I do love a visit down to Brixton every now and again, especially on the weekend when there’s a lively and buzzy vibe.
This was my first visit to Cabana – they have a few branches scattered across London and the Brixton branch opened just a few months ago. The interior is bright and colourful, which suits the vibe and feel of the area, with rustic wooden floors and furniture, and sofas lined with rugged denim material. There is an open plan kitchen down one side where succulent skewers are cooked over an open fire pit.
The restaurant is not as busy during lunch hour on a weekend, and I requested for a booth by the windows at the end of the room where there is also a bar along the back wall.
We both ordered some sweet and fruity cocktails to start – Strawberry Caipirinha, and one of the Cabana Cocktails, which was the Red Tail Parrot, made with cachaça, strawberry and passionfruit purée, lime juice, and topped with Prosecco. It’s never to early to have cocktails, especially when they are this drinkable.
Whilst we waited for our orders to arrive, we nibbled on some Guaca-Molho – homemade guacamole with limitless (!) corn chips, which is great if you’re feeling peckish.
It was very more-ish and I had to hold back a bit to avoid filling up before the starters and main arrived. We were also advised to have them with some Spicy Mighty Malagueta Sauce, for that extra spicy kick.
For starters, we shared the Spicy Malagueta Prawns and Cheesy Baked Dough Balls. The prawns were grilled and basted with their spicy malagueta sauce, which actually was not as spicy as I had expected. I do generally have a high tolerance level towards spices, but Marta who usually can’t handle too much spice also found the spice level manageable.
As neither of us had really tried Brasilian food before this, the Cheesy Dough Balls were recommended to us, which is a traditional Brasilian snack, otherwise known as
Pão de Queijo. They were served warm and had a nice, chewy texture, served with garlic butter on the side.
Marta ordered the Guava-Cue Chicken, which is a sticky, barbecue chicken – a non-spicy version, as opposed to the Spicy Malegueta Chicken, their bestseller which is marinated with their secret marinade.
I opted for the 8oz Cabana Steak, a classic Latin American cut, best known for its rich flavour. It was marinated in Chilli and Cumin sauce, giving it a slight hint of spice, and served with french fries and small Rio Beans. I requested for it to be cooked medium rare, so it still had a nice, pink centre and tender texture.
Both our mains were brought to the table on skewers, fresh off the grill before being served on our plates.
The dessert menu looked just as tempting, and we narrowed out choices down to the Chocolate Raindrop Doughnuts and Brasilian Overload.
The fried doughballs were stuffed with nutella, with more to dip on the side. Warm, gooey and slightly chewy, they were tasty, but also quite heavy so we didn’t quite manage to finish them.
The Brasilian Overload consisted of Caramel Choc Chip and White Chocolate “Cupuaçu” ice creams with “Brigadeiro” chocolate truffles and doce de leite caramel sauce – an indulgent dessert that is definitely one for those with a sweet tooth.
The bar downstairs is closed during the daytime but I had a little peek and it looks just as fun and colourful. I’ve been told that the place is much busier during the evenings with an equally lively atmosphere in the bar area. I just might have to swing by again sometime to check it out for myself.
The overall experience was pleasant, and I would recommend checking out one of their branches for some good, hearty Brasilian barbecue cuisine. The space is also rather extensive, which would be great for large groups and a fun night out – find a branch closest to you here.
The Cheekster, signing out x