I wasn’t even planning to go out for lunch this Sunday, but as we were waking up we receive a call from a friend inviting us for lunch. We both agreed immediately to go to the Portuguese restaurant, and for us that means “A Toca” in Vauxhall.
Things you need to know when visiting a Portuguese restaurant regardless of where you are in the world:
* You’ll be eating a lot, so make sure you don’t have a big breakfast, or better no breakfast at all except for your morning coffee / tea
* It’s also highly likely that you won’t be hungry for dinner either – so don’t book any dinners afterwards
* You may want to try one of the 365 cod-dishes. I’m sure you’ll find more than 1 dish available on the same menu
So after my morning capuccino I’ve started to try and prepare myself for lunch. We’ve booked lunch for 13h30. It’s Sunday after all.
It’s very easy to reach this restaurant, as it’s precisely in the middle of both Vauxhall and Stockwell stations. We normally use the train to Vauxhall.
As soon as you get in you’ll have bread on the table, fresh cheese and sardine or tuna pate. And ahhh some olives and portuguese olive oil.
The wine is quite cheap here, but as our friends don’t drink alcohol I went for a soda drink (pineapple). Then while we were waiting for them, I’ve ordered melon with prosciutto. This is quite a popular starter in portugal, we love it specially in summer time. I love it all seasons to be honest, although the portion of melon this time was quite “shy”.
This is how it’s normally served in Portugal
Then I went for one of the specials of the day: Octopus with tomato sauce and some peppers
It was nice, but I prefer the traditional “Polvo a lagareiro” – Octopus grilled in the oven with “smashed” potatoes and lots of olive oil and fresh garlic.
He went for the traditional bacalhau a bras (cod fish baked in egg and fries). It’s soooo good. It’s one of my favourite as well
You need to make sure you save some space for desserts. Here’s the menu. They have some ice cream options inside, but the first page covers the traditional ones (some of them! after all for each city or even village in Portugal there is a special sweet or desserts)
My favourites are Baba de camelo (his favourite as well – this is basically a caramel mousse), leite creme (creme brulee), Bolo de bolacha (Maria-cookies cake with coffee), Chocolate mousse, Rice pudding and finally Molotov (which I can’t even describe).
Then you need to finish your meal with an espresso and a liquor. This time we only had the coffees:
I felt like rolling at this point! So much food and so tasty too. We’ve paid £21 for each, that’s right £21 for starters, main, desserts and coffees in London! Brilliant isn’t it?
I won’t be having any dinner today, that’s for sure!!!
What’s your favourite cuisine in London? Any advise for me? Next weekend I’m going for some Dim Sum with a friend, and I’m already in countdown mode as I’m sure it will be delicious! Love asian food 😀
Wish you all a great week ahead