as we remove the meat from the skewer with a pair of thongs, its texture is tender and succulent.
We ordered the steak medium rare and it comes with a choice of either chips or rice. It is charred and gently pink inside. Paired with a fresh chimichurri which is gently garlicky, the parsley and olive oil comes through to accompany the charred flavours of the beef.
Thus far, we are quite impressed with our meal because we came for some good char-grilled chicken but every dish seems to be vying for top honours.
A large plate of Gambas Grelhadas has six large prawns slit lengthwise, grilled and drizzled with a butter sauce and sprinkled with fresh herbs.
A gentle squeeze of fresh lemon juice onto the seafood brings out the sweet flavours.
We try and find a little room for dessert after our meal.
A creme caramel topped with almond flakes is gently sweet with its rich velvety syrup.
A Don Pedro with its creamy vanilla bean ice cream blended with Irish whisky, Kahlua and topped with grated Belgium chocolate is creamy with a subtle hint of alcohol. We share these two lovely desserts as the mains more than did their fair share of getting us nicely fed.
We came for charcoal chicken but go away satisfied that every dish that we ordered is a winner. The momentary lapse in service is forgivable when the food is this good.
As the evening winds down in the restaurant, the wall murials of happy old men appear.
So dear readers, do you know of a good Portugese charcoal chicken restaurant in the city where you live?
262 Anzac Parade
New South Wales
Tel: +612 9662 1711
Riddoch Highway, Coonawarra
South Australia, 5263
Tel: +618 8736 3233