Barcelos, a South Africa based restaurant was launched in February this year to tickle the Indian palate with its brand of world-class peri-peri flavored, flame grilled delicacies. After successful debut in Oman, Barcelos made its India entry with its first outlet in the bustling capital of the country, Delhi known for its colorful foodie culture. The restaurant has come up in the heart of the city in the upscale and well-visited posh area of Khan Market.
Barcelos is named after a quaint Portuguese town that is famous for an ancient legend of the Barcelos rooster.
According to the 17th century legend, a pilgrim seeking food and water in Barcelos, was accused of stealing from a landowner. The pilgrim was sentenced to hang despite his protests of innocence. In a last minute appeal to the judge, who was enjoying a roasted rooster for dinner at the time, the pilgrim boldly stated, “If I am innocent, then that rooster will get up and crow!” Suddenly, a gorgeous scarlet-plumed cockerel rose from the plate, crowing loudly.
The man was acquitted of course !
Barcelos, which started off in 1993 in Pretoria, has presence in 17 countries with 120 outlets.
“The eatery marked the 17th country opening for Barcelos. The company sees India as one of the biggest opportunities to establish and expand its brand. Barcelos plans to have its presence in 10 metro cities of the country with more than 20 outlets in the next five years.
The casual dining specialists have introduced a menu concentrating on authentic Portuguese flavours, catering to a predominantly vegetarian segment, which would cover about 40 percent of the incoming footfalls.
The Indian palate has traditionally moved towards more chilly and spicy flavors and the Barcelos flame-grilled, peri-peri offering brings out the ‘best-in-class’ spicy fare that would naturally tickle the Indian taste buds.
“We are very confident that with a combination of superior service from South Africa with the blend of peri-peri flavors, we will bring to the Indian customer, a world-class casual dining experience. With a growing awareness towards tasteful yet healthy dining, we at Barcelos, aim to focus on the health and nutritional aspects of food, apart from the tastes and flavors.”Rohit Malhotra, GM Operations, Barcelos, said.
India is a growing market where consumer preference keeps changing. People of India are now more educated about hygiene and healthy foods. The consumer is more aware about the nutritional value of a product, before purchasing it. In today’s day and age, the gen-next is much more aware of brands than before and is more focussed on the health and fitness aspects. This is where Barcelos, as a casual-dining healthy eatery presents a great option for the health conscious Indian youth, to look at healthy and nutritious food avoiding saturated fats like oils and butter, with virtually no adverse affect on taste.
Vegetarian dishes on the menu include Peri-Peri Paneer, salads like avocado-pesto, and Portuguese specialities such ascataplana,trinchadoandpicanttebesides other signature dishes. Chicken and fish loyalists are not forgotten in the menu which is vast but neatly divided between Appetisers, Dips and Salads, Shareables, Portuguese Perfections, World’s Healthiest Burgers and so on.
If you happen to be in Khan Market, hop over to Barcelos and try some Peri-Peri Chicken with a choice of tangy lemon, mild peri, veri peri and supa peri sauce. Spicy and succulent, it’s as good a Peri-Peri Chicken as can be. The vegetarian Espetada or skewers of mushrooms stuffed with feta and cottage cheese are also worth a try.
Done in tones of green and brown with wooden flooring on two levels, Barcelos portrays a chic yet warm and casual feel. Furnished with plants and bright paintings from African Artists, it is ideal for youngsters as well as family groups.The world maps on the walls imparts an old world charm to the whole place.
We, TWCI-The Writers Collective of India was invited to the outlet today for the launch of the most innovative Black Burger. Barcelos, used a variety of food colors made with organic natural ingredients like spinach etc. ( trade secret) in sizeable proportions to bring out its unique variant . “Somebody had to introduce it here and we did it,” said Rohit Malhotra, the GM , Barcelos India. “It is very beautiful to look at and during our introductory tasting session, people loved it. And yes it’s really, a very good Burger.
As per my foodie analysis, this innovation has more to do with the cosmetics of the product. This is a good change by breaking the monotony from the regular brown burger. The Black Bun with white sesame seeds is awesome, soft melt in the mouth with nice and earthy flavor, the marinated chicken breast inside is succulent with grilled aubergine (eggplant) slices to make it creamier. I loved it thoroughly…… The vegetarian counterpart is also available.
We also tried the himalayan trout, a cold water wish which they specially source fresh every couple of days. It was grilled to perfection with nice flavors of peri peri sauce as per our requirement. though you can add ass much chilly as you want on the table. The chicken platter which has wings, drumsticks etc. and a garlic bun with chicken livers in their different sauces was also good but a little too sour to my pallete.
I recommend Barcelos though, since the rooster crows in your city and its the only restaurant which serves authentic Portuguese flavors and yes African too…. If out of Delhi, keep an eye out for it – Barcelos has plans to expand into other cities over the next couple of years.
Barcelos 57, Khan Market Timings :11 am-11 pm Phone : 011 4350 5270 Cost of a meal for two: Rs 1,200 – Rs 1,500.