This was the second time I was attending a bloggers meet at Barcelos (Kolkata) over food tasting session. I missed the sizzler launch tasting session few months back for some unavoidable reasons. But this time it was tad different from the previous food tasting session which I attended, since here we dealt with Sangrias, something which very few can ignore! The Kolkata outlet of Barcelos has recently acquired their permanent liquor license. And they have decided to up their game by adding not one but twenty one new flavors of Sangria. I was privileged to be among the very few city bloggers who got a chance to preview this launch. We were shown the art of Sangria making and we tasted some of those awesome Sangrias which were freshly prepared right in front of us.
I have always loved Barcelos and with this recent launch they have given me enough reason to fall in love with this place, yet again. Today the modern Indian is well-read, well-traveled and therefore has the capability to appreciate the tastes of various global cuisines. And it has been kept in mind while launching the new food items this time. It has brought flavors from across the world starting from Spain to New Zealand to Brazil so that their patrons can get a global taste sitting right here in their city of joy! New additions to the food menu include dishes like Portuguese Corn Soup, Mozarella Cheese Cigar, Arenccini, Chicken Olivet, Herb Crusted Fish and Risotto with Grilled Salmon just to name a few. I will describe few of these dishes which I tasted at this tasting session, besides the amazing Sangrias which honestly impressed me loads!
But before moving on, let us recap some known facts about Barcelos quickly. As we all know, it is a South Africa-based restaurant chain that opened up its first outlet in Pretoria in 1993. They went on to franchise this business in the year 1998 and started spreading its wings and opened up outlets in 18 countries including South Africa, Canada, UK, Dubai, Lesotho, Botswana, Zambia, Mauritius, Singapore, Namibia, Ghana, Nigeria, India, etc. It has got nearly 153 restaurant outlets all over the world.
This Kolkata outlet of Barcelos is there in the Acropolis Mall, Kasba which is opposite the Chamber’s Mall and beside Gitanjali Stadium. This casual dining expert is eager to welcome you at the fourth floor, just above the mall food court. 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 or those newly introduced food items.
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. 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 with a glowing ‘Sangria Bar’ name board attached to it, huge wall paintings, dramatic yellow lighting and of course that red Smoking booth in there, everything seems to be just perfect!
Now coming to the newly introduced food items and some Sangria flavors that we tasted:
Sangria and cocktails:
Personally, I prefer the White wine Sangrias over Red wine ones, that’s my personal choice. Though here at this Sangria launch event, I tried both these variants and I really liked both of them. Besides the Sangria, we also tasted a Portuguese cocktail called Poncha Jura which was Vodka based drink and had the strong presence of cinnamon, ginger and pomegranate in it, which I absolutely loved!
After this cocktail we tasted three Sangrias, out of the 21 new flavors. I loved my Mint and Citrus Sangria, which was a white wine sangria with lime slices and mint sprigs in it, it was just so perfect, it had a bit of vodka in it as well just for that kick.
Also I tasted the Orange and Clove Sangria which was red wine sangria with fresh orange and hand-picked grapes, infused with dark rum and a hint of clove. You will surely love this one if you like red wine sangria! The third sangria which I tasted was Madeira Peach Sangria. This was again red wine sangria with fresh orange and pomegranate infused with a bit of vodka.
Out of those many new food items, I tried four of them during the event. I started off with the Portuguese Chicken Salad, with all those goodness of the fresh iceburg lettuce leaves. This is an authentic Portuguese salad made of lettuce, ripe cherry tomatoes, green pepper, olives, cucumber and onion, with a generous serving of tender chicken strips along with a vinaigrette dressing and topped with bits of feta cheese.
After the wonderful salad I tried the Herb Crusted Fish, where tender basa fish fillet was being used. I felt the fillet was tad thin and the outer coating of crumb mixed with herbs was still a bit soggy when it was served which can be corrected. It was served with French fried, coleslaw salad and a dip.
The third item I tried was really an awesome one! Yes, you it right, it was the Flame Grilled Chichen. The extremely succulent whole chicken leg was well marinated and grilled with a base of our house special peri peri sauces to perfection. The stuff is very flavorful and tender. It was served with potato wedges and salad.
Then I had the special Portuguese dish called Chicken Picantte. And I absolutely loved this unique dish. This was bread crumbed chicken breast stuffed with the finest cream cheese, feta cheese and whole sweet peppers grilled to perfection with house-special peri peri sauces. You won’t get this anywhere else in the city except Barcelos.
Overall, I really enjoyed this experience and I will surely recommend this place to my foodie friends who haven’t yet tried their new food items or the Sangrias. If you really wanna try out the new Flame grilled chicken or Chicken Picantte you have to visit this place since you won’t get these signature dishes anywhere else in Kolkata. 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. Thank you Barcelos for spreading the Portugese flavors and warmth from that glowing board of Galo de Barcelos in my city!
P.S. Thank you Candid Communications for the invitation.