Situated in the heart of Hongdae, this gem of a bistro offers hand made fare from delicious fresh salads to spicy piri-piri chicken, hand cut chips, fries & potatoes, dreamy, creamy salt-cod pie (bacalhau) onto indulgent desserts such as the magnificent egg tart. As my dining companion, a former chef, said; “It’s impossible to imagine anyone not enjoying that food.”
Pride in Portuguese Ownership
The kitchen maestro/owner Agostino Da Silva cooks every order from scratch. Nando’s may be a solid and better-than-average chain but they can only dream that they will have a product in the same ballpark as a restaurant boasting an artisan with such attention to detail.
The man is an obsessive; 650gms, he tells us, is the perfect weight for a chicken, at 700 grams the oil will start to burn the skin, at 750 grams he loses sleep. Each bird is spatchcocked, marinaded for 24 hours in his handmade piri-piri sauce; the succulence of the breast a testament to his perfectionism. Another point we love about this place is the consistency. On this visit I felt the piri-piri sauce was more delicious even than before. “The quality of chillis varies” he tells us. His obsessive desire to produce quality does not and we’ve enjoyed persistently high standards over a period of months.
Recommended Menu Item: Bacalhau, Portuguese Comfort Food
The salt-cod pie (bacalhau) is the comfort food da perfeição. Warm and hearty, with a creamy texture, potatoes, grated carrot and a guiltily delicious grilled cheese topping. Apparently some patrons have been scraping off the cheese and leaving it uneaten. “Unfortunately”, the chef told us “my wife will not let me throw them out of the &%)*#$ restaurant.” He means it I’m sure, and that’s passion and an artistic spirit for you. For what it’s worth, I agree with him.
Taverna de Portugal Address: 90-8 Sangsu-dong, Mapo-gu Phone: 02-3144-4819 Hours: Wed-Sun 12:00-22:00