O Cantinho De Portugal, SW9 9TN

Portuguese cafe and restaurant in Brixton.

This part of Stockwell Road is a mini hub of the local Portuguese community, with a Portuguese bakery a couple of doors down, a Portuguese cafe almost directly opposite, and another a couple of hundred metres up the road towards Stockwell.

O Cantinho de Portugal itself is divided into two halves with different ambience, though there's free passage between the two. The right-hand side is casual and cafe-style, with varnished wooden tables, hoop-backed chairs, a couple of flatscreens, and a large display counter of sweet and savoury pastries such as custard tarts, veal patties, and coxinhas (chicken croquettes). Photos of Lisbon adorn the white-painted walls.

The other side ("Sala de Jantar", as proclaimed by a line of lettered tiles near the ceiling) is more formal, with tables ready-set with tablecloths, napkins, and wine glasses. The main menu concentrates on seafood (some of which you can see still moving under the bar counter) and meat (pork and beef).

Kake visited on a Thursday morning in May 2019. There were half a dozen other customers when I arrived around 10am. A talk show in Portuguese was playing on the radio, interspersed with music.

I had a couple of savouries from the counter: cod cake and shrimp patty (£1 each) photo. I was asked if I wanted them heated and said yes, and they were served at just the right temperature — warm but not scalding hot, and with the crisp coatings not compromised despite having been heated in a microwave.

The cod cake was pretty good, with a nice balance between the mashed potatoes and salt cod, well-controlled levels of salt, and a crisp, greaseless, barely-there coating of breadcrumbs. The shrimp patty had a much thicker coating, rather reminiscent of a Findus crispy pancake. This was filled with whole small prawns, quite soft and possibly bordering on undercooked (raw prawns are delicious, but rather surprising inside a deep-fried thing), and a thick orange sauce with a subtle flavour I couldn't quite identify.

Tea (£1.10) was made with a standard teabag, but served in a reasonable-sized teapot. The cup and saucer were ornately decorated with advertising for Camelo coffee.

Service was friendly. No service charge was added to the bill.

itsbruce's verdict: This place doesn't look like much from the outside but it is well worth a visit. I recommend the cod cooked in red wine (a particularly huge serving) and the many bacalhau dishes. For lunch, try the Pregos or Bifana (beef or pork steak with onions and a delicious sauce, served in a roll).

Kake's verdict: The cafe side is certainly a pleasant place to sit for a while with a cup of tea, and I'd like to come back and try the restaurant menu too.

Child-friendliness: There was a preschooler in during our May 2019 visit. They have at least two highchairs, the type with no tray and very little back support. There are nappy change facilities in the accessible toilet.

Accessibility: No steps to get in, and no steps to the toilets, including an accessible one. Access to the gents' and ladies' toilets is somewhat narrow access, though the ladies' cubicle is relatively spacious.

See also:

Last visited by Kake, May 2019. Opening hours taken from the O Cantinho De Portugal website, May 2019.
OS X co-ord: 530859 OS Y co-ord: 175916 (Latitude: 51.467089 Longitude: -0.117497)
Last edited 2019-05-26 15:12:05 (version 10; diff). List all versions.