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An authentic Afro-Portuguese restaurant with over 100 locations around the globe, Barcelos landed in Pakistan with its branches in Lahore and Multan. and the first one in Karachi this year. The restaurant specialises in Peri Peri Flame Grilled Chicken and is especially proud of its range of signature sauces imported all the way from South Africa. Most of its menu is authentic in keeping with the brand, but they have made some tweaks to suit the spice-loving Karachiite foodies. I ordered their chilli poppers, Skillet Cheese Fries, Signature Grilled Chicken in Tangy Lemon with grilled vegetables and Beef Mushroom Melt. To gulp it all down, I was recommended Portugese Lemonade, basically mint lemonade with a kick of chilli in it. I was skeptical about it since I never had a spiced drink with food before and I didn’t want it to catch my throat. But the spice is really subtle and doesn’t interfere with you enjoying the food unless you are opting for their hottest sauce. That’s not a good combination! A delicious filling and a hard crunchy coating is everything in peri bites; the chef nails both! I really enjoyed the coating as well as the juicy chicken and white sauce that oozes out as soon as you take a bite. I have been disappointed many times before at the solidified cheese topping on baked fries, but the fries at Barcelos formed enviable cheese strings as I served some on my plate. Apart from the crunchy and flavourful veggies in them, the fries didn’t lose their enjoyable softness and are tossed in a sweet chilli sauce. So if you are looking for one item that isn’t already hot, this is for you. The grilled chicken was the exact opposite of dry, something I was afraid of, but was moist and juicy from the inside with a slightly crispy char from the grill and a tangy chatpati coating from the sauce. In case you are wondering what the Mild Peri, Very Peri and Supa Peri taste like, the best way to describe them is that they have a chatpata, teekha achari taste and increased in hotness as you move from one to the other. The burger, though had amazingly soft and fresh bun and an enjoyable sauce and crunchy lettuce inside, had a disappointing thick beef patty. I found it to be too salty and lacking in any other seasoning.• 

Location: D-68, Clifton Block 7, Boat Basin, Karachi.
Average cost for 2: PKR 1,500 approx.


What can I say, if there are hoards of eateries around serving chilli poppers and grilled chicken, and Barcelos manages to stand out with theirs. It is a must-visit!


The space is cozy and comfortable; red and yellow coloured round seats and cushions give a personal feel to the experience. The lighting is also soft so as to not make the space too bright during the day. There is soft and soothing chirping sound to fill the atmosphere, which sometimes gets a tad bit loud.


The staff is extremely courteous, especially my server. He waited nearby almost throughout the meal and made sure to recommend and serve to the best of his knowledge and abilities, and with a big smile!


For most part there is good amount of thought and effort put into the presentation. The chilli poppers and the grilled chicken, however, could benefit from a few food styling techniques.


Considering the portion sizes being enough for a single person, the prices are light on the pocket as compared to other eateries. Barcelos also offers various all-day and lunch deals that are economical when you dine out with company.