Fast food - Portuguese style

My friends who've had the opportunity of being welcomed to a Malagueira Family lunch joke that a small simple lunch (in my Mother's words) is actually enough to feed an army for a week. Invariably when my parents held a lunch or dinner party it was always a five course affair (even today my Mother is 84 and still cooks mammoth meals). Her speciality is traditional Portuguese fayre, she doesn't stray much into other cuisines except the odd Paella or curried cabbage, taught to her by a former Indian employer. But what she does is delicious, always using the freshest ingredients, she does not do tins or pre made food. She soaks her own beans, make fresh tomato sauce from the sweetest tomatoes, though she does just stop short of baking her own bread. You can see where my fascination for food and cooking comes from now I'm sure.

Whilst I was growing up Saturday's and Sundays were about family meals and baking. We would all sit at the table generally for most of the afternoon eating and chatting. A tradition I have continued with my own little family.

Portuguese food is mostly rather rustic, no frills or sauces. It is similar to the Spanish cuisine but relies much more on fresh fish and Bacalhau which is of course the National dish. I persuaded my Mother to take a break from the stove and we headed off to our local cafe. I'd spotted a menu for 5 Euros 50 for 3 courses. It is the best bakery/patisserie near my parents house so I hoped their lunches were as good as their bread and cakes. Though for the menial amount they charge you for a lunch one wouldn't really have the right to complain too much. You get what you pay for.

But, what a surprise. The menu is very simple you get a choice of 1 starter, 2 main courses and a choice of 3 deserts. We started with a fresh vegetable soup accompanied by their gorgeous ciabatta type rolls. Soup is always served at any meal in Portugal. This was followed by Suckling Pig (me) and swordfish and seafood pasta (my parents). The menu included a free drink too (including a small carafe of wine), a coffee and one of their divine puddings. The meal was rounded off with an expresso and by god was I full by the end. It was great home cooking at an extraordinary price. They certainly didn't scrimp on portions or quality of the food. Why can't we have this in the UK? 

The heavenly sweet puddings.

Cabinets full of pastries and cakes designed to force you to relent to gluttony!

That's my Daddy!

Mad cake decorations displayed in cabinets ready to go on the delicious Celebration cakes made on the premises.

If you find yourself in Corroios near Costa Da Caparica then do pay these guys a visit, not sure how good their English is but it's worth a go!


  1. My kind of place!

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