Don’t ask the Portuguese about Portuguese Chicken at Cafe Gloucester

By Tana Kosiyabong

No. 86. Baked Portuguese Style Chicken with Rice

I have a good news to share with all of you. CheapAppetite.com has gained a recognition from the 24 Hours Newspaper, the third largest newspaper in BC. Recently, I was invited to write a couple of reviews for their redesign food page. Not to mention that Savvyinsider.ca also see some value in my thrifty nature and has been featuring my reviews every other Thursday since last year. Thanks for the opportunities, guys.

Now let’s get back to the cheap good eats, the main reason why we’re all here. Although my freelance gig at West Broadway and Cambie has already completed, I still have a few restaurants in the area to write about. Joseph, my co-worker who was born and raised in Hong Kong, had told me about a restaurant called Cafe Gloucester. It’s a Hong Kong style cafe similar to Gold Stone Bakery which I reviewed a while back, but more modern. The restaurant typically serves Western inspired Chinese food. Joseph’s favorite dish is the Portuguese Chicken. He described it so deliciously that I decided to embark to the restaurant on this Cheap Appetite mission.

Cafe Gloucester is located on Cambie street between 17th and 18th Avenue. As I got there, the restaurant was already packed with Asian patrons, a good sign for a Chinese restaurant. The window tables were all taken so I had to sit far away from the beautiful natural light; hence the sucky photos on this post.

The restaurant has a very extensive menu similar to Gold Stone. However, I just went with Joseph’s favorite, No. 86: Baked Portuguese Style Chicken with rice ($7.99). The dish comes with a free serving of coffee, tea, horlicks or hot chocolate which I eventually ordered the Hong Kong coffee to match the restaurant style. For a cold drink, add one more dollar.

Hong Kong Style Coffee at Cafe Gloucester

The dish took about 20 minutes to arrive, but the coffee was served within the first five minutes. It was strong and creamy, yet not sweet at all. Hong Kong style coffee is way better than a cup of four dollar soy latte from a fancy coffee shop.

Once the dish had arrived, I started to dig in right after a quick photo session. The yellow curry sauce was mild, smooth and creamy. If you close your eyes and fancy yourself flying naked through the fluffy clouds fifty miles above a curry factory while drinking a glass of half and half, you can pretty much imagine the taste of it. I bet they used either evaporated milk or cream along with the coconut milk to make such a velvety sauce. The grated coconuts on top enhanced the coconut flavor in the sauce even more.

Cafe Gloucester Baked Portuguese Style Chicken with Rice

The chicken skin was crispy on the outer surface, but softer underneath. The large chunks of chicken meat were tender and nicely marinated. The baked potato chunks with charred skins were super duper. When I bit into the sweet onion slices, they were almost melted in my mouth. The steamed rice under the sauce was lightly stir-fried with eggs. What a lovely detail!

When I went back to the office, I chatted with Joseph further about the dish. He told me that the Portuguese Chicken is a popular dish in Hong Kong. It was invented in Hong Kong and doesn’t have anything to do with Portuguese. However, my post-meal research revealed that Portuguese chicken is originated in Macau, a region near Hong Kong and formerly occupied by Portugal. The dish did not come from Portugal. Another source also mentioned that the original version of this Macanese dish is a Chinese-Portuguese fusion which chorizo is also one of the main ingredients.

If you ask the Portuguese, they would have shaken their heads and wondered why their mamas have never cooked this dish before. If you ask me, I’d say “who cares where it came from?” As long as it’s cheap and yummy, I’ll keep eating it.

Cafe Gloucester No.86–Baked Portuguese Style Chicken on Rice: ©©© 3/4
(Joseph gave it 7 out of 10. He said he had better ones in Hong Kong. The chicken meats were more chewy.)

Cafe Gloucester is located at 3338 Cambie Street, Vancouver, BC V5Z2W5 (T) 604.873.3338

BUDGET BREAKDOWN:
Remaining Budget: $89.77
Budget Spent: -$7.99
Budget Available: $82.78

NOTE (Oct 23, 2010): If you’d like to try this dish, make sure you order No.86: Baked Portuguese Style Chicken with rice (7.99) as seen below. One of my beloved readers ordered the same dish on a different section called “Western Dishes” section, and it was priced at $10.99. That particular one doesn’t come with a free drink either.

NOTE (Oct 25, 2010): According to Eve (one of my reader), Cafe Gloucester has a REGULAR menu (with green binding) and MINI MEAL menu. I believe the mini meal menu are the under $9 dishes that comes with a choice of horlicks/ovaltine/lemon tea/milk tea. The MINI MEAL menu is usually served from 9AM-5PM and again from 9PM-onwards. Not during dinner time.

No.86 Baked Portuguese Style Chicken with Rice _$7.99

©2010 Tana Kosiyabong and CheapAppetite.com™. All rights reserved.

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26 thoughts on “Don’t ask the Portuguese about Portuguese Chicken at Cafe Gloucester

  1. That dish looks AMAZING! I usually order a noodle dish when I go here, but this is on my order list next! And I do love how these HK cafes give a free drink with your lunch order as I always order HK tea, love those!

  2. Haha, fine, I will try it out some day. Don’t let me down Portuguese Chicken! By the way, the 24 was out everywhere on Friday, thus I went online and found your article… Way to go Tana!

  3. yes! I saw your column in 24Hours! So proud of you too!
    Haha I finally got around to visiting Bon Chaz…MMMM soo good!
    Thanks for another yummy post =)

    I don’t know if you’ve subscribed to any of the group deals that’s sprung around town, but there’s one today that I think you might be interested in : http://livingsocial.com/deals/5495-50-off-anton-s-pasta-bar
    They’ve always got great reviews but I think it’s a little out of your way… Great deal though!

