Assado had not long been opened when a friend and I called in for lunch. We were exploring the Waterloo area and had heard that Cyrus Tadiwala – he of Café Spice Namaste and the BBC’s The Incredible Spice Men fame – had opened a restaurant close to the Old Vic theatre.
The restaurant looked nice and casual as we walked in – all bright and airy, a lot of wood and a fair few Portuguese tiles on the wall. We opted for one of the slightly raised banquette alcoves so we could get a better view of the restaurant.
Assado we were to learn comes from the Portuguese word for roast but needless to say with Cyrus’s flair for spices the dishes were not the Portuguese style of cooking that I am use too. Oh no; the food is Portuguese Goan Asian. It was after all the Portuguese explorers in the days of The Age of Discovery who brought back the spices that we use today.
Our wonderful waiter seeing us dithering over what to order suggested we shared several of the small tapas style plates.
It turned out to be an excellent suggestion. Even my friend who is not a great fish, and certainly not octopus fan, raved about the Polvo £5.25 Braised Octopus in smoked paprika and tomato, we loved the Pulled Pork Assado, ditto the Lamb Xacutti and the Goan style Pork Vindaloo and I was in seventh heaven with the bread and my favourite dessert – Portuguese Custard Tarts, still warm from the oven. We each enjoyed our glass of wine too.
Assado is open from 11am until 11pm – perfect for Old Vic theatre goers. But it is not only a restaurant – there is also an interesting bar which includes a range of Brazilian and Portuguese influenced drinks, plus a deli counter offering delicious looking freshly prepared dishes to take-away and a range of the Todiwala chutneys, etc for sale. A.H.
Assado, 157 Waterloo Road, London, SE1 8XA. Tel: 0207 870 3747. www.assado.co.uk