Sunday 23 February 2014

Brazilian barbecue - the next best thing to actually going to Brazil

For as long as I can remember I have wanted to go to Brazil. 

You can totally imagine yourself in a street shack in Brazil with us right?

I have this theory that I will blend in so well with the culture and for once people won't be able to spot me a mile away by my crazy curly hair, because it's just the norm over there, and I would *pause for effect* look like a native and then I'd never have to leave. Mwahaha.

However, my inability to save and to commit to take a two week holiday in February (how will I cope for the rest of the year) so I can see the carnival, wear the amazing head dresses and party until my feet fall off means that I haven't yet made this dream a reality. I know I will, one day, but until then I just dream and live vicariously through other people's stories and the idealised views depicted on blockbuster movies. 

That and getting my fill of the amazing Brazilian cuisine here in London. Brazilian barbecue is amazing. Chicken, beef, vegetable, it doesn't matter what you have everything is juicy, tender and so full of flavour that you would happily undo your jeans top button rather than stop eating. It is that good! 

Now, I may really want to go to Brazil, but my friend Eddie, really, really wants to go, the only reason she hasn't (aside from the money) is that she can't go without me - we have made a pact. So, it made perfect sense that when we met up last week that we made a beeline for a great little Brazilian Barbecue shack Cabana and pretended for the entire evening to be over in Brazil, living out a fantasy that was akin to those re-enacted as children - who says you have to act grown up at 26?

Spicy Malaguetta Chicken skewers
So, as we sat there sipping on our Proseco - yes maybe we should have gone for the cocktails but I'm still trying to be good remember, and if there is one thing worth breaking the rules for, its Proseco (I hope you find this duly justified) -  we ordered from the menu.  

Eddie had Spicy Malaguetta prawns to start which looked amazing, the zest of the lime just made them smell heavenly - if only I could bring myself to like prawns, while I had a caesar salad and ate it jealously staring at Ed's appealing dish.

Then for main we both had the Spicy Malaguetta chicken, which was amazing. It was heaven, mixed with the sides of refried black beans for me, and sweet potato fries for Ed. The perfect Saturday night feast; filling, flavoursome and just down right fantastic! One of those dishes you don't want to end so you cut each bite into smaller chunks hoping it will last longer. The magic of the food was in it's simplicity;  skewered chicken and red peppers brushed with this Malaguetta sauce, a signature dish of the restaurant and it just worked. It also had just the right amount of chargrilled 'burn' from the glorious sticky glaze, one of the things I love most about barbecue.

The restaurant had an open kitchen which I really enjoy. I love seeing food being prepared and when it was served, it came on a double skewer that the waiter guides effortlessly onto your plate.  

Sorry about the random group shot in here - I need to get a zoom camera
We didn't hang around for dessert, as we were both overly satisfied with the main, and as we were handed the bill, they also presented us with two wristbands written in Portuguese: 

"Lembrança do Senhor do Bonfim da Bahia" 

Which meant nothing to either of us, although it gave us a great excuse to try out our best Portuguese! Turns out they would likely kick me out of the country due to my awful pronunciation - but Ed had it down perfect. Turns out (thanks to google translate) that it means: 

Remembrance of the Lord of Bonfim da Bahia - there you go, I just taught you my first bit of Portuguese - now it's your turn to say it in your best accent!

If you're no good, it doesn't matter, sack it off and allow your taste buds to enjoy the flavours of Brazilian barbecue instead, it's worth it! 


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