If you want Portuguese blackened, spicy chicken and crunchy, caramelised custard tarts, then you have it in Lilongwe. Beyond these popular specialities, the opportunity here to sample the full spread of Portuguese cooking has not been limited.
A nice independent restaurant close to Maula Filling Station along Kamuzu Procession Road is indeed Xanalu, an English term for “home of Portuguese food.”
You can start your meal with the shrimp cakes and the flaming chorizo.
Then comes the seafood platter, the prawns, crayfish and kingclip, simply a nice treat to get seafood in Lilongwe.
In short, the food is always amazing and the staff always friendly.
The decor is regal and nice. The sort of solarium room is gorgeous!
Love to have lunch in there. Amazing Portuguese food, one of the best places around and consistency is what they are about.
Their business is to offer traditional Portuguese food in a relaxed but upmarket way.
Much of what’s on the menu – the chorizo, the bread, the butter – is made in the restaurant. The restaurant is colourful but not culturally themed, with brilliant red walls, wooden tables and a bar with stools for those looking for a drink and a nibble.
A tiny patio in front allows for outdoor dining under fairy lights.
Homestyle touches abound.
The menu is designed in line with dining trends and Portuguese family meals – for everything to be shared, begin with a series of petiscos, or small plates.
Portuguese cabbage shredded and tumbled into a bowl comes with black-eyed peas and a generous slug of extra virgin olive oil beneath fried, crumbled corn bread.
It’s salty, intensely savoury and addictive. A bowl of tender broad beans and finely diced smoky chorizo is luxuriously paired with a wobbling, slow-cooked egg, its liquid yolk providing a sauce.
Salt cod croquettes, probably the most familiar dish on the menu, are good but would have been better hot, rather than lukewarm. But a plate of fresh sardines, served blackened and smoky on grilled red capsicum and garlic, is a reminder of just how good the fish is when it tastes of the sea instead of oil.