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A stylish Portuguese joint at Flat Iron Square.
Bar Douro – a stylish spot bringing Portuguese small plates to Southwark’s Flat Iron Square – makes a great first impression. Design-wise, the attention to detail is marvellous, with a broad open kitchen, two shiny marble counters lined with stools and some lovely tiled walls, like those you see in Lisbon and Porto. It’s a gorgeous space to while away an evening over a bottle of vino.
The same care for presentation extends to the food. Four crispy croquettes were served on one of those blue and white wall tiles, each topped with a delicate green sprig and packed with a smokey, lemony filling. These were followed by a set of plump cod cakes, served with a lovely, zingy dipping sauce, and a frothy yellow fish stew that was enormously flavourful – it’s just a shame there was only enough for a couple of mouthfuls.
Even more of a let-down was a sharing plate of suckling pig that needed more greenery to cut through the grease, and a grilled octopus tentacle that, though beautifully charred and stunning on the website, in reality arrived as a fleshy appendage buried beneath some limp and carelessly arranged vegetables. While it’s true that Portuguese cuisine can be considered a little humdrum (especially compared to the delicious food that practically flows from its Iberian neighbour), these were still disappointments.
With a little tweaking here and there, Bar Douro could be excellent, and the owners have certainly nailed the cosy Portuguese vibe. Until then, it’s a perfect place to catch up over a glass or two, with a couple of tasty nibbles on the side.
Arch 35B, Union Street, Flat Iron Square
|Transport:||Tube: London Bridge|
|Price:||Dinner for two with drinks and service: around £85.|
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