Well, couple of months ago I was excited to even discover that Barcelos is all geared up to set its footprints in the city of joy, so the day when I was driving through the busy city traffic to attend a food tasting session at this place my excitements knew no bound 🙂 Barcelos, as we all know, is a South Africa-based restaurant chain that opened up its first outlet in Pretoria, South Africa in 1993. The use of secret spices and signature recipes mastered by the Portuguese hundreds of years ago made Barcelos’ flame grilled flavors very well accepted. So they went on to franchise this business in the year 1998.
|Interiors of Barcelos, Kolkata|
And thus Barcelos started spreading its wings and opened up outlets in 18 countries including South Africa, Canada, UK, Dubai, Lesotho, Botswana, Zambia, Mauritius, Singapore, Namibia, Mozambique, Ghana, Nigeria, Sudan, Oman, and in India. It has got nearly 153 restaurant outlets all over the world. And with its newest outlet in Kolkata it has made sure it reaches out to the food loving Kolkatans first, right after it has stepped into India with its Delhi outlets.
|Classy wooden finished wall|
As far as I know, Barcelos will have its presence in 10 metro cities of the country with more than 20 outlets in the next five years since they see India as one of the biggest opportunities to expand their brand. But before I move on to the food review let me just let you know why this place is called Barcelos. The restaurant chain is actually named ‘Barcelos’ after a quaint Portuguese town called Barcelos in the Braga district that is famous for an ancient legend of the well-known Barcelos rooster. Hence you can find that rooster in the logo of this restaurant chain. This famous rooster of Barcelos town is also called ‘Galo de Barcelos’ in Portuguese and it is one of the most common emblems of Portugal.
While you enter the place you will notice a covered outdoor seating on your right hand side which is unique to Barcelos. No other eatery in Acropolis mall has got this Al Fresco dining arrangement. But it’s only when you step inside this casual dining restaurant that you feel that you are at the right place and you can’t wait a moment to chomp those colorful signature mini burgers or those lip smacking peri peri grilled chickens. The overall ambiance is very robust yet very classy. It has got an overall woody and countryside feel to it where the flame grilled chicken and other stuffs fit in perfectly.
|Barcelos, Kolkata welcomes you with the molecular mocktails! – Berry Cucumber|
The optimally designed furniture along with comfy colorful couches reminds you the emphasis is mostly going to be on food and beverages. The world-class interiors with spacious seating are mostly taken to another level with the wooden finished walls, strategically fitted lights, wooden flooring, illuminated world map showing the presence of Barcelos across the globe, a perfect bar counter, huge wall paintings, dramatic yellow lighting and of course that red Smoking booth in there, everything seems to be just perfect!
|The red smoking booth|
We tried the molecular mocktails which were a visual treat when served and explicitly added much excitement and thrill to mark the onset of the amazing food journey at Barcelos. So pouring of liquid nitrogen while serving these drinks was common which resulted in releasing thick fumes which you can imagine to be ‘smoke’ covering the foodies and bloggers all around 🙂
|Tangy Mango – molecular mocktail|
a) Berry Cucumber – This drink was served first which had strawberry syrup with hint of cucumber, topped with orange juice and sprite. Refreshing indeed.
b) Tangy Mango – Oh I found this drink to be just perfect for the hot summer days, very refreshing with that little tangy kick. Even before I realized I finished off my tall glass of Tangy mango, in a jiffy! It had tangy mango puree mixed with spices which was topped with sprite and lastly garnished with a slice of mango.
d) Hey Rosey – This drink was served in a smaller round and curvy glass topped with crushed ice. It had rose syrup mixed with cardamom and rose water topped with sprite and garnished with rose petals. It was tad too rosy for my thorny palate! 🙂
|Peachy Iced Tea|
a) Peri Peri Paneer – The dish contained five sticks of ten cubes of marinated paneers grilled with onions, yellow, green and red bell peppers. The paneer was soft and tasted good but I felt the saltiness of the dish can be tad minimized to make it perfect.
|Peri Peri Paneer|
b) Grilled Orange with water melon salad – I really loved this salad and was quite pleased to get a fruit salad here since I was unaware about the presence of this salad in their menu. It had assorted lettuce, grilled orange and water melon with basil, honey balsamic dressing and finally garnished with some watermelon seeds. The juicy water melon and oranges are really refreshing to start your meal with.
|Grilled orange with water melon salad|
c) Arabic Mezze Platter – This is a veg dish having small bowls of peri hummus, yogurt dip, hummus, baba ganoush, tabouli, falafel, lavash and pita breads. The breads were warm and soft and went well along with the condiments provided. The baba ganoush was a blend of egg plant, tomatoes, onions tahina and spices that tasted really different and suited my palate perfectly.
|Arabic Mezze Platter|
d) Chicken Espetada – It is one hangling dish skewed with pieces or blocks of chicken breasts sandwiched between slices of bell peppers and onions with French fries. The chicken pieces looked awesome as the whole stuff was drenched in the thick gravy prepared with all the herbs and sauces. The overall dish tasted good though somehow it felt a bit salty but overall it’s something you can order for as your starters.
e) Mini Burgers (Chicken) – This platter contained four chicken burgers which were really meaty and amazingly colorful. This is one of their signature dishes with black, red, white and brown burgers line up in front of you along with a generous amount of potato wedges and a dip. Special mention for the wedges since they tasted amazing, exceeding all the expectations. As a matter of fact, I was informed that all these colored burgers are getting their colors organically i.e. from vegetables or spices and none of them are being colored artificially or using chemicals or colors. All the bergers were generously stuffed with grilled chicken in peri peri sauce along with lettuce, tomato, peri mayo, pickled cucumber, jalapeno, etc. I loved the black and the red burgers most and infact all the four were really well prepared and one should go for this platter of mini burgers to get a quick burger fix.
|Chicken Mini burgers|
f) Peri Peri Grilled Chicken – We were served a full peri peri grilled chicken which was the dish I was waiting for so long. The chicken seemed to be very well marinated and grilled to perfection along with their signature sauces. It tasted very herbaceous, juicy and honest. You should team it up with couple of Peri Peri sauces which are available on your table to make it tad more spicy and scrumptious.
|Peri Peri Grilled Chicken|
Since I was in a hurry and had to rush to another place, I had to skip the desserts, so guess I’ve to be back pretty soon to try them out 🙂
|Hopefully the Iced tea can make me look good!|
And yes, here all my pics were clicked by my dear friend Arghyadeep Jana who is really good behind the lens, special thanks buddy!
Overall I really enjoyed this experience and I will surely recommend this place to my foodie friends who are a bit skeptical maybe. If you really wanna try out the peri peri grilled chicken you have to visit this place since you won’t get this signature dish anywhere else in the city. Barcelos with its roots in culture, tradition and history offers a healthy, relaxed and convenient casual dining experience for a range of masses with diversified palate. I loved this unique food tasting experience at Barcelos and I am glad that now I can sample the magic of that spicy flame grilled chicken right here in my city. With my arms open I welcome the glowing board of Galo de Barcelos to my city! Hope you guys do well and keep us glued to the magic of these authentic Portuguese flavors.