I’ve been to Portugal twice in my youth and have grown up with Portuguese food all my life. So naturally when I heard a new Portuguese restaurant was opening up just a 10-minute walk from where I live, I had to check it out.
Churrasco of Portugal in the Townline Road and King Street plaza is the authentic Portuguese experience. From the moment you walk in, your nose is filled with the aroma of frying meats and fish and the magnetic scent of sauce wafting through the air.
The dining space is quaint. The large windows let in ample natural light and modern music plays in the background.
Many classic Portuguese items are displayed for take-out options at the front counter.
As you settle in, the friendly staff serves a delightful starter of bread and olives in herb-infused olive oil. I recommend dipping that bread into the piri-piri sauce for a remarkable start to your meal.
No Portuguese restaurant is complete without its own piri-piri sauce. The sauce comes in two options: spicy and mild. The mild is flavourful and spicy. But be warned, if you are adventurous enough to try the sauce labelled “Spicy,” it will set your taste buds on fire.
On the menu was a Portuguese beer I had never tried, maybe because I was 14 the last time I went to the beautiful island country. Super Bock is a Portuguese ale and was a delicious compliment to the cuisine offered here.
When I went to Portugal, my favourite dish was bacalhau, a traditional Portuguese salted and dried codfish. So I had to try the bacalhau a casa at Churrassco of Portugal.
It’s a pan-fried and salted cod topped with a caramelized onion sauce and two sides.
It arrived with sides of rice and spicy round potatoes soaked in sauce. However, the latter was a tad firmer than expected. Nevertheless, the herby and mildly spicy rice served as an excellent palate cleanser between bites of succulent fish.
The best part of the meal was the bacalhau. Each forkful yields a generous fillet of cod, its juicy sea-infused meat perfectly complemented by the crispy, fried skin. The taste transported me right back to the coasts of Portugal.
My plate was filled abundantly and was honestly too much to eat in one sitting, I had to take it home. However, I might have filled up too much on the addicting piri-piri and bread combination.
One minor critique is the service; they could improve the frequency of check-ins for dine-in guests. However, the distance between the dining room, the front counter and the kitchen makes it easy to get the staff’s attention when required.
On your visit, don’t forget to try sumol. This Portuguese soda comes in a few different flavours, including passion fruit and orange, but my favourite is the pineapple sumol. It’s a nostalgic treat. Growing up, in my family, we called it “Portuguese Pop.”
I couldn’t claim to have reviewed the place without trying out their chouriço. So, I went back the next day to check it out.
Chouriço is a fermented, cured, smoked sausage that they bring to your table in a rack that’s on fire. The firm and juicy chouriço’s rich, smokey taste and crispy skin are an excellent appetizer for your family dining experience at Churrassco of Portugal.
My only other criticism was, again, not the food. During my second stay, the music was playing from the radio. Coming from a generation that uses streaming sites for everything, listening to commercials was not ideal.
Before you leave, be sure to check out the items in their fridge, where you can purchase sumol, chouriço, piri-piri sauce, and more to take home and savour a taste of Portugal whenever you like.
Finally, I tried the rice pudding. The combination of sweetness from the pudding and the naturally rich flavour of cinnamon complement each other perfectly. This was just like my grandmother’s rice pudding.
The first thing I did was text my Dad to let him know that he has to try this place, only to find out that he’s already a big fan.
In conclusion, Churrasco of Portugal in Oshawa offers an authentic Portuguese culinary journey that will satisfy your cravings for bold flavours and hearty dishes. Despite my few critiques, this easily has become my new favourite restaurant in the neighbourhood.