The second London location for Casa do Frango (essentially, a posher, better Nando’s) finds its home in Shoreditch, tucked away in a discreet building just off Curtain Road.
If the original Casa do Frango in Borough is all about a rustic-chic, thrown together vibe, then this new Shoreditch site is definitely its sleeker, grown up sibling. Firstly, the space is much bigger and stretches across two levels, with a wine bar and bakery on the ground floor and the dining room on the first.
The interiors are also much swisher. The bar has a vintage feel, with plaster-washed walls, black and white tiled floors and house plants dotted around the place, while upstairs is a mix of dark wooden furniture and burnt orange banquettes.
The menu is pretty much identical to that of Borough, with the focus being flame-licked chicken brushed with spicy piri piri sauce. Our meal began with the sort of small plates that you could spend a warm afternoon grazing on; plump, sweet prawns still in their shells arrive floating in a pool of garlic sauce, while crisply coated empanadas conceal an earthy mix of kale and mushroom, offset by the sweet tinge of caramelised onion.
The only option for mains is a plate of half chicken brushed with piri piri, oregano or lemon and garlic. There aren’t many ways to describe good chicken apart from the clichés of ‘juicy’ and ‘succulent’ but the chicken at Casa do Frango is both of these things, as well as good value at £10 a plate. From the range of sides, our top picks are the Batatas Fritas (golden, oily fries) and the African rice, which is flecked with crispy chicken skin, smoky chorizo and plantain.
The cinnamon-dusted Pastel de Nata (a traditional Portuguese tart) is a must-order come dessert, oozing custard and boasting crispy charred edges. Amiable service and an intriguing list of Portuguese wines help to secure Casa do Frango as a chicken restaurant which certainly trumps its well-known, ‘cheeky’ competitor.