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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

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