Petersham might be considered the heart of Sydney’s Portuguese community – but Diogo Ferreira is doing a good job of creating his own little Portugal in Clovelly.
He’s just reopened his cafe, formerly named Village on Cloey, as Tuga x Village. It’s kind of a hybrid of his Portuguese pastry business Tuga (only a couple of doors down) and the breezy cafe. Along with a name and concept change, Village has undergone a renovation, resulting in a beautifully bright, white-tiled space with a cornucopia of house-baked pastries spilling across the marble front counter, which takes up half the small room.
“It’s been seven years or so [since opening], and Village has evolved a fair bit,” Ferreira tells Broadsheet. “And I was like, ‘I need to give it a new identity’. I felt like a revamp was necessary, and I’ve got the perfect combination – let’s do another version of Tuga, [have them] creating together and collaborating.”
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While a vein of Portuguese influence has always run through Village, the new iteration leans even harder into the country’s dishes and flavours. You’ll find foods that Ferreira has added to his repertoire over many trips to Portugal, alongside perennial favourites including Village’s ever-popular bacon and egg roll on house-baked Turkish bread.
Ferreira is particularly passionate about the bolo do caco, a Madeiran sweet potato bread that’s cooked on a hot plate (a “caco” is a flat stone slab) It’s served in a bifana-inspired format: as a pulled-pork sandwich.
“Over years of travelling in Portugal, I’m constantly looking for something I haven’t seen before,” says Ferreira. “And I found this bread, it looks like an English muffin but it’s not an English muffin. It’s got this delicious texture, it melts in your mouth when you eat it. It’s perfect for sandwiches.”
Another Portuguese classic, torricado – chargrilled bread coated in olive oil with garlic and salt – is also a sure-fire hit. Toppings include sardines, chourico (Portuguese sausage) and an Aussie spin with avocado and soft feta. Peri peri chicken, arguably one of the most recognisable Portuguese dishes in Australia, has also made it to the menu.
Tuga’s popular almond croissant is available, as are danishes, Portuguese doughnuts (bolo de Berlim), and, of course, pasteis de nata (Portuguese tarts). A new set-up means you can order coffee at Tuga, then wander down to Village to collect it.
Beans for milk coffee are supplied by Single O, while filter – available in a self-serve tap – is made with a rotation of single-origin beans. Another new addition is orange juice.
“Portugal was named by the Arabs,” says Ferreira. “Portugal means ‘orange’ in Arabic. The reason they named Portugal [that] was because of the oranges they could get … oranges in Portugal are some of the juiciest.”
The renovation isn’t the last of Ferreira’s hard yakka this year. He’s in the process of turning a Marrickville warehouse into a flagship store and bakery, where most pastries and breads for Tuga in both Clovelly and Alexandria, as well as Village, will be baked.
Tuga x Village
231 Clovelly Road, Clovelly