Piri Piri Is Hot, But Is It Hot Enough? - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Piri Piri Is Hot, But Is It Hot Enough?

Piri Piri Is Hot, But Is It Hot Enough?

Published May 31, 2010

Nestled down near the harbour (Geirsgata 9), Piri Piri is marked with a rooster as iconic to Portuguese eateries as the golden arches are to McDonalds. Inside it’s a clean-lined, spacious place dominated by roomy booths lining the walls and featuring a sprawling playroom with goodies to keep the kiddies entertained whilst their parents get down to the more serious task at hand: Eating chicken.
The menu boasts quite a few ways to take your chicken—whole, halved, quartered, topping a salad, etc. My lunch date and I opted to share a whole chicken with a choice of two sides (2640 kr.); we went with black-eye bean salad and tomato rice, but plain white rice and French fries are also available. Having become accustomed to puny chickens (compared to the super sized variety native to North America), we were optimistic the portion would fit our appetites. Once the food arrived—rather quickly—we were wishing there was a third person to help us out. It turns out a whole chicken is a lot of food no matter the continent!
While Piri Piri’s menu states that their chicken is “glazed with hot piri piri sauce,” I found myself feeling lied to. Don’t get me wrong, the chicken wasn’t bland ole breast meat but it’s a painful stretch to call the glaze “hot”. It did, however, have a pleasant hint of barbecue flavour that was nice but not overpowering or blackened. The bird was accompanied by a fresh yogurt-like sauce and a red sauce that delivered more of a bite. Try mixing the two together for a mouth-watering combination. The sides were nice, though they suffered the same ill-fate as the piri piri glaze, I’m afraid. The black-eye bean salad was a nice cold accompaniment and the tomato rice, while a really great texture and consistency for a cold rice dish (i.e. it’s not dry) could have benefited from maybe a pinch of salt or maybe just more of the flavour that was trying to distinguish the grain from its plain white cousin.
For the incredible price Piri Piri is a place I plan on going back to, either with two other people or with a hungrier guest. It’s good, simple chicken.

  • Piri Piri Geirsgötu 9
  • What we think: Good, simple chicken
  • Flavour: Could use more piri piri
  • Ambiance: Casual, clean
  • Service: Friendly and helpfully honest
  • Rating: 3/5
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