This sizzling Portuguese joint is on the first floor of a large warehouse space just a few minutes from Borough Market (the ground floor houses foraged ingredients specialist Native). Casa do Frango’s focus on flame-licked chicken glazed with spicy piri piri sauce means that comparisons to Nandos are inevitable, but we’d suggest that Casa is in an entirely different league to every teenager’s favourite restaurant chain.
Firstly, the space is gorgeous, with a rustic vibe that brings the outside in via a giant skylight and greenery hanging from the ceiling. The menu is also far superior, kicking off with a run of small plates, which are large enough to enjoy as a single starter: highlights include deeply smoky charred chorizo dipped in a black olive mayo, and plump grilled prawns glazed with fiery piri piri.
The main act here is free-range half chicken grilled over wood charcoal then brushed with chilli sauce, and the result is a truly tasty and juicy barbecued chicken. You can bulk out your meal with the likes of batatas fritas (golden, oily chips) and a vibrant tomato salad. A cinnamon-dusted custard tart, washed down with Portuguese wines, is a perfectly indulgent end to the meal.
The restaurant was buzzing on our visit, and our only bugbear was that service felt rushed and it was distracting to be served by several different waiters throughout the evening. Nevertheless, Casa do Frango is a delicious casual option, and won’t cost you much more than a Nandos.