Friday, 4 April 2014

Brazil Pop Up Diner in London

little bites and pimenta de bico (chilli)
Brazil, the largest and the only Portuguese speaking country in South America, has a wonderful variety of traditional foods. Brazilian cuisine is a result of a combination of key ingredients brought by different cultures that arrived into our country. It all started with the colonisation by the Portuguese in the 16th century. During our history many other different nationalities introduced a variety of elements and dishes for example the Italians (pizza, pasta), the Spanish (empanadillas - empadinhas), the Arabs (spiha, lamb, kibbeh), the Chinese and Japanese (wontons – pastels). 

A lot of people wonder what Brazilian food is like, what are our every day staples. The truth is Brazilian cuisine is a mix of different foods from around the world. Some regions have maintained their own characteristic cuisine due to geographic location, local ingredients, religion beliefs and customs. Manaus is the capital of Amazon state located on the confluence of the Negro and Solimões rivers, in middle of the Amazon rainforest, is rich in exotic and local produce.  

Last week I attended the Brazil Pop Up Diner: The Manaus Diner. 
If you haven't heard, Brazil Pop Up Diner :  12 cities, 4 months, 1 restaurant. While football visits Brazil, Brazilian food visits London. Brazil Pop Up Diner is a series of supper club style events taking diners on a culinary journey through the twelve Brazilian cities that will be hosting the 2014 Fifa World Cup. Between March and June, eleven Sunday events (lunch and dinner) will be hosted at The Bedford and Strand, a basement wine bar and restaurant in central London. Each event will feature a three course meal inspired by one of the World Cup hosting cities with cocktails and music from the region. Brazil Pop Up Diner launched on 9th March with a menu priced at £35 a head, including one caipirinha. Menu designed by chef Marcelo de Campos.

The place was buzzing and very few tables available at 5.30pm, when I arrived. The welcome was friendly and the waitresses very patient with our ever changing tables, our fault, not theirs. The Brazilian way...we met some friends and the group got big, bigger and louder.

 The  bar was in full swing and the caipirinhas and cocktails using Leblon cachaca were flying out of the bar fast and furious. Above, the nice display of drinks on offer.

 One complimentary caipirinha were offered with pao de queijo  with a special addition of kale pesto.
Some nice Amazonian Beers : Pilser and Bacuri (a fruit from the Amazon) 

Some more cocktails, we had the trio of cocktails, prices at £10: caipirinha (good, but not as strong as in Brazil), caipibeer (refreshing, good) encontro das aguas (not to my taste, too sour). We had quite a few drinks including beers, after all we wanted to try as much as possible,  unfortunately our last cocktail round never arrived, but we were not charged for it.

The caipirinhas were nicely prepared with Leblon cachaca, like in Brazil with caster sugar! hurray!!!

The starter was served on a board, above: Tacaca soup (cassava, parsnips,chillies and spices) served in a glass shot, fish ceviche (two thin slices of white fish, cupuacu, Brazilian fruit, lime, dusted with paprika), a heart of palm mini pies, nice flaky short pastry. I enjoyed the starter. Nice effort in getting the flavours from the Amazon into this trio.

Main course: Duck and chorizo red rice garnished with wild rocket, seasoned with thyme and rosemary, It was nicely seasoned, very tasty, full of contrasting textures and quite colourful. I wanted more of it....
Dessert: Cupuaçu and chocolate tart -  great texture and not too sweet. Nice finish.

filtered coffee from Cereja, a delicious medium roasted ground coffee, 100% arabica beans, grown at high altitude in Sao Paulo state, Brazil. It was flavoursome, aromatic with a caramel background and immensely fragrant. The coffee was filtered at the table and served with Q Chocolates from Brazil.
For more dates check out : Brazil Diner. There's also bar area for little Brazilian bites and drinks only, if you don't fancy a meal.

Disclosure: I was a guest at this diner, we paid for the drinks only. Views are my own.


Viviana Bueno said...

YOur rewiew is absolutely honest and impartial, we loved it. Thank you

Viviana Bueno said...

Rosana, Your review is absolutely honest and impartial and we loved it! Thanks

Rosana said...

thanks Viviana. All in all, It was a nice late leisurely lunch. I think I have captured mu=y experience well. Cereja coffe is amazing, true Brazilian coffee.

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