Monday, 30 June 2014

Delicatessen Serrana - Stockwell

Finding a Portuguese café in London is easy, there are loads of them. Stockwell/Oval/Vauxhall is a well-established area for Portuguese immigrants and it has been the case for many years. In some ways it is the fact that this community is so well integrated into British culture that has made it harder to find a Portuguese breakfast on the menu. Most of the Portuguese cafes I found served a full English at breakfast time and nothing else, whilst converting to more traditional Lusitania dishes for lunch and dinner.

My first attempt at a Portuguese brekkie was a bit of a false start, I headed to the Porto FC supporters cafe in Clapham only to find it shut at 7.30 in the morning despite a sign on the door to the contrary. So I walked up the road to Stockwell, home to Delicatessen Serrana. It doesn't look like much from the outside but once you step through the door it feels like you are in a cross between someone's front room and an old fashioned 'general store' (it has something of the 'open all hours' feel to it). Portuguese goods are stacked up to the ceiling on all available wall spaces, from wine and port, to biscuits and even bottled water imported from the homeland! In the middle are tables and chairs for people dining in and lots of people were from young families before school and office workers, it was a nice relaxed atmosphere.
I started with what is known as a BICA coffee. It is a bit like an Italian espresso except a more bitter as it is made with Brazilian coffee beans. The name comes from the phrase 'Beba Isto Com Acucar' (drink with sugar) so that is exactly what I did!

For breakfast it was a ham and cheese pastry.  It had a tasty filling, but was a little dry I have to say I wasn't bowled over by it, but fried food first thing isn't the tradition in Portugal.

I was still a little hungry and there 'starring' at me from behind the counter was the Portuguese favourite ‘pastel de nata’ and I just couldn't resist. These little pastries are egg custard tarts and having tried some in Lisbon earlier this year I knew how good they could be. They make a fantastic morning treat, the custard was sweet and the perfect consistency and the pastry was crispy as it should be. It was almost, almost as good as a ‘Pastel de Belem’ and there is no higher praise than that.
The verdict
Family feel cafe that is a great spot for a pastel de nata or stocking up on Portuguese wine, but for a big brekkie maybe try somewhere else.  


No comments:

Post a Comment