Dining Out

Restaurant of the month: Calisto’s Portuguese Restaurant

Sep 11, 2018, Author: Danita Pilley

Arriving at the doorstep of Calisto’s Portuguese restaurant you would be forgiven for thinking you have been transported to a local tavern in Portugal.  

From the instant you walk through the doors you are greeted with a level of hospitality that makes you feel like you have just stepped into a home-away-from-home. The décor and ambience lend itself to a truly inviting atmosphere with fishing nets hanging from the ceiling as well as trinkets and vintage posters adorning the walls. The experience is complemented by a soundtrack from Portugal that perfectly sets the mood. 


Calistos was founded and developed in 1992 by businessman Jorge Calistos at Turfontein Racecourse when he was just 23 years old. The restaurant has since moved to its latest location in Gillview and has managed to represent the same authentic charm that has kept loyal patrons returning time and time again after 26 years of being in business.  

The restaurant runs on a level of motivation that is clear in the service and the smiles that the staff provide each and every visitor. Combining passion and dedication the waitrons are well informed and ready to suggest all the best dishes the restaurant has to offer. From the Champagne sangria which is Champagne infused with berries to Gin cocktails with a variety of mixes and the classic Tipo Tinto rum with raspberry, the menu impresses even before you’ve had a chance to think about the food.  


Start your food journey off with a selection of mouthwatering starters from the Caldo Verde which is an authentic Portuguese soup made with a potato base, kale, olive oil and Chouriço to Trinchado or more classic options like chicken wings or a refreshing Avocado Ritz.  

The menu also boasts a wide variety of main dishes suited to every palate from meat, chicken and seafood as well as authentic dishes like the Bacalhau a Bras which is shredded codfish pan fried with onion, garlic, olive oil and finished with boiled egg and boiled baby potatoes. Must try seafood dishes include the Mozambican prawn curry, the grilled sole and the Calistos world-renowned mild peri-peri prawns. For meat lovers we recommend Jorges’ favourite dish, steak on the bone and you definitely can’t go wrong with a traditional Portuguese baby peri-peri chicken (if you fall in love with the peri-peri sauce, which you will, don’t stress, the Calistos famous house chilli can be purchased from the restaurant or from select stores nationwide). Their chilli is out of this world! With just the right level of spice combined with only the freshest ingredients, you won’t want to leave without taking a bottle home.  


After being impressed by the incredible drinks and delicious food, you might wonder if a dessert is worth a try. We are here to tell you that it most definitely is! Try the frozen biscuit cake with a shot of espresso poured over for the perfect after dinner pick-me-up or opt for a traditional dessert with a twist and order the crème caramel that acts as a deconstructed Portuguese custard tart.  

They say that Portuguese food comes from the heart and speaks to the soul and Calisto’s ensures that this philosophy is present in each and every one of their dishes!  

TIP: Ask to speak to the manager Breeze if you need any food or drink recommendations and tell him HJ sent you!

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