Adding local flavours, South Africa’s Barcelos comes to Maldives

South African restaurant franchise Barcelos has opened an outlet in Maldives, combining its world famous flame grilled chicken with a unique local flavour.

Barcelos Maldives, located near the presidential palace of Muliaage, opened for business last week with a seating capacity of 68.

Restaurant Manager Ali Hussain told Maldives Insider that the menu has been carefully selected to satisfy locals. It offers a combination of Barcelos’ signature dishes such as chicken burgers, grilled chicken and breakfast options along with trendy local items such as Kanamadhu (sea almond) cake, he said.

“Our menu and service have been well-received by the public. We have had an overwhelming crowd in here at all times since our opening,” Hussain said.

Some items from the menu of Barcelos.

What differentiates Barcelos from similar outlets is how its chicken is marinated in a traditional marinade for 24 hours before being flame grilled to perfection and served with its own style of peri peri sauce. In addition to Barcelos’ existing range of sauce varieties such as Tangy Lemon, Mild Peri, Veri Peri and Supa Peri, the franchise has crafted a sauce exclusively for the Maldives; Flaming Peri.

“We found that a lot of Maldivians like their food really hot. That’s where Flaming Peri comes in. We prepared the recipe just for the Maldives, so that Maldivians can enjoy their chicken with a whole new level of spicy,” Barcelos’ Business Operations Manager George Ehlers, who is in the Maldives to train the staff in quality control, told Maldives Insider.

“A lot of Maldivians love the Flaming Peri sauce. We will look into introducing this variety in other countries as well.”

The variety of peri peri sauces offered by Barcelos. PHOTO/ AVAS

The two-storey outlet is designed to create an ambience that reflects the culture and heritage of its namesake city in Portugal, which still stands as the perfect place to have a leisurely and hearty meal or a slow cup of coffee. The staff of 12, out of which eight locals, are being trained by George himself from two weeks before the opening of the restaurant in order to ensure that customers — from families to office workers — experience a relaxed and convenient dining experience.

Barcelos opened its first store in Pretoria, South Africa in 1993. Its flame grilled flavours, made using recipes mastered by the Portuguese hundreds of years ago, became so popular that it became a franchise business in 1998. Since then Barcelos has opened more than 100 outlets in 17 countries, including South Africa, Lesotho, Botswana, Zambia, Namibia, Mozambique, Ghana, Nigeria, Sudan, Canada, UK, Dubai, Oman, Mauritius and Singapore.

Photos: Avas Online

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