Chiado Restaurant & Wine Bar has quickly become a popular spot for those seeking authentic Portuguese fare. Named after a square in Lisbon, the eatery is owned by Sandra Robinson and her brother Jose Rocha, who have enlisted Ricardo Ferreira (ex-Quay and Uccello) to the work the pots and pans.
Chiado occupies the ground floor of an old terrace in Kellett Street. Seating in the courtyard makes for a good spot to bask in the sun during weekend breakfast and lunch service. Inside it's warm and cosy, with black tabletops and rich, red hues covering the walls.
It's best to start out with some petiscos (the Portuguese equivalent of tapas). Favas com chouriço arrives as soft broad beans topped with smoked chorizo and a slow-cooked poached egg. Açorda de gambas is a traditional, rustic and fragrant bread-based stew with prawns.
For mains, the leitão da bairrada (warm suckling pig terrine with sweet potato mash and garden vegetables) and the pork belly with roasted corn and chouriço (a Portuguese version of chorizo) mash are good winter warmers. Chiado's signature dish is the cataplana de marisco, a fish and seafood stew for two, cooked and served in a cataplana (a traditional Portuguese copper pot that looks like a large metallic clam).
Sweets include custard tarts, a Portuguese crème brûleé and the toucinho do céu, which translates to ‘heaven's bacon’. But there's no pork in sight – it's actually a sticky cake pudding.
As you would expect, they've got a snazzy Portuguese wine list. Particularly interesting are their vinho verde and port selections. They'll happily take you through the list and explain what's what. And it'll add up to some quality dining.