Churrascaria Santos hit the Footscray scene in August 2023, and it’s already buzzing. Experience a slice of Portugal right here in the west!
It’s a real-deal family affair, with the Santos family cooking up traditional Portuguese dishes that hit right where you want it.
Meet Eduardo Santos – first-generation Portuguese-Australian, passionate founder and front-of-house at Churrascaria Santos. He’s also putting in the work in the kitchen alongside his mum, while Eduardo’s dad mans the charcoal grill.
The Santos’ family roots go deep in Footscray. “Our family immigrated over forty years ago and started their lives in Footscray. Now I want to keep the tradition alive and build my dream right where everything started. I want to give back to the people with the first Portuguese restaurant in Melbourne’s west.”
There are over 150,000 people of Portuguese heritage in Melbourne. Churrascaria Santos aims to serve them tastes of home, as well as introducing locals to a cuisine that most people only encounter via Nandos.
A churrascaria is a place where meat is cooked in churrasco style, which translates roughly from the Portuguese word for ‘barbecue’.
“Our food is authentic and traditional. Forget about fancy dots of food and edible flowers! We grill, slow cook and embrace nose-to-tail ingredients.
“Cooking is all about bringing people together. My vision for Churrascaria Santos is a Sunday feast kind of vibe – the kind that I had growing up.”
And what’s on the menu? Think hearty, flavoursome food such as grilled meats, fish, stews, and more. Picanha, asado, house-cured meats – you name it! All made with love and care and the Santos’ family recipes.
There’s one dish that’s the talk of the town – the Bacalhau à Brás. “It is salted codfish with potatoes and eggs, and it’s our best seller. In Portugal there are over a thousand recipes for bacalhau and it takes a long time to prepare – you have to wash the fish under running water for two days to get the salt off.”
Also don’t miss the house made Peri-Peri sauce that’s used as the marinade for their flame-grilled chicken. It’s the Santos’ secret recipe but Eduardo does spill that the olive oil is infused with chilli, bay leaf and other aromatics for over three months. Customers love it so much there’s talk of bottling and selling the secret sauce.
“For dessert you have to try my mum’s traditional molotof meringue pudding and twenty-four egg caramel flan!” smiles Eduardo.
So, remember – Santos is the name, and churrasco is the game. It’s time to hit up Footscray for those Portuguese food vibes at Churrascaria Santos.