Barcelos, the famed South African eatery has entered Indian market with its first outlet in Khan Market last month. India is the 18th country where it will serve peri-peri flavored flame grilled rooster. Barcelos started its journey from Pretoria, South Africa in the year 1993 and has its foot prints in 17 countries with 120 eateries in the African continent, Canada, UK, Singapore and the Middle East.
The name Barcelos has come from a small town in Portugal has a tale to share . The legend which dates back to the 17th century goes like this. A pilgrim was passing through the village of Barcelos in Portugal seeking food and water where he was wrongly accused of theft. This was a serious charge for which a guilty was sentenced for death penalty. The pilgrim was brought before the town’s judge, who was about to eat a roast rooster for dinner. Feeling vulnerable, the pilgrim pleaded: “If I am innocent, may that rooster get up and crow!” Suddenly, the rooster got up and crowed heartily. With that, the pilgrim was pardoned and allowed to go on his way.
Ever since, the Barcelos rooster has been a symbol of faith, justice and good fortune and the town’s shops and streets are decorated with colourful ceramic roosters, and it is still a place to have a leisurely and hearty meal or a slow cup of coffee.
The origin of the famed peri-peri flavor marinade recipe used for Barcelos cannot be traced. Barcelos has come up with exclusive menu for Indian market which has 40% vegetarian dishes. India is the only market where it is serving fish, Himalayan Trout fish marinated and grilled with peri-peri sauce. Barcelos Chickens are marinated for 24 hours using the finest quality ingredients and then flame grilled to absolute perfection.
While it is a South African casual dining chain but it serves Afro-Portuguese cuisine. Portuguese use wide variety of spices in their food like chilli peppers and black pepper, cinnamon, vanilla and saffron. This is probably because of its colonies in Africa & India. The peri-peri chilli which is the heart of Afro-Portuguese cuisine is an African Bird’s Eye Chilli that grows in Uganda, Malawi, South Africa, Ghana, Nigeria, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, the tropical forests of South Sudan & the highlands of Ethiopia. Peri-peri or piri-piri in Swahili language means ‘pepper pepper’. Portuguese carried this chilli with them to their colonies. But at Barcelos, they use the sauce made from African Bird’s Eye Chilli grown in native south-east African terroir’. The heat of a chilli depends on the amount of capsaicin it contains. Capsaicin is the hot stuff that gives chillies their bite and African Bird’s Eye chilli has a lot of it.
We enjoyed the peri-peri rooster during the pre-opening tasting session and fell in love with the flavours. And the best thing is that one can choose from four types of sauces as per their taste. We hope that Afro-Portuguese flavor will reach to more Indian cities as both Nando’s & Barcelos (planning 20 outlets in 5 years) are looking to expand deeper in the country.
Phone – 011 33105219
Shop 57, Khan Market, New Delhi
Disclaimer – This review was done on an invitation from the establishment. Views expressed in the review is entirely ours and without any bias. Pictures of the dishes are not the standard portions, they are sample portions.