Casa Do Frango has already garnered a cult following in London Bridge and Shoreditch with their delectable Portuguese cuisine, and earlier this month (on October 14, 2022, to be exact), they launched their newest outpost to the West End. Casa do Frango co-founder Marco Mendes, commented: “I am incredibly proud to bring the heritage, cuisine, and hospitality of the Algarve, my home, to a new neighbourhood.”
The restaurant, which also boasts a terrace, bar, and two private dining areas downstairs, sits as a beacon at the very end of the almost hidden Heddon Street, beckoning in those who are hungry and in need of a hearty meal (and delicious cocktail or three). We took a visit and here’s what we thought.
The food at Casa Do Frango Heddon Street
As soon as we entered the restaurant, we were warmly welcomed by friendly staff who, despite our very early arrival, were very accommodating and found us a spot to rest our wary legs and calm our frazzled nerves after facing Oxford Street on a bustling evening. The venue itself gives off true holiday vibes – think intricate tiles, terracotta accents and lush indoor plants – and we noticed it attracted various diners, from romantic dates to those enjoying a post-work meal with colleagues.
The menu at Casa Do Frango Heddon Street is succinct, but perfectly so, highlighting key dishes from southern Portuguese cuisine. Sharing plates are the name of the game here, alongside servings of the restaurant’s signature Algarvian piri piri chicken. A half chicken brushed with a secret piri piri recipe, the dish honours co-founder Mendes’ upbringing in the Algarve; the meat was so tender, it practically slid off the bone. Soft, tender, juicy meat is clearly the restaurant’s speciality, as the salted cod of the zesty bacalhau fritters practically melted in our mouths, and the piri piri garlic prawns were incredibly juicy – so juicy in fact, one practically exploded when we were removing the head. Worth it though.
While chorizo may not be known as a tender meat, it is packed full of flavour; the grilled chorizo at Casa Do Frango did not disappoint. Served with homemade black olive mayo, the chorizo packs a punch with a nice level of spice and a great smokey taste.
Alongside our sharing dishes, we enjoyed a side of African rice. However, this was not just side order material: it was a main dish in itself. The flavours of the rice were incredible. The sweet tones of the Portuguese Carolino rice were elevated by chunks of plantain, while the deeper flavours shined too, thanks to the chorizo. As a fried chicken fiend myself, the slices of crispy chicken skin were a jewel in an already glistening crown; not only do they add variation of texture (think ‘cracking with a pork roast dinner’ vibes), but visually, they add to the overall presentation too. If you’re not a meat eater, don’t you worry, Casa Do Frango have a vegan version of this epic dish: green rice.
Casa Do Frango Heddon Street offers a whole host of authentic Portuguese desserts and pastries to round off your meal. You may be familiar with the much loved Portuguese custard tart pastel de nata – which you can, of course, order here – but there are so many other options too, all made fresh in-house. Our favourite was the bolo de bolacha, a traditional trifle-style biscuit cake, which tasted almost like toffee popcorn. It would satisfy those with even the sweetest of sweet tooths (sweet teeth? This writer isn’t sure…)
Whether you pull up a stool in the downstairs speakeasy bar The Green Room, or just enjoy a drink with your meal upstairs, the beverages here are rather impressive. For starters, Casa Do Frango offer an all-Portuguese wine list, championing vinos from different Portuguese regions. They also boast their own vinho verde (so-called ‘green wine’ for its eco credentials), created in collaboration with Portuguese vineyard Quinta de Santiago. Beer, soft drinks and cocktails are also on offer. We strongly recommend trying their caipirinha, which balances sharp and sweet flavours very well (and has a good kick to it), their sweet sangria to maintain the holiday vibes, or their signature white port and tonic, which is rather refreshing.
Casa Do Frango Heddon Street is the brand’s largest site to date, and marks their continued growth through the capital’s neighbourhoods. The food is flavoursome, the menu is well priced, and the service is exemplary; we can’t wait to return. Or perhaps we’ll head to another of their venues: Casa Do Frango Victoria (opening in 2023), we’ve got our eyes on you…