Founded back in 1993 in Pretoria, South Africa, Barcelos is now a leading name in food chains and is the recent addition to Kolkata’s food hubs after Delhi in India. Barcelos specializes in serving food prepared in traditional way with the dose of health and goodness. They try to maintain the old food traditions and probably that is the main reason I was attracted to the joint even before going there! I visited the newly open food joint along with 3 fellow food bloggers from Kolkata Food Bloggers and here I am with my experience! Now the question is whether I found myself satisfied or not! Well I am to some extent and I am not a bit as well! After all we represent the country which believes in “Atithi Devo Bhava” (The guest is equivalent to God') and we represent that country which believes in “Pehle Darshandhari Phir Gunbichari” (look matters a lot even sometimes more than quality) as well and to my surprise this particular joint matches with both! Modern and minimalist interior and decorated with beautiful naturalist pictures Barcelos is obviously getting goodie points from me and some more goodie points for the amazing food presentation! Now coming to the hosting part, I think that is something the food joint need to re-search and research a bit for their own sake at least in the branch that I visited in Kolkata at Acropolis Mall. Now coming to the food, loads of goodie points from me and few minus as well!
Our not so formal luncheon started with three “dhuandhar” drinks, “Molecular Drinks” as they call it; "Hey Rosey", Kiwi Cooler" and "Tangy Mango" along with a bit extra dose of liquid nitrogen to create the dramatic ambiance! I opted for the Mango drink and then…. OMG it was really tangy with prominent after taste! Strong molecular effect you see!
To subsidize the tanginess we were served with the appetizer then; a platter known as "Arabic Maze Platter". A decent one consisting of Hummus, Baba Ganoush, Peri Hummus,Yogurt Dip, Tabouli, Falafel, Lavash along with Pita Bread! Neither bad nor over the top , the platter is actually for those who does not want to take risk with their food order. A safe and secure option to try for sure.
The next dish served was Chicken Espetada, a signature Portuguese Chicken kebab roasted with Onion and bell peppers and my special mention is the serving stick! Look matters after all! The only complain I have is the size of the chicken pieces which were a bit bigger than bite size pieces and hence a bit uneasy to carry! Limited spices were used and moderate taste; and again something can be ordered without thinking much (by the way why do I need to think before ordering!). Ohhh there was french fries too along with the chicken.
The platter served after the appetizer was something I was waiting for; which is none other than Barcelos’s famous burger combo; World’s Healthiest Burger as they called it lovingly! Before going to the health quotient I must mention the colour combination and the unique look! It was treat to watch different color mini burgers; the famous, the furious Black Bun prepared with roasted wheat, spinach extract, herbs and wholemeal flour; Red bun prepared with extract of Tomato and followed by white and multi grain bun. Served with the option of both veg and non veg I found the taste of the stuffing almost similar which is probably due to the taste of Peri Peri sauce. Peri Peri sauce is something used in abundant in Barcelos and they export different Variety of the sauce from their base in South Africa. In our table there were 4 types of sauces Mild Peri, Very Peri and Supa Peri and a Tangy lemon and I found Very Peri awesome!
Main course started with something really special; which is nothing but Grilled Trout Fish a signature Portuguese dish again where pan grilled trout fishalong with the sauce and a dip was served. Two options were provided as side; French fries and spicy rice. As confirmed by the manager the rice goes perfect with the fish however I liked it with fries . I found the dish average because of the moderate use of the spices and probably for the semi-doneness of the flesh which I am not sure a Portuguese characteristic or not! Rice was again average. However, the dish reminds me of my failed attempt of trout fishing in Himachal so for me it was worth trying!
Let me share my experience of the final dish serve with another common phrase “all well that ends well” as that was the best dish served on that day; the Barcelos’s famous "Peri Peri Chicken" where perfectly pan grilled chicken served with Peri Peri Sauce and the taste was amazing. Fortunately I was served with a big chunk (lucky me!) and enjoyed every bit of it! The chicken was perfectly cooked and covered with right amount os spices and the sauce. By the way since similar size pieces were not served I was cursed by a fellow blogger as I was showcasing my piece proudly.
Though we were full after having the dishes I mentioned but were expecting something sweet to end the lunch but nothing was served! Alas! And we ended with our precious glass of water which they forgot to serve initially! However, we were told about the dessert when we were ready to leave the restaurant and we didn’t mind much just because of the Peri Peri Chicken which helped the management for not getting cursed by us for not serving the dessert!
So loads of goodie point from me for presentation, food styling and obviously for the taste of Portuguese food and few minuses mostly for the mismanagement however, there is chance of improvement on nominal things given their strength is their food which matters at the end!