Chiado, Potts Point
So I’ve been MIA for a while now thanks to a number of things – starting a new job (same company, new role) and a multitude of side projects that have been keeping me super occupied. But I have a long list of exciting restaurants to review and I’m hoping to have them all up here soon. First up is the delicious Chiado, the latest restaurant to hit Kellett Street, Potts Point.
Boyfriend and I dined at Chiado the week before last as guests of the restaurant. We were invited by the lovely Sandra who opened the restaurant with her brother.
The idea behind Chiado was to bring an authentic taste of Portugal to Sydney. We’re talking imported Portuguese wines you can’t buy retail in Sydney, specially grown ingredients and no Portuguese chicken. In fact, there is not one chicken dish on the menu at all. If you’re looking for some grilled chicken and peri peri sauce, this is not the place for you.
The idea of authentic Portuguese food excited me greatly. I went to Portugal years ago with my family and I was transported back the second Sandra started talking about the wine.
So we arrived at Chiado on a Wednesday night. It’s located on Kellett Street in a converted terrace house. (I love a converted terrace.) The inside is really nice with fresh cut flowers on all the tables and red painted walls adorned with artwork.
The menu was so much more than a menu. It contained stories of the history of Chiado and Portuguese food. Not to mention it featured half a cork which reminded me of my time in Porto, travelling around the different wineries and cellars.
So once we’d worked out what we wanted to eat, Sandra suggested we try some Portuguese wine, known as Vinho Verde. Vinho Verde translates literally to “green wine” and is so called because the grapes are picked when they are just turning green. Boyfriend asked Sandra what it would compare to, to which she replied “nothing”.
We decided to get a class of Muros Antigos Vinho Verde 2010 ($9.50) and Muros Antigos Loureiro 2010 ($9.50) and taste test each other’s.
Both wines were amazing. They were both fresh and delicious and very easy to drink. I’m not the biggest of wine drinkers, but I could drink both those wines everyday. It is such a shame you can’t find them here in bottleshops.
So. The food.
First of all, we were brought a board of fresh bread and herb butter, which is also a nice and very welcome extra. (How many places still do that??)
We opted for two entrees to start.
Boyfriend was deadset on trying the “Favas com Chouriço” ($16), which is described on the menu as “Our fatal combination of soft broad beans with the flavoursome strength of our homemade smoked choriço and topped with a slow cooked poached egg and truffle oil”.
This was a beautifully presented dish with unusual (but exceptionally delicious) flavours.
Our second entree was something we’d never imagine ourselves to order – Migas à Beira ($16) – “Traditional portuguese cabbage thinly sliced, sauteed in olive oil & served with broa (corn bread)”. What sold me initially, was the corn bread. I love corn bread. What sold me secondly, was Sandra explaining that Portuguese cabbage cannot actually be bought here. So to bring this dish to the table, they grow their own Portuguese cabbage on her parents’ property. Seriously, how cool is that?
This was an unexpected and absolutely delicious dish.
The broa (corn bread) was crumbed through the cabbage and a mouthful of this stuff was just so moreish.
It’s hard for Boyfriend and I to resist a good seafood stew and we sure were glad we couldn’t resist this one.
It came to the table in the cataplana (how fun!), and was filled with all different kinds of seafood: prawns, clams, calamari and barramundi. There was also capsicum and potatoes in the stew and underneath was bread which soaked up the sauce.
It was so flavoursome and the seafood was cooked perfectly.
We also could not resist dessert and so even though we were pretty much as full as possible we ordered the “Bolo de Chocolate” ($15) – “Chocolate cake baked on the spot, served warm with a melted chocolate & orange centre”.
The menu asks you to allow 15 minutes for this dish, but let’s be honest, I would have allowed an hour.
It was everything you want a chocolate self-saucing pudding to be: warm, gooey, rich and chocolatey. The orange centre was a nice (and delicious) surprise and the board was garnished with fruit, meringue and crystallised sugar.
So did Chiado hit the mark with authentic Portugese cuisine? I’m no expert in Portugese cuisine but I found myself being transported back to Portugal with this evening and I sure was happy with all the food we tried. If you’re wanting to try something a little bit different, with dishes and flavours that are unique, I’d definitely recommend Chiado.
Would I go again? Definitely.
NOTE: Chiado has since relocated to Pyrmont.