Cabana Brasilian Barbecue has a few locations around London. The one I visited is located at Westfield Stratford City’s Chestnut Plaza, which boasts the advantage of two outdoor terraces. Whilst Cabana retains the Portuguese spelling of Brazil (that’s Brasil with an ‘s’), it is not a typical Brazilian restaurant, although the flavours and ingredients are indeed Brazilian. In my opinion, this is a good thing as the menu offers up some fresh, decent Brazilian-inspired fare that appeals to a wide segment of the population.
The decor is beautifully thought out with some wonderful upcycled furnishings, such as tables made from wooden cheese shelves and seating covered in jeans. The ambience is comfy, cheerful and fun, complemented by the colourful printed posters that adorn the walls and the friendly servers dressed in Brazilian colours. We arrived as soon as they opened for lunch and most people were seated outside on this warm, sunny day so I had the opportunity to take a few photos of the inside while it was still relatively empty. It filled up quickly afterwards!
We started off with some alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks. I had the Limonada Suissa, which was effervescent and had a lovely citrus taste from the freshly muddled lemon and lime, complemented by the sweetness of the caster sugar. The perfect thirst quencher on a hot day! My husband ordered the Cabana Colada with a shot of cachaça (a distilled spirit made in Brazil with sugar cane as its base) and fresh pineapple blended with coconut cream, coconut water and citrus. So good, he had two!
The selection of starters on the menu was impressive. We settled on three: pão de queijo (heavenly cheesy dough balls, served with garlic butter), deliciously spicy chicken wings, marinated in their famous malagueta sauce and served in a small bucket, and a serving of five grilled Atlantic prawns basted in the same malagueta sauce.
The malagueta pepper is a type of chilli used in Brazil and it is very much the star ingredient in many of Cabana’s dishes. They even have their Kick Malagueta Sauce on all the tables, should you want more!
We saw some impressive skewers of meat going around (will definitely have these next time!) but the burger and pulled pork caught our eye on the menu. I had the spicy malagueta Pulled Pork Sloppy José in a brioche bun with homeslaw, matchsticks and chilli mayo, with some extra coleslaw on the side. My husband’s picanha (rump cap) burger also came in a brioche bun and had chilli mayo, matchsticks and black beans (it normally comes with a tomato but he asked for this to be left out). The matchsticks are an original addition and lend some extra texture and flavour. Our sides were all very tasty: french fries tossed with rosemary and garlic, sweet potato fries spinkled with paprika, and biro-biro rice (long grain rice fried with garlic, herbs, spring onions and shallots).
We enjoyed our meal so much, we couldn’t resist purchasing their Kick Malagueta Sauce as well as their recipe book (Cabana The Cookbook, Brasilian Barbecue and Beyond). We will definitely be making many of these recipes at home and have already made their Cachaça Grilled Chicken, which was a huge hit! Just have a look at our photos!
The owners, managers or staff did not invite me to visit this establishment and were unaware that my experience would be the basis of a written review. It is based on my experience at my own cost and I did not receive compensation for my review.
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