Other than half a chicken (medium) at Nandoâ€™s and Nuno Mendezâ€™ more exciting Taberna do Mercado in Spitalfields, Portuguese food isnâ€™t one of the cuisines that has rocketed to fame in recent years. It goes under the radar.
To open a small counter-only restaurant in Flat Iron Square, a newish food/booze/music space under some railway arches in SE1, is then a brave move. Itâ€™s paid off however as the place is always packed.
We arrive with no booking but luckily they manage to squueze us in. Service is a little slow in places but that is the only downside to our meal.
More familiar dishes like garlic prawns (Â£12), heirloom tomatoes (Â£5) and piri piri chicken wings (Â£5.50) show the kitchenâ€™s dedication to preparing simple, honest food using the best possible produce.
LeitÃ£o suckling pig (Â£13) may not be much of a looker but it certainly makes up for it in flavour. The meat is soft, sweet and subtle while homemade crisps bring texture. There is s rich meaty sauce and a wedge of orange – the two compliment each other brilliantly.
Croquetes de Alheira (Â£4) are far more Instagram-worthy if that is your thing. These little balls are filled with Portuguese sausage and are a must order.
We finish with another must: pastel de nata (Â£4.50), thatâ€™s custard tart to you and I. Here, it comes with cinnamon ice cream. The custard is so creamy, the pastry so crisp, I consider ordering another one. And then one to takeaway.
Flat Iron Square is certainly worth checking out if you havenâ€™t already; there is street food aplenty but restaurant-wise thereâ€™s also Lupins and Where the Pancakes Are too. But put Bar Douro to the top of your list.
Would we go back? Yes.