On Tuesday, I flew back home to Southampton from my holiday in Amsterdam. Despite five days of drinking and stuffing my face with amazing food, I wasn't ready to hang up my forgiving stretchy leggings just yet - it was also the night of the Cabana Brasil bloggers event!
We were greeted by the owners who were very welcoming and passionate about the restaurant, and very soon I was sipping a super delicious passionfruit cocktail and picking at some tasty snacks (I'm a massive fan of their guacamole and bottomless tortilla chips!). You really get a feel of the Brazilian inspired atmosphere; the idea of getting together with friends, sharing food and drinks and just chillin' out.
The decor is also an area of interest - having been here a few times before, I'd been intrigued by the unusual interior, such as the sofas made of denim jeans and lampshades made of sunhats. I learned that these were commissioned especially for the restaurant, inspired by the up-cycling community in Brazil where items from landfills are repurposed and made into something new. I was even recommended a documentary to watch called 'Waste Land' which is on my 'to-watch-whilst-I-draw' list.
So, cocktail time! Darius at the bar showed us how to make the classic caipirinha cocktail, after giving us a shot which I meekly sipped (and pulled the most grimacing of faces, check out the video!). After watching him prepare the cocktail, we each got behind the bar and had a go at making one ourselves. The best cocktail would win a prize - congrats to cocktail maestro Jo!
After shaking our stuff, it was food time! We were brought out an array of Rio street food from their menu: cheesy dough balls (the ultimate Brazilian snack), salt cod fritters, chicken croquettes and my favourite, chargrilled halloumi with guava dip. This combination of halloumi and jam is nicknamed 'Romeo and Juliet' because the flavours are so bloody dreamy.
Time for mains - we were treated to their new menu item, the Carnival Coconut Chicken; a skewer of chicken served on top of a rice stuffed pineapple. Super tasty and visually amazing. Other favourites were the steak, spicy chicken and the dessert - CHOCOLATE FILLED DONUTS WITH MELTED CHOCOLATE AS A DIP.
We had such a fun night, and I met some lovely new people from the local blogging community. The awesome guys at Cabana even gifted us an amazing tote bag full of goodies, including their chilli oil (Martin was very happy with me when I brought this home), hot sauce, and their cookbook so I could have go at cooking up my own Rio inspired dishes!