Casa Madeira is a little enclave of Portuguese culture, with a vibrant café, bar and grill, well-stocked deli and family restaurant all sitting under the railway arches of Vauxhall. What you see is what you get here: home-style food with old-school service and loyalty to Portuguese food traditions.
Dishes were a bit hit and miss: potatoes were undercooked, and the pork was a little tough in the Alentejo pork and clam stew – but a plate of grilled sardines was good honest seafood at its best. We had some food envy when we saw flaming chorizo and an impressive steaming skewer of Madeira-style beef going to the next table. The rumble of trains is just audible beneath the pop music playing from the TV, and as we finished lunch, large tables were being set up for the live music and late-night party that ensues every Saturday.
The different elements of the operation are all interconnected, so diners migrate to the café next door for a bica (espresso) and dessert. Traditional crème caramel was dense and enormous, and a pastel de nata had a good crisp base and rich set custard.