South African chain Barcelos comes to Chennai at Express Avenue and is a meat lover's paradise
When the travel industry saw a dip earlier this year, 32-year-old Vineesh Mon, a tourism operator agent chose to move into a more lucrative industry to explore food for the very first time. Taking a cue from his brother, who has worked in the African subcontinent, he decided to bring South African chain Barcelos to Chennai at Express Avenue, while also being in Delhi and Hyderabad. The 1,500 sq foot restaurant is a 65-seater space which easily separates itself from the noisy food court to give diners a cosy experience while overlooking the city.
Coconut shrimp, anyone?
With vibrant interiors that have a mix of red, green and yellow, a café-style appearance by day converts into a dimly lit gourmet dining experience by night because of ambient yellow lighting. Emphasising on South African specialities, the restaurant also serves diners all kinds of Continental food — from the Arabic Mezze Platter to even a Peri Peri Black burger. To beat the heat, we start with a chilled Tangy Mango, made from mango purée and spices, as we wait for our first dish. An assorted platter of Onion Rings fried crisp, American style fried Southwestern Rolls filled with beans, corn and cheese keep us busy as they are followed by pockets of empanadas filled with steamed vegetables.
With a large non-vegetarian menu on offer, we start with a Coconut Shrimp, which are fried butterfly shrimps coated with coconut shaving batter. The light crisp Chicken fingers are simple fillet strips coated with Texas-style batter and served with a mayonnaise dip. Serving a mix of seafood and chicken, the crunchy California prawns arrive next with a hint of spice served with tartare sauce. The Peri Peri Grilled Chicken Wings and Chicken Chunks which came next turned up the spice levels; while the wings were flawlessly grilled, the chunks were skewered with onions and peppers.
Peri peri good
Diners who cannot decide what to order can simply enjoy The Flamed Grilled Peri Peri Quarter Chicken on Barcelos menu. The large Portuguese special comprises a juicy chicken leg and breast grilled in peri sauce and served with traditional yellow rice with a strong flavour of turmeric, making the perfect accompaniment for the dish. We choose to end our meal with a towering KitKat Milkshake, that had a topping of sprinkles and a bar of our childhood favourite wedged in the shake.
Meal for two Rs 1,200 plus taxes.