With places like Casa Amiga, A Tasca and Ophelia Mar, Portuguese seems to be a cuisine that’s increasingly well represented in our city. The menu for this place looked extremely broad and packed with interesting whatnots. What on earth, for example, was “Clam to Duck Bumblebee”? I was about to find out.
Having ordered that wondrous sounding dish to start, my main course had quite something to live up to. One of the dishes, Francesinha, came with a full paragraph of description – basically saying it was an amped-up croque monsieur – so sounded like the dish for me.
The very friendly owner seemed really pleased with my choices, so I hoped that signalled good news ahead.
The place is BYO for now. One of the very friendly fellow patrons offered me a glass for his bottle, but I foolishly declined.
The clam to duck bumblebee arrived looking much less absurd than I’d hoped. It was essentially a profuse portion of clams served with peppers and a tomato broth. The seasoning was quite high, but it was a really well prepared dish of very tasty clams. I enjoyed it, muchly.
The main course arrived looking…rather extraordinary. Essentially it was a croque madame with added steak and sausage filling, served in soupy tomato and beer sauce. It came with a side of good fries.
I’d been served something vaguely similar in Cuba many years ago on the occasion of my 28th birthday. The day after that, the Pope died. Hopefully this dish will have a less cataclysmic impact on the Catholic church.
It certainly made for entertaining eating, but the seasoning of the tomato sauce drifted into the overly salty. That was a shame as in its spectacular insanity it was a highly memorable dish.
So overall, O Canto Do Passarinho provided me with one of the most entertaining dining experiences of the year. A little restraint on the seasoning of the sauces would suit my palette better, but I was really charmed by the place. I look forward to future visits when I will explore other dishes on the menu. I’d recommend you give it a try.
Blythe scores O Canto Do Passarinho
3.5/5 for food
3.5/5 for presentation
4/5 for service
3.5/5 for setting
giving an overall 14.5/20
I ate: clam to duck bumblebee, Francesinha
I drank: water
I wore: striped shirt
Total bill: £19.50