Not every suburb can be characterised by the restaurants within it, but Petersham’s saturation of Portuguese restaurants has foodies queuing for a taste of Portugal.
Today, I’m at Petersham Charcoal Chicken. While the name may suggest that you’ll just find another Oporto style restaurant, they do offer much more than that.

Petersham Charcoal Chicken - Portuguese Cuisine Restaurant -

However, we’ve noticed that the char-grilled chicken and house-made piri piri sauce is all the takeaway queue wants.

Petersham Charcoal Chicken - Portuguese Cuisine Restaurant - long queues

The restaurant is deceptively big with tables huddled closely together. They’re simply dressed with just a paper placemat, unaligned forks and knives and a single napkin – it’s a casual fare with no tablecloth.
Zen and I share the bacalhau no tachinho ($23), which is oven cooked cod fish in a tomato sauce served in a terracotta dish. The texture of the cod is divine, and the sauce has a rustic appeal to it.

Petersham Charcoal Chicken - Portuguese Cuisine Restaurant - bacalhau no tachinho, oven cooked cod fish in a home made tomato sauce served in a terracotta dish with home style sliced potatoes, $23

I won’t deny that I’m a carb queen nor the fact that we order an additional side ($8) of these home-style sliced potato chips (even though they were already an accompaniment on the cod dish!).
The crispy deep-fried exterior of these thick cut slices hold together the thinnest layer of creamy potato on the inside. They’re absolutely scrumptious.

Petersham Charcoal Chicken - Portuguese Cuisine Restaurant - side dish of home-style sliced chips, $8

The amêijoas à bulhão pato ($18) is another classic Portuguese dish, consisting of clams in a white wine sauce. The clams are full of flavour, accentuated with the addition of garlic and coriander.

Petersham Charcoal Chicken - Portuguese Cuisine Restaurant - ameijoas a bulhao pato - clams in coriander, white wine and garlic, $18

And lastly we share the house specialty – the charcoal chicken ($9 for half or $18, whole). The chicken has been butterfly-cut and chargrilled in an iron cage over hot coals. The skin is beautifully charred and the meat is moist and tender. The piri piri sauce is both fragrant and punchy and is a worthy condiment for almost everything on the menu.

Petersham Charcoal Chicken - Portuguese Cuisine Restaurant - house specials - famous portuguese charcoal chicken with sauce, $9 half, $18 whole

For a hearty fuss-free feast, a stop by this Portuguese culinary institution is a must.
Petersham Charcoal Chicken
98 New Canterbury Rd, Petersham NSW
Phone: (02) 9560 2369


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Jennifer is the founding blogger of I Ate My Way Through (originally, Jenius.com.au). Growing up in the multicultural melting pot of Sydney’s Inner West as a second generation Australian (of Vietnamese refugee parents of Teochew Chinese ancestry), Jen has always had a deep curiosity about global cuisines, culinary heritage and the cultural assimilation of immigrants. For Jen and her family, food is always at the centre of all celebrations, life events and milestones. A lover of the finer things in life, as well as cheap eats, her blogging ethos is all about empowering and inspiring people to expand their culinary repertoire. When not running her two companies (she is also the Managing Director of The Bamboo Garden online marketing agency), Jen can be found exploring old-world charms at vintage markets and delving into local eats around the world. She has a weakness for fried chicken.
20 comments
stafford
stafford

I've lived in Petersham for about 1 year now, and quickly became familiar with Petersham Charcoal Chicken. It is easily the busiest shop on New Cantebury Road, and the queues often make it to the footpath. It is however, completely understandable. I've queued up for 30mins before just to get that sweet tasting chicken, or the delicious Hot Lover burger, and I'd happily queue it again; The food is just that damn good.

Jen
Jen

Thanks! Oooo yes - the sauce is finger licking good!

Jen
Jen

Make a booking to eat in & avoid queue ;)

Jen
Jen

Lucky you! Living down the road, you must have worked out the best time to go? The queue always looks endless...

Jen
Jen

I'm craving the chips now too :-\

Jen
Jen

Yes, bookings are recommended!

Jen
Jen

Hehe, yea, charcoal chicken with piri piri sauce (and chips) is the ultimate late night snack!

foodcreate
foodcreate

love Portuguese charcoal chicken..thank you for sharing look's delicious ...

Jen
Jen

They are aren't they? They're even better with piri-piri sauce!

Jen
Jen

I apply a similar theory when shopping. If I don't see it, I can't buy it. If only I could do the same with food...

Jen
Jen

It's a cute rustic restaurant if you look past the takeaway queue!

Food Blurb
Food Blurb

Those clams look great, but that thick peri-peri sauce looks amazing!

Tina
Tina

Whoa - good looking chippies!!!

Laura
Laura

I'd much rather make this at home, it'd also mean I'd skip those chips!

angie
angie

Great, you're making salivate! Always am scared of coming here because of the queues, might have to face it one day in the not too distant future.

Brodie Curnow
Brodie Curnow

I was just here on Friday! I love just living down the road! Their chicken is amazing, and those clams look pretty damn good too. I'm going to have to go back there, really soon.

FFichiban
FFichiban

Oohhh craving some cahrcoaled chicken so badly noow! Those home style chips also look delish

Portuguese Kitchen
Portuguese Kitchen

Looks delicious.I had the bacalhau dish several years ago & it was great. It's a great little place,really busy on the weekends.

Amy @ cookbookmaniac
Amy @ cookbookmaniac

gotta love portuguese charcoal chicken. damn that drumstick looks fine and delicious. you go tme craving for hot chili piri piri sauce! Woo!

Forager
Forager

Ooh the clams look so good - I've never eaten anything else but the charcoal chicken there!