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Next up in our World in London challenge, we’ve called on Portuguese blogger Catherine Lencastre Cabral, author of the gorgeous London Lisbonite blog, to tell us about her best places for enjoying a piece of Portugal in London.
Lost your job? Eat your own body weight in the lovely creamy custard tarts we call pasteis de nata (the best in London can be found in the Lisboa Patisserie on Golborne Road).
Had your heart broken? Go to your mother’s house and you’ll have litres of homemade soup poured down your throat.
Enjoying a rare sunny day in London? The Portuguese will celebrate with you by shoving half a cow on your plate and beaming at you over the pile.
Generosity and hospitality are two of the most highly-prized Portuguese characteristics. This can be slightly overwhelming for the first-time visitor, who might be somewhat taken aback by the size of the portions and the vehemence with which they’ll be encouraged to clear their plate. Food also serves as a useful marker for time. Ask a Portuguese person what time they’d like to meet you somewhere and they’ll pin the time to the nearest meal.
Over the last decade, Stockwell has come to be known as the “Little Lisbon” of London. Portuguese flags line the streets and every other bar has a Super Bock sign in the window. The best place to try traditional Portuguese food is O Moinho on the Wandsworth Road.
If that hasn’t satisfied your appetite for dramatic food, follow it with an Espetada a Madeirense. An enormous hanging metal spit will be placed next to you so that you can pull off the meat bit by bit. Alternatively, cook your own meat, from raw, on a piping hot stone by ordering the Naco na Pedra.
After that, I heartily recommend that you try the camel drool (Baba de Camelo), an extremely sweet creamy pudding made with condensed milk.
Then, make like a true Portuguese and finish the meal with an espresso and perhaps a couple of crackers spread with the sharp and gooey Queijo de Serra from the mountains. Portuguese perfection.
Do you have a favourite place for buying Portuguese food in London? Let us know in the comments below…