What better cure for jetlag is there than sitting round a table with some of your fave gals, having a catchup over tasty food and cocktails? None, I’d say. Serving up brilliant Brazilian grub (definitely not Mexican, as my jetlagbrain decided to tell Snapchat…), Cabana seems to be a bit of a popular hangout in my social circles. Last time I visited, it was with some of the same lovely ladies. Last week, we were invited down to the Brixton branch to check out some of their new menu items and generally fill our faces with happiness.
Despite proclaiming “I might not drink tonight guys” via Whatsapp a few hours earlier, I found a Cabana Classic Caipirinha cocktail (£6.95, price includes fabulous alliteration) in my hand quicker than you can type “LOL AS IF”.
No regrets though, as Cabana’s Caipirinhas are mega tasty – and pretty refreshing considering they tasted mighty boozy too. In case you didn’t know, a Caipirinha is the national cocktail of Brazil, made with cachaça (distilled from the fermented juice of the sugar cane), sugar and lime.
As well as tasty drinks, our mouths and Instagram feeds were treated to some Homemade Guacamole with Bottomless Tortilla Chips (£4.95). My last visit to Cabana was actually what turned me on to guac and my now-beloved avocado, so it was good to find out that the stuff was still tasting super-great.
Our first stop on the Brazilian starters train were the Cheesy Baked Dough Balls (£3.95). Now usually, dough balls are something I’d associate with an Italian, or maybe just a Pizza Express, so I was a little surprised to see them on the menu! But apparently Brazilians are just as big a fans, with the menu describing these babies as ‘Brasil’s favourite all-day snack’. And if all of ’em are as good as Cabana’s, I’m not surprised at all. Great consistency and served with a lil’ pot of garlic butter – the perfect easy starter.
We also got to try out the Spicy Malagueta Lettuce Cups (£3.95) – a lighter, healthier starter option with chicken, guac and salsa nestled in a cosy cup of lettuce leaf, topped with some spicy malagueta sauce. And finally, a big ol’ plate of the Crispy Lula Squid (£5.95) appeared. Honestly, the coating wasn’t as crispy as I’d hoped for, but they worked really well with a squeeze of lime and a dip in the Malagueta Mayo.
For our main course, we were served up a selection of Cabana’s fabulous meat skewers. I loved the whole ‘performance’ of the waitress coming to the table with the actual skewer and sliding the meaty goodness (ooer) onto our plate. The Pork and Papaya Sausage Wheel (£11.95) was particularly good, as was the chicken (which I think we had a couple of different varieties of). If you’re headed to Cabana as a group, it’s definitely worth grabbing a few different skewers and sharing family-style. My only slight issue with the meats is that some were a little TOO blackened for my taste!
All the skewers also come with either two standard sides or one premium side, so you don’t need to worry about side dishes adding up. We tried the Quinoa, Avocado and Squash salad with mango dressing (£5.45/premium side), the Tomato and Palm Heart Salad (£2.95/standard side) and, most importantly, the Sweet Potato Fries (£3.95/premium side). The salads went really well with the juicy, meaty mains and although the taste of the Quinoa salad was a bit strange, I found it pretty moreish.
Last but by absolutely no means the least, I was pretty excited to try the new Chocolate Raindrop Doughnuts (£5.95) because HELLO. Fried dough balls with a dusting of powdery sugar encasing that beautiful substance, Nutella. Heaven. They even gave us a little extra Nutella in a bowl for dipping, which I totally made use of. Anything involving the chocolatey, nutty tasty stuff is a no-brainer for me – and the Raindrop Doughnuts definitely filled that little dessert hole that was left in my rather full stomach.
I absolutely loved the decor in the venue, managing to mix cosy and intimate with vibrant and lively vibes. Cabana has a fabulous atmosphere and great tasting food, making it a brilliant place to go for a catchup with friends over THOSE cocktails and the unlimited tortilla chips.
Are you a fan of Brazilian food?
*We were invited for a complimentary meal at Cabana but neither that or the copious Caipirinhas would sway me from being honest as ever.