A little bit of Portugal in Covent Garden, Canela with its menu of regional specialities and modern plates will certainly whet your appetite for a summer trip to the Algarve. The venue’s former incarnation, Canela Café has been around for over a decade but now, owners Suzanna Pascoal and Suki Lam have given it a massive refurb and extension.
Everything from food to fittings has been painstakingly sourced with 1950s light fittings, gleaming marble, speciality cheeses and rare, boutique local wines. The overall feel is light and elegant, with teal blue wood panelling, high ceilings and original marble topped tables – a wall adorned with old wireless radios adding an eclectic touch.
Each dish has been developed from original recipes and family favourites; the menu is divided into small ‘Petisco’ plates and platters alongside larger mains. Small plates include Alheira Mini Burgers with quail eggs and Squid Boat with chorizo, peppers, spiced tomatoes while larger ones feature Creamy Black Rice With Prawns dressed in olive oil and fresh herbs and Bacalhau à Bras – that’s a traditional Portuguese mix of salt cod, potatoes and eggs.
On the dessert menu is ‘Romeo & Juliet’ made from goiabada (guava to the uninitiated) and mascarpone cheese. We never thought of a guava as particularly romantic but there you go.