One of our absolutely favourite restaurants in Vancouver is Chefe Daniel. This is Executive Chef Daniel Alexandre’s most recent offering. Formerly of Senhor Rooster, he’s gone back to his roots of a small neighbourhood open kitchen concept where you will quickly become a regular!
This post isn’t so much of a review, as it is more on an informational write up to share what we already know: The place for best Portuguese food in the lower mainland! This restaurant embodies [Food We Like] To Eat!
Being regulars, we never order off of the menu anymore. We try to gather a group of 4 or more people to order the Family Share Platter which is something that is not on the menu, but he’ll gladly do. Think Omakase at a Japanese restaurant. We literally tell Chefe Daniel how many people are coming, and leave it up to him to cook something. If you have any certain requests, he’ll be more than happy to fulfill them.
Protip: The more people that go, the more of a variety he cooks!
The last time we went, we had 8 people so we had an excellent variety of food. Portuguese rolls come out to start, but being an experienced eater, I skip these completely. If you are a newbie, don’t put the butter on it. Instead, ask for some of his house made sauces. He has 3 of them: Piri Piri, Barbeque, and Jalapeno. Use the bread to sample each of the sauces!
The first dish that came out was seafood soup. After initially thinking it was lobster bisque, it was actually Shrimp Bisque, also known as Creme de Camarao. What makes this different? There was some rice on the bottom! Some of our companions wiped the bowl clean using the Portuguese rolls.
On a previous occasion, I had specifically requested Bacalhau, which is a dried salted cod. He remembered this and made it this time as well.
As I have noted above that Jax and I are regulars, Chefe Daniele knows what we like pretty well. Once we had Wagyu Beef that he brought in specifically for his own consumption, but he cooked a piece for us. This time, he had some Frog Legs in his private reserve that he brought out. It’s pretty easy to overcook legs and for it to become rubbery. These were anything but!
These were just extra add ons though. The real reason to come is for the Family Share Platter. Bringing it out himself, he gives a brief description of what you are going to eat if you’ve never been to the restaurant before.
This evening, we were treated to:
- Piri Piri Prawns
- Garlic and Wine Mussels and Calms
- Pork chops
- Cornish Hen
- Spare Ribs
- Mushroom Pasta
- Safron Rice
- Mixed Vegetables
What’s the best way to eat this? Grab a bit of everything, and chow down of course! To me, food is meant to be shared amongst friends. the Family Share Platter ideology fits right in with my beliefs.
I have a colleague whom is also a regular at this restaurant. We both agree that his mushroom pasta should be renamed to Crack Pasta. It’s so good that you want more, even though you are completely full!
There is always enough food for everyone. There hasn’t been a single time that we’ve finished all of our food, and have been still hungry. Take-out boxes are a must at the end of the night. On the off chance that you haven’t had your fill, he will make more food.
2nd Protip: Leave room for dessert!
One of the best desserts I’ve had is his Mango Mousse. Unfortunately it is not always available. I’m guessing it’s due to availability of fresh mangoes. The next best thing is his Chocolate Mousse.
However, we are at a Portuguese restaurant — we want Portuguese desserts! The Crème Caramel is reminiscent of Chinese Dan Tart (Or … gasp … Portuguese Egg Tarts!)
As this is a small intimate neighbourhood restaurant, you are always guaranteed an expertly prepared meal because Chefe Daniel is the only one in the kitchen. 1 Chef, 1 Waitress, and that’s it.
If there are only a couple of you, I would order off of the A La Carte menu, and get the Rack of Lamb.
Otherwise, grab a large group, call ahead and give him a days notice, and order the Family Share Platter!
Here are a couple of other random pictures taken throughout the year of some of his other items. Bom apetite!
Rack of Lamb
House made Ricotta with Jalapeno sauce and Olives
Seafood and Chorizo Paella
The above pictures are from the regular menu, so you should feel confident if you don’t have enough people to order the share platter!
- Chefe Daniel
- 2268 Kingsway, Vancouver, BC V5N 5M9
- (604) 719-4236