For many Londoners, the beauty of this city is its diversity. And this basic Portuguese eatery overflows with cultural charm. Diners wander in off the street, loudly greeting other guests in Portuguese, embracing them like long lost family. Strings of paper flags of red and green hang around TVs showing Primeira Liga football, overlooking earthy yellow-painted walls that give it the rustic feel of somewhere straight out of the
Algarve. Eating here is a way to feel like you’ve travelled across the continent, while still being able to see a Tesco Express from a window seat.
The food is more mixed. Its seafood menu is a highlight, with a starter of king prawns so big they looked like something from a sci-fi story. A huge portion of clams came bobbing in a lake of olive oil accompanied by delicious but date-ruiningly big chunks of garlic. And despite the bland sauce in a main of monkfish rice, the seafood was so tender it was like eating a fishy cloud.
A mixed grill was less impressive, with overcooked meat that could have doubled as shoe leather, charcoal-smoked to the point of medicinal. There’s a distinctly 1980s feel to the dessert selection, as well, with a zingy passionfruit cheesecake coming with a thoroughly retro wafer and a pat of squirty cream.
Really, though, this eaterie’s charms lie less in the cooking and more in feeling like you’ve gone on an exotic Portuguese-infused holiday… to Stockwell.