Silvas Portuguese Restaurant in Little Portugual
Silvas Portuguese Restaurant in Little Portugual

chicken chili portuguese rump steak skewer stick theatrical salt cod chorizo tart

Pizzaboy and I had been looking to dine at a portuguese restaurant for a long time and for some strange reason I always thought that Little Portugual at Petersham was a little too hard to get to. It turned out that it was within walking distance from Petersham station and the cluster of Portuguese shops wasn’t too long either.

chicken chili portuguese rump steak skewer stick theatrical salt cod chorizo tart

Take away bar

Silva’s was easy to spot being on the main corner of Little Portugual and from the outside it looked quite charming. We enter the premises through a side door and I think we could be forgiven in thinking that we had just stepped into the local tuckshop.

chicken chili portuguese rump steak skewer stick theatrical salt cod chorizo tart

Traditional Portuguese Charcoal Chicken

The takeaway bar was not the reason for our visit tonight, but the sight of freshly barbecued portuguese chickens in the display glass was enough to warrant a huge jaw drop from Pizzaboy and myself.

chicken chili portuguese rump steak skewer stick theatrical salt cod chorizo tart

Just over the partition next to the take away bar is the warm wooden dining area. There is a large mural of the owners hometown, Madeira, across the main wall. It all adds to the cosy and inviting atmosphere of this family run restaurant.

chicken chili portuguese rump steak skewer stick theatrical salt cod chorizo tart

Chorizo with pickled vegetables $12.90

We take a lot of time to order and settle on the chorizo with pickled vegetables for the entree. The chorizo was wonderfully fragrant and delicious. The sausages are sliced and then char-grilled. The lightly pickled vegetables were surprisingly moreish. They complimented the sausages really well, it could have been far to rich without them.

chicken chili portuguese rump steak skewer stick theatrical salt cod chorizo tart

Espetada a Madeirense $26.90

We order the Espetada a Madeirense expecting the conventional skewer of perfectly cooked beef. What we got were slabs of aged rump steak carnivorously stabbed through with a sword-like skewer and hung over our table with a piece of bread at the bottom to catch the drippings.

chicken chili portuguese rump steak skewer stick theatrical salt cod chorizo tart

The steaks were succulent and full of meaty goodness. We take great joy in pulling the meat off the skewer and Pizzaboy is tempted to demonstrate his swashbuckling sword skills after we finish devouring the perfectly char-grilled steaks.

ps. eat the bread at the bottom with all the drippings. It’s gold!

chicken chili portuguese rump steak skewer stick theatrical salt cod chorizo tart

The side salad was bursting with freshness. This was the ideal accompaniment to the rump steak. All that meat and no vegetables would make me feel like a slab of meat myself!

The portuguese are known for their Salted Cod dishes. I have never eaten it before, so I was keen on ordering it. There were three different types to choose from and I was lured towards the Bacalhau Lagareiro by the mention of a squashed potato in garlic and olive oil.

Sadly, the dish was not a standout. The salted cod was average and nothing to write about. However the roasted squashed potatoes were amazing. I virtually doused the potato in the garlic and olive oil. It was so good!

Guida, the owner, comes around and asks how our meal is going. I tell her that I am disappointed by the salted cod and she mentions that she doesn’t really like it herself and that it is an acquired taste.

chicken chili portuguese rump steak skewer stick theatrical salt cod chorizo tart

Our tummys were full to the brim and we could barely fit another mouthful of anything. However, it didn’t feel right to visit a portuguese restaurant and not order a portuguese tart. Pizzaboy and I agree to share one. The portuguese tart is served very warm and the custard is almost oozing out from the pastry from the first bite. It is sweet, fragrant and so much more richer than the portuguese tarts I’ve eaten in the past. Guida tells me that the portuguese usually eat it warm. I never should have suggested to share this one with Pizzaboy.

The verdict
The restaurant does brisk business through their takeaway section. There are people lining up for the charcoal chicken and the restaurant is at capacity by time we leave. I think I saw some people being turned away because they did not have reservations. I am definitely coming back for another round of the steaks on swords and perhaps their charcoal chicken.

Guida also tells me that Nhut Huynh of RQ Restaurant, is a regular customer. He gave her a signed copy of his cookbook Little Vietnam as a thank you.

Shop 1, 82-86 New Canterbury Rd
Petersham 2049 NSW
Phone: (02) 9572 9911

Opening Times
Tuesday to Sunday – 11am-9pm
Bookings essential

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  1. Maria

    Mmmm I love chorizos, and that meat, boy it looks so good! AND I need to try one of their Portuguese tarts!!

  2. Richard Elliot

    Oohhh, I’d love to go back to Petersham to try some Portuguese food.

  3. Rhonda (thedaintybaker)

    Oh My! I love Portuguese chicken but I’ve never had Portuguese Steak! … sounds like a good find! 🙂

  4. sweetlife

    you and pizzaboy always seem to find great little places, great pics


  5. JT @areyouhungary

    Steak on swords sounds and looks amazing. I have friends that live around the corner…sounds like its time for a visit!!

  6. Lisa @ bakebikeblog

    Oh my – Portugese food when done well is oh so tasty!

  7. grace

    oh, the saturated bread at the bottom is the best part!! nice find. 🙂

  8. monica

    Mmm……bread soaked with drippings….mmmmm

  9. Angie’s Recipes

    Everything looks gorgeous, esp. that potato dish!

  10. Helen (grabyourfork)

    I find bacalhau is an acquired taste too – I’m not a huge fan either! I do love the dramatics of the espetada – eating meat off a sword is always so much fun!

  11. Forager

    Looks so good! Shame about the salted cod though – had salted cod fritters elsewhere once and they were amazing!!

  12. Karen missklicious

    I need to get myself to Petersham- The espetada looks awesome, mmm meat on a sword!

  13. mademoiselle délicieuse

    Meat on a sword! And with bread to catch all the juices – serious YUM.

  14. tasteofbeirut

    I am sure I would have enjoyed this experience as you did; have never sampled Portuguese food before!

  15. SK

    Love Silvas!
    I sneak across to Sweet Balem for the egg tarts though.

  16. cityhippyfarmgirl

    Visually the meat on a sword looks very enticing. I love a good portuguese custard tart. Have only eaten once in Petersham and the the food was really… average. This makes me want to revisit though.

  17. john@heneedsfood

    The bread with the dripping would definitely have to be saved until last! I had bacalhao in Spain last time we were there and quite liked it. There are many variations so I guess you need to find the right one. That charcoal chicken looks incredible!

  18. Rhiannon

    I want dinner now, now, NOW!

    I’ve wanted to visit this place for a while….the review had placed a “must visit” notice in my brain!

  19. Jen

    I usually end up at Petersham Charcoal Chicken but Silvas looks like it would make a nice alternative.

  20. Juliana

    Yummie, I love Portuguese food, but is so hard to find it here 🙁

  21. Conor @ HoldtheBeef

    omg, drippings bread! The name sounds so wrong but the reality is all kinds of right.

    Pity about the disappointing bacalao! I had some great bacalao dishes in Little Portugal in Montreal.. hoepfully you can enjoy it in a different dish.

  22. angie

    Hehe my friend and I went here only a couple of nights before you did, photos are stuck in the backlog so hadn’t got around to blogging yet. Definately coming back here again!