The site in Covent Garden where the restaurant stands was originally opened as Canela Café 11 years ago, but the venture has changed direction to fit with London’s growing restaurant scene and a different tact by the owners. The new restaurant will serve contemporary Portuguese dishes and emphasises its dedicated wine list.
The site’s owners, Suzanna Pascoal and Suki Lam, have done a great deal of work to the new restaurant, including an extension into Shorts Gardens which has opened up another room. Canela now has 44 covers and is situated over two streets. In the day time it also operates as a deli before focusing on the restaurant and wine bar aspect at night.
The extension aims to give the venue an ‘airy’ feel, and double aspect windows have been put in. The refurbishment has also seen the addition of 1950s light settings, wood panelling in a teal blue colour and original marble table tops. The owners have also added some retro style features such as leather stools, chandeliers and a number of old wireless radio faces displayed on the wall.
The extra room which has been added to the site will be available to hire for private events and large parties, and Canela also offers outdoor seating for the summer months.
Canela uses produce that is sourced and imported from Portugal as it is aiming to make its dishes authentic. The dishes have been developed by the owners from old family recipes, and the menu is divided into small ‘Petisco’ plates for ‘nibbling’ or sharing and larger mains and desserts.
Petisco plates include Alheira Mini Burgers with quail eggs, and Squid Boat with chorizo, peppers, spiced tomatoes, while larger mains include Bacalhau à Bras traditional mix of salt cod, potatoes and eggs, and Creamy Black Rice with prawns dressed in olive oil and fresh herbs.
The restaurant also offers a large selection of Portugese wines which have been sourced by Pascoal from different regions and smaller vineyards in the country. All wines will also be available by the glass.
Canela is located at 33 Earlham Street and launches on 23 May.