Bela Vista, E13 9JU

Portuguese cafe and restaurant in Plaistow.

As well as Portuguese dishes, it does sandwiches, sweet and savoury pastries, and all-day English breakfasts. It's licensed, and has a couple of keg taps for draught lager. Tap water is provided in a dispenser on the service counter, with glasses out for people to help themselves.

Entry is into a tiled cafe area, with seats for 14 people at square wooden tables flanked by matching chairs. Beyond this is a large glass service counter with deli meats, desserts, pastries, and soft drinks. At the back is a small restaurant area, seating a further 16 people at tables ready-set with wine glasses. A patio at the front has a few plastic chairs and tables.

Kake visited on a Friday lunchtime in January 2017. There was just one other customer when I arrived around 12:15pm, but a couple more turned up while I was there. No music was playing, but a flatscreen in the cafe area was showing a Portuguese chat show with the sound on.

I ordered from the Portuguese menu, choosing peixe frito com arroz de tomate/Malandro (fried fish with tomato rice; £8) photo. It was pretty good; the batter was crisp and there wasn't too much of it, and the fish inside was very well-judged. My only reservation was that the batter was a little too salty for my taste. The rice was tasty, too, with plenty of tomato flavour, some well-cooked onions, and fresh herbs. A salad on the side was very fresh, and clear care had been taken over its preparation, with decoratively partially peeled cucumber.

Service was friendly and welcoming despite a slight language barrier (I know enough Portuguese to recognise dishes on a menu, but not enough to order them in complete sentences).

Kake's verdict: I'd like to come back and try more of the Portuguese dishes, and would also be interested to see what the atmosphere's like in the evenings.

Accessibility: A small but very steep portable ramp to get in. Space inside is very tight. Step to the ladies' (gents' not checked).

See also:

Last visited by Kake, January 2017. Opening hours taken from the Bela Vista Facebook page, January 2017.
OS X co-ord: 540939 OS Y co-ord: 182767 (Latitude: 51.525724 Longitude: 0.031883)
Last edited 2017-01-22 17:45:52 (version 1)