What's the draw
The Douro Valley, which surrounds the city of Porto, has a food and wine culture that's up there with the best of them. Restaurant founder Max Graham has some serious credentials, being from a long line of English port makers in the Douro, and he's teamed up with head chef Tiago Santos for this venture in the new Flat Iron Square development that makes inventive use of space with two long marble bars in a compact room.
What to drink
There's no bar at Bar Douro, which we liked – to try and shoehorn one in would take focus away from the wine and port, and use up precious space. Instead, there's a Portuguese-only wine and port list, mostly sourced from the Douro and the surrounding area. Start off with the lip-smacking Filipe Pato blanc de blancs from Beiras; take advantage of some delicious, inky reds from the usually under-represented Bairrada region; and make sure you finish off with a port – it's all from Graham's family estate Churchill's, meaning serious value and the opportunity to try a flight of white, tawny and ruby.
What to eat
You're in for small plates as great prices, which means you can do what we did and like something so much you order it twice. The offending item in this case was the delicious game sausage croquete (pronounced "crocketch", FYI), which started us off beautifully. Other standouts were the beautifully tender, slow-cooked-then-flash-grilled octopus, served with sweet potato purée; and the prego no prato, a piece of lean grilled bavette steak served with a confit egg yolk, spinach purée, charred savoy cabbage and delicate matchstick potato chips.
Snacks from £3, small plates from £4, wine from £5 by the glass. Arch 35b, Flat Iron Square, Union Street, SE1 1TD; bardouro.co.uk