Test Driving Casa do Frango - Piri Piri chicken Algarve style in Southwark

casa do frango dining room

So what do we need to know about Casa Do Frango?

This Southwark restaurant is serving up Algarvian-style piri piri chicken cooked over a wood fire - they've even brought over Portuguese pitmaster, Lucidio da Fonseca Monteiro to London for the job.

Where is it?

Just around the corner from Borough Market on Southwark High Street (nearest tube is London Bridge) it takes over the top floor of an old engineering works (the downstairs floor is now home to the relocated Native restaurant). But really, nothing from the tiny entrance and rickety staircase leading up to the restaurant quite prepares you for how beautiful it is. With a vaulted glass ceiling, exposed brick walls and gorgeous wooden flooring it's a proper dining hall rather than room. It must be a fabulous place to have lunch in when it's flooded with light.

Where should we meet friends for a drink first?

You could do, as we did, and head to nearby Southwark cocktail bar Nine Lives for a cracking cocktail. Or, hold that for the hidden bar here (more of which later). Otherwise there's plenty of watering holes in nearby Borough Market to sort you out.

Where should we sit?

Smaller tables around the edge of the room work for couples and smaller groups, but the vast majority of diners take up position on the long communal tables spanning the room. This would be the most fun way to dine here - with a big group.

What's on the menu?

Your best bet would be to grab a load of the small plates to share before hitting the main event - the grilled chicken. That comes in halves, brushed with your choice of Piri Piri, oregano or lemon and garlic. And there are loads of sides to go with that.

Here's what we had.

whitebaitWhat's better than normal whitebait? How about Super Bock beer battered whitebait (£6) with a lot of smoked paprika aioli?

prawnsPrawns straight off the wood fired grill - with nothing more than a bit of white wine and garlic to finish them off (£8).

octopusriceOctopus rice with roast red pepper, garlic and charred lemon juice (£10). Our waiter urged us to order this. He was right. But it's pretty filling. 

chorizoObviously you're going to want the chorizo (£6) - especially when it comes with black olive mayo.

chickenHalf a Piri Piri chicken (£9) - does what it says on the tin, tasting of smoke and saltiness and a bit of heat too. Take that Nandos!

chickenshardriceChicken shard rice - the clue as to why you should get it is right there. Mind you - if you've already ordered the octopus rice, you don't really need this too. But it's only a fiver, so sod it.

tartThe dessert menu's pretty short, but really this is what you came for. They make their own Pastel de Nata in house and it comes with vanilla or coffee ice-cream for £5.

What about non meat-eaters

There's something you everyone here even if you aren't going for chicken. Pescatarians are particularly well catered for and vegetarians could opt for a dish of chargrilled Piri Piri cauliflower with pistachio and yoghurt as their main.

And to drink?

Our table was split on the wine we ordered. One thought it was a great example of an interesting vinho verde - the other found it pretty barnyard. So take your pick. Much better were the drinks in the 'secret' bar which you'll have to ask your waiter to show you. Here we had a simply cracking Pina Colada and the range of Mezcals is excellent too.

secretbarSeek out the 'secret' Green Room bar for a cracking cocktail after your dinner.


More about Casa do Frango

Where is it? 32 Southwark Street, SE1 1TU

How to book: They only take bookings for groups of six or more - email hello@casadofrango.co.uk

Find out more: Visit their website or follow them on Instagram @casadofrango_ldn


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