Did you know? Beloved quality fast food chain, Oporto, began back in 1986, opened by Portuguese-born aussie Antonio Cerqueira who wanted to bring Portugese-style flamegrilled chicken to North Bondi. Everyone who came to the little chicken shop was considered friends and family, and it served the perfect post-surf stomach fillers.
Antonio and his wife thereafter developed the now famous Original Portugese Chilli Sauce, alongside a range of burgers which included the also now famous Bondi Burger – a favourite around Australia.
Thursday night marked the launch of Oporto’s new menu, offering the same old favourites alongside some exciting new dishes. To this day, the original recipe is still used for both the Bondi Burger and Original Portugese Chilli sauce, so Oporto still tastes like it did back in 1986!
Oporto in OTR on Pulteney Street celebrated the launch with a VIP media extravaganza, fitting out the space with loads of colourful decor and plates upon plates of Oporto new menu samples. We tried the likes of crunchy potato balls, flamegrilled chicken tenders, pita and garlic dip, jalapeno bites, grilled corn, Portugese tomato… the list goes on.
With fruity sangria on the flow and a giant food table, we found ourselves in some kind of indulgent Oporto heaven! Additionally, we got the choice of ordering own own burgers at the counter to eat there or takeaway (we chose the succulent Bondi Burger, of course!).
We were huge fans of the pita and garlic dip; simplistic yet full of flavour, the bread was soft and warm and the garlic was overpowering yet delicious when consumed in small amounts. The potato balls weren’t the most flavoursome, but achieved a flawless crunch. Our undeniable favourites were the jalapeno bites, filled with a rich, creaminess infused with jalapeno zest of a very mild spice, making the dish enjoyable to all despite spice-tolerance levels.
Guests were also given a little behind-the-scenes viewing of Oporto, getting the chance to see Oporto’s burgers and flamegrilled chicken being made in action. Our guide gave us an insight into Oporto’s foundations and the life of its founder, Antonio Cerqueria, while ushering us around to back-of-house to meet the friendly staff. This is where we learnt all about the heartwarming story behind Oporto and its cult surfy history (this made sense as to why there was an Oporto surfboard decorating the walls!).
For dessert, guests were treated to a gigantic bowl filled with crunchy, sugar-coated churros, alongside a bowl of melted chocolate and mountain of sugar icing for dipping. We all swarmed to the table to devour our delightful desserts; the image reminded us of a family on camping trip gathering around the fire for dinner! Before we left, we were given thoughtful gift baskets, which is always a great end to the night.