When I heard that the South African casual dining restaurant chain, Barcelos, has opened its first outlet in India, I was pretty excited to see what it was all about. And the fact that they were having a Sangria and Black Burger festival was enough temptation for me to try it.
Plot No 57, Rabindra Nagar, New Delhi – 110003
It is located in the Middle Lane of Khan Market
Weekdays: 11:00 am to11:00 pm
Sat & Sun: 11:00 am to 11:50pm
Seating and Parking
Seating is ample, yet a slow turnaround entails waiting for about 20 minutes.
There's a provision for parking at the street and in the main market.
Barcelos India conforms to the standard decor they have all over the world. The chain started in 1998 and is named after a quaint town in Portugal famous for a legend about a dead rooster that sprang back to life. The setting of the restaurant is rustic and casual, and I wish the tables were not so large because you really need to be loud to be heard across. The place was well lit, but somehow it seemed little messy to me. The ambiance and mood was also off-putting as laborers kept on trudging in with beer cartons. On pointing out the distraction, the manager said that there was no separate service entry and the vendor had just sent the stuff. Now that's a big no-no for me! Better time management is expected from them.
The waiters were helpful but slightly confused when it comes to executing orders. Considering that this outlet has been operational for a few months now, I expected a little more professional treatment. Located in the center of Delhi's style hub, the staff can do with being little more natty and fluent.
A meal for two including a drink and a dessert sets you back by about Rs. 2000.
Sangria – Since the Sangria Festival was on, I tried the Caribbean one that had white wine, rum, pineapple juice, and fruit bits. It was pleasant but lacked the wow punch.
Pear and Chicken Salad – I was excited to see the combination of pears, walnuts, and lettuce on the menu but the squiggles of honey on the top were disappointing and the salad lacked crispiness and flavor.
Black Burger – Black burgers were introduced in Japan in 2012 as a novelty, and that too, for a limited time. McDonald's also had a stint with them once. To color the bun and patty black, bamboo charcoal and squid ink were used. Barcelos has brought this novelty to India and it claims to use secret herbs and organic ingredients as the colorant. It looks exotic, little wild if you please, but a burger is a burger is a burger, period. It doesn't catch my fancy until it's really great, and this one is definitely not. This burger, since it had a flame-grilled peri peri chicken breast instead of a patty, was definitely easier on heart,but didn't do much to the palate. It isn't bad but not worth trying again.
Garlic Fish with Rice – The fish was decently cooked but the rice was bad and flavorless, and slightly undercooked too. The grilled vegetables, too, were cooked in the same peri peri sauce.
The tangy and chilli flavor in fish, chicken, vegetables, and rice suddenly made me feel as if I'm in peri peri hell.
Tiramisu - Thank God for the tiramisu. Perfect sponge, layers, coffee and mascarpone served at the right chilled temperature. I was transported from fiery hell to sweet heaven. I am always tempted to try tiramisu if it is on the menu, and this one, surely, was the only redeeming part of the meal.
Barcelos considers peri peri, Portuguese flavors, and sauces as their USP. However, the sauces and flavors are monotonous and not addictive at all. They need to be contrasted with other flavors to tease my palate. The management also needs to pull up their socks, work on their staff and ambiance before they get left behind in the Indian market.
Published On: Monday, August 31st, 2015