This meal didn't start out as a review, but as I purchase my favourite Portuguese Chicken Burger ($5.00) from this busy little shop in Petersham, I was reminded of why I drive past the chain stores like Nandos, Egalo and Oporto and head straight for Petersham Charcoal Chicken. The burger I took home to cut open for my now ridiculous levels of food photo documentation looked like this:
Now when a burger is that good, it's only natural that I develop a fascination about the noisy little back room where they do restaurant style food - as well as (of course) their wonderful Portuguese Style Chicken (whole $17.00, half $8.50). A second and quieter dining room is also available upstairs.
So I drag my dining companion there on a night off, to sample what turned out to be a superb sizzling bowl of perfectly cooked Garlic Prawns ($16)... we sit in the noisy atmospheric room of course, with a full view of the take-away area!
There are also great potatoes on the side, which can come in great French Fries or home style sliced or cubed potatoes. These are utilized in perhaps the most impressive dish - the House Special ($18.00), a heaving plate of perfectly cooked potatoes, clams, diced marinated chicken, pickles, olives and coriander. The clams blow me away - they have so much flavour, and they are so well cooked, they surpass any vongole clams I have tried before.
If you prefer the more traditional pork and clams as my dining companion did, order the Carne a Portuguesa ($17.00). Both of these dishes by the way were huge. We took at least half of each home in a foil container. We should have shared one serve, and just tossed a coin to decide between pork and clams or chicken and clams.
A waft of smoke in the air from the neighbouring table’s grand Espetada Bife ($22) aids our appetite, and gives me order envy. Unfortunately we arrived too late to order our own dripping skewer of meat. Something for another visit I guess...
There’s a small wine list that features both Australian and Portuguese wines all under $36 a bottle. For a great match with the food, why not sample a Portuguese wine like Monte Velho (bottle $29, 375ml $15) rather than pay the rather expensive $7/bottle corkage.
Or (as this story began) you can just stop by during the day for Sydney's best Portuguese Chicken Burger... and if you want a real treat, go grab Sydney's best Portuguese Tart from Sweet Belem across the road as well. If they're still warm from the oven, they are truly sublime.
Petersham Charcoal Chicken
98 New Canterbury Road, Petersham
Ph: (02) 9560 2369
35c New Canterbury Rd,Petersham
Ph: (02) 9572 6685