Gloria’s is one of the first Portuguese restaurants in Petersham, also affectionately known as ‘little Portugal’. It’s known for home-style food – hearty, authentic and generous. Inside, it also feels homely, almost cluttered, tiled murals, carved wooden counters, the variously mediterranean coloured walls are adorned with copper and ceramic plates, paintings and several wooden racks.
And there’s a slow, homely pace about everything, it’s infectious, I feel my pulse and breathing slowing, in a lovely way. The lone waiter is serving an almost full house, he’s efficient but doesn’t seem rushed, he takes the time to serve each table as if they’re the only table in the place. And the customers are also relaxed, using the time to chat with each other. There are a couple of elderly men on their own, sipping wine, savouring mouthfuls of warm food and watching muted Portuguese satellite TV on the big screen.
I treat myself to a glass of vinho verde, literally green wine. It’s made from young grape and is crisp, dry and tangy, totally delicious. I pass the time and the glass of wine with some fresh bread and gleaming black olives.
My main course is, bacalhau tradicional, salted cod cooked in traditional style. So by implication, tradition has the salted cod fish baked and sprinkled with pepper, served with potatoes, beans, carrots and boiled egg. Add some Portuguese olive oil for extra zing, the oil is green and rich.
Gloria’s Portuguese Restaurant
82 Audley St, Petersham
(02) 9568 3966