    1. Cool. Thanks Amy. I thought only my friends would see that tiny column because I made them look for it. lol. Yeah bon chaz is yummy especially when it’s fresh from the oven. I’m glad you like it too.

      You may think that it’s weird considering that I’m cheap, but I don’t subscribed to all those group deals, especially the one day coupons. I can understand why people like it, but to me it’s more of a hassle. I like cheap stuffs, but I want to buy it when I want, not when they told me I have to buy it. Does it make sense? lol.

      Anyway, I just checked out the antons pasta bar website. It looks interesting. With the 50% off coupon, that would be a good deal. I wish it last more than a day though. And thanks for send the link to me. It reminds me that I haven’t written any pasta review before. I’ll have to see where I can go for some cheap pasta dishes soon!

      1. Is 24 going to continue posting one a week or something?

        True enough, I subscribe but I don’t buy everything… just the ones where they’re really really good deals, like the Bon Chaz one awhile ago (a dozen for $9). They’re normally valid for 6 months+ though, which gives one plenty of time to use it… I tried Anton’s once, and believe me, one plate = 2+ meals. Apparently, if you can finish their one dish, you get an Anton’s pen. Anyways, just fyi.

      2. Hey amy,
        I’m not sure about 24. It’s a once a week column. However, I don’t write on that column every week. They will call me a day or two before they need my story.

        Haha, silly me. I thought the coupon is last for a day. That’s why I don’t care to subscribe them. If it last for 6 months I’d give it a try for sure. Thank you for letting me know this! Maybe I can go to Anton’s for a review with the coupon. lol. I’ll check it out now. Thanks again 🙂

        Well…. it’s too late. The coupon is sold out! Maybe some other time 🙂

    1. Hey CK,
      Thanks for visiting. I don’t know why they charged you $10.99. Did you order No. 86 Baked Portuguese Style Chicken with rice? Fortunately I took a picture of the menu which I will post it in the story above so you can take a look. It’s still $7.99 a few weeks ago. It’s hard to believe that they would increase the price by 40% though. Perhaps they gave you a portion for two? I don’t know. :S

  4. Thanks for posting that pix! That clears it up. We ordered the same dish but it was under a different category called “Western Dishes”. I actually ordered the baked pork chops with tomato sauce & both dishes were $10.99. We didn’t get coffee either, just hot tea in water glasses. I sent him your blog last week & he found this & wanted to go for lunch. I asked him how old the review was when I saw the price today. He didn’t know. I was pretty perplexed when I got back to the office & saw you just wrote it last week! Thanks again for that. I thought maybe we got a “special” menu for suckers! 🙂

    1. Hey CK1234,
      I’m glad this clears up. Although I mentioned No. 86 Baked Portuguese Style Chicken with rice in the post, but it was in the middle of the whole story. So I apologize for not making it more obvious.

      Based on your comment, I will also add No. 86 on the ratings at the bottom and a note mention this incident as well. Hopefully fewer people will mistakenly order the $10.99. Thank you for your great feed back! And I hope you and your friend did enjoy the meal there 🙂
      Tana

  5. Yes, you did say #86. We didn’t pay attention though, and didn’t think you could find the SAME item on a menu under different catergories! Not your fault Tana, it was ours for not taking our time and scouring the menu more. They kept coming back to see if we were ready to order so often (3 times before I was ready), we just ordered what we could find! Big menu! Cheers!

  6. Cafe Gloucester has a REGULAR menu (with green binding) and MINI MEAL menu. I believe the mini meal menu are the under $9 dishes that comes with a choice of horlicks/ovaltine/lemon tea/milk tea.

    The MINI MEAL menu is usually served from 9AM-5PM and again from 9PM-onwards. Not during dinner time.

  7. Congrats Tana. We are now in the presence of a celebrity ! 😉

    Portuguese Chicken ….. as long as I can recall I never understood why it’s called that. I suspected the reasoning for the dish name itself was “half-baked”, LOL. So thanks for doing some research behind this to clear things up. I find the Portuguese chicken dish too mild generally to be bothered. At HK-style cafes I often order baked stewed beef tongue (in tomato sauce) on rice, or simply curry beef brisket on rice. Mmmmm.

    BTW, you can buy Portuguese Piri Piri (or Peri peri) bbq sauce ready-made at Superstore:

    http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3268/2911774252_e5e4074a03.jpg?v=1223108798

    I suspect this may have been part of the dish’s origin as a Chinese fusion creation in Macau:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Piri_piri

    Or Chinese version:

    1. Hey Thanks LotusRapper. Lol, now I can appear in the TV show Celebrity fit club. I haven’t tried the stew beef tongue in tomato sauce before. But I had beef tongue in white sauce before. It was yummy too. Is the piri piri sauce the same as what you get at Nando’s? I think that’s supposed to be portuguese. I’m not sure.

      Oh btw, I finally got a chance to go to Lin Restaurant. It was quite good. I order the szechwan beef noodle soup. It broth was really rich. But it wasn’t as spicy as the one I got at the Peaceful Restaurant though. I know I shouldn’t compared szechwan dishes from Northern Chinese restaurants. But I like spicy food. So I can’t help it.

  8. That’s interesting. They didn’t give up the mini meal menu then. They only gave us the big menu so looks like we wouldn’t have found the $7.99 deal anyway. We’ll know for next time though. Thanks Eve.

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