Sad to report that the Bobbins has lost its taste for Portuguese cuisine despite my being told new chef would maintain it on the menu.
Also on my last visit in the afternoon there were no hot dishes – just coffee and cakes. This is sad as it was a unique experience which seems to have lost its way.
Original post from March 2016
A friend had told me about this new restaurant tucked away in Oakmount Mill on Wiseman Street near the “On the Embankment” canal redevelopment in Burnley.
Called The Bobbin (presumably a reference to the former cotton town’s industrial past) it comprises a restaurant area, decorated with cotton mill artefacts, and a more relaxed sitting out area with settees – presumably for those patrons who just want a coffee or a glass of wine.
On its Facebook page (which has more photos) it describes itself as a cafe and mediterranean restaurant but the menu is portuguese influenced with various piri-piri dishes and sea-food. The chef and co-owner David O’Hara learned to cook portuguese food in the Algarve and his wife Beatriz is portuguese so it should be authentic!
The background music is Fado (plaintive, melancholic folk songs) with Mariza featuring heavily (although as a member of staff said “you can have too much of Mariza”. If you don’t know of her check her out below).
I chose a swordfish steak which was delicious and melted in my mouth and I accompanied it with a glass of white wine. Unfortunately they only had red portuguese wine but that may change.
They are also only open during the day: 1000 – 1700, but are thinking about opening in the evening.
It’s not a fast food service but worth the wait and the staff are friendly and want to know you have everything you need.
On Saturdays they serve the famous portuguese custard tart (pastel de nata) and they also prepare a Cataplana (Seafood stew) if you book it in advance for 4 people.
And if you want to hear some Fado here is Mariza singing “Ó gente da minha terra” (Oh people of my land).
FYI According to some sources “bobbins” is also old northern slang for something that’s rubbish (appropriated from cockney rhyming slang – bobbins of cotton i.e. rotten). This definitely does not apply in this case. Just the very opposite in fact.