Brazas, 45 Tulse Hill, London SW2 2TJ,
Tel: 020 8678 0697
Recently myself and a couple of local mates took the short walk from the hubbub of central Brixton to check out Brazas, a family-run restaurant located on the edge of Tulse Hill.
Met by a deli counter and buzzing kitchen grill, Brazas may’ve got our noses working overtime, but it didn’t feel like a restaurant until we pushed our way past the displayed cheesecakes, to the more minimal gastro pub-type room at the back.
Even after eating there, I still struggle to label the type of cuisine on offer at Brazas. Their website states that it’s Portuguese with British influences, but when I scanned the menu there was an alarming range of styles, including stroganoffs, tagines and risottos. I’m always a little wary when I see menus with such diverse arrays of cuisine and feel in most cases it’s better to spend the efforts doing one style well, rather than cover a lot.
For starters we shared the chargrilled sardine fillets. This was served on ciabatta with a salsa on top, and was amazingly good. I think the fish might have been lightly cured, which resulted in a firm but flaky texture and lots of flavour with the salsa topping complimenting the overall dish perfectly, and the ciabatta adding texture and crunch.
For my main I chose the chargrilled piri-piri free-range chicken with Brazas salsa, salad and fries. I’d say it was definitely a few levels up from the mass-produced Nandos, and with its home-made piri-piri sauce it most certainly packed a punch. Needless to say, if Brazas would like to hand their recipe over, I’d gladly receive it.
My companions chose the lamb shank in red wine gravy, which was accompanied with spinach and mash, and the courgette frittata with feta, spinach and an avocado salad. The friend with the lamb shank was happy with his main, it was hearty and comforting with a sticky and flavoursome gravy, but the other friend was not so happy with their frittata. Having stuck my fork in, I felt that the frittata was bland and overcooked, making it dry, and the jus that it was served in had an overpowering orange zest.
We shared a chocolate and baileys cheesecake, which could have done with a tad more baileys as I couldn’t really taste it, but regardless of that small quibble, we polished it off in no time and were very happy with our selection.
Overall we ate well with very friendly service. Surprisingly the dish that stood out for me the most was the cheesecake. If you don’t fancy dining in, Brazas offer a take-away service too.
Meal for three including one bottle of wine came to £62.
Natasha Miles blogs at Food I Fancy.