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