Showing posts with label brazilian restaurant. Show all posts
Showing posts with label brazilian restaurant. Show all posts

Friday, 8 November 2013

Flavours of Brazil at Intercontinental Park Lane

For one week only flavours of Brazil is taking residence at the Intercontinental Park Lane, London, with an amazing menu devised by Brazilian chef Marcelo Pinheiro. The ingredients were flown from Brazil to make this a special dinning experience. The menu highlights some of the most famous Brazilian dishes and ingredients from all over Brazil. 

The informal venue, The Cookbook Cafe, is located on the ground floor of the Intercontinental Park Lane, London. I am a fan of Intercontinental and I have been there many times over the years. The last gourmet event I attended was Flavours of Peru and Colombian Gourmet Festival.

Flavours of Brazil, started on the 5th November and it finishes on the 10th November, Sunday. Over the weekend I heard they will also be serving feijoada, Brazil's national dish.  
Buffet starts at £18/ head and it includes a variety of mini deserts, add a main course at lunch for an extra £7. Dinner from £25/head. 

We started with the buffet salad, cold meats, fish, seafood and selection of cheeses

 fresh tuna loin in marinated cilantro-pesto and palm heart salad served with  plump and juicy prawns

 heart of palm salad, cassava marinaded salad and toasted manioc grits with bacon

Chef Marcelo Pinheiro from Intercontinental Sao Paulo
STARTER: super creamy and well seasoned kabocha pumpkin and coconut soup with Brazilian curd cheese on toast and shredded beef with onions - highly recommended

  above right: Virado a Paulista - tender and juicy pork loin with black beans, cassava grits and  buttery greens - highly recommended
left, corn fed chicken with okra, coconut rice and cashew nuts

cocada - mini coconut cakes
coconut pudding with prunes
delicious chocolate tart

above a selection of deserts - including corn cake and quindin (left)

Our lunch came to £65 for 2 people including Guarana (Brazilian soft drink) each. 
Great value for money, impeccable service and delicious food. Another winner. Cookbook Cafe on Urbanspoon

Thursday, 30 August 2012

SushiSamba London

SushiSamba is located on the 38th Floor at the Heron Tower near Liverpool Street Station, London. It opened its doors about four weeks ago. I heard so much about SushiSamba  New York I was curious to try the London branch.  We made reservations on a Monday lunchtime. Once we got  into the building we took the express lift to SushiSamba. I am glad no one told me about the lift's speed beforehand, It was so fast going up I had  sweaty palms.  Once we reached the restaurant we were greeted by very smiley front of the house. There were a army of staff waiting for the lunchtime rush which didn't materialised.

table setting
Once seated our Brazilian waiter handed over the very expensive drinks and the Brazilian/Peruvian/Japanese food menu.  He also helped us choose a budget  Portuguese wine bottle to accompany our meal. The wine menu is very extensive it looked like a book.  It's an all day food menu, so it doesn't matter what time of the day you go it's always the same price/food and no set menu or cheaper lunchtime menu. I always like to order things from a restaurant menu that are either too messy to cook at home or dishes/ingredients that are hard to find. In this case I found quite difficult as I can cook all the South American dishes in the menu. That day we were concentrating in the Samba side of SushiSamba. After taking the order, our waiter showed us around the restaurant, the wrap-around large balconies with stunning views over London, open kitchen and fiery robata grill and the Tree Bar.  The place is nicely decorated with leather chairs and it's very spacious.
Our meal
Green bean tempura with black truffle aioli and  Seafood Seviche

Green bean tempura with black truffle aioli  -  the black pepper and truffle aioli was flavoursome and delicious. Seafood Seviche was a bit bland it didn't resembled the seviche I know and love. The corn tamales: peruvian corn and breaded succotash, coriander cress, serve with huancaína paste decorated with a very sweet chicha morada paste this dish was very tasty. Chicha morada is made from purple corn, native to the Peruvian Andes, usually served as a non-alcoholic drink. The huancaína sauce is usually of a thick liquid, the one we had was a very thick paste. In Peru, salsa a la huancaína is served with boiled yellow potatoes a dish called papa a la huancaína or with yucca frita (fried cassava).
Corn tamales - they were tasty and good texture, but I felt it need the usual aji sauce, which was no where to be seeing...

Black cod miso and pickled green apples, my favorite dish on the day the pickled apples were a great accompaniment to the cod.

Moqueca mista:  this is a very famous Brazilian dish

The moqueca mista from SushiSamba was okay, it wasn't award winning, it was just okay. In my opinion it could do with a bit more seasoning and coconut milk. I was a surprised by presence of the chimichurri rice. Chimichirri is a seasoning used as marinade and accompanied of grilled meats in Argentina. The ocra and roasted cashew were a nice touch.

A selection of soft Japanese rice cake filled with ice cream: mochi - mango, green tea, pineapple and sesame - it was a nice end to our meal.

 The staff was very attentive and courteous. The setting is fabulous but I felt that something was missing a bit of soul and vibrancy perhaps?  The menu left me a bit confused with ingredients and textures that does not matched the Peruvian and Brazilian food I know of. This time we concentrated on the Samba side of SushiSamba.  We will be back to try the Sushi side of SushiSamba.
The Tree Bar - the best area of them all. The cocktail menu looks interesting with the usual alcoholic spirits mixed with pisco, cachaca, some oriental and tropical ingredients - nothing too exotic. A good place to go for a drink after work on the few British Summer evenings.
KAFFIRINHA : Fragrant kaffir lime leaves infused cachaça, lime and sugar  elegant and fragrant twist on the Brazilian classic served over crushed ice was absolutely delectable.
110 BishopsGate
London, EC2N 4AY

SUSHISAMBA London  on Urbanspoon

Friday, 15 June 2012

Tia Maria

Tia Maria is a Tapiocaria, restaurant and bar located between Vauxwall and Stockwell tube stations in London. The building, once The Wheatsheaft  pub, has  been transformed into a  in a little corner of Brazilian heaven. I was surprised by the diversity of the costumers who ranged from  Latin-Americans to Germans to Asians to Middle Easterners.  The deco is simple and not at all pretentious. Tiff booked a table for eight at 8pm, glad she booked it, the place got very busy very quickly. The food is Brazilian homemade and quite authentic, surprisingly as some ingredients are quite difficult to get in the UK.  

The tapiocas, sweet and savoury, are well prepared. Tapioca is made of a starch from cassava root sprinkled in coconut water, some people just add plain water, which is then spread and swallow fried, and shaped like a pancake. The fillings varies according to taste.  The caipirinhas are very well mixed with proper cachaca, good sizable glass and not watery - just perfect.  Now, the service.... oh my... what can I say? Get there very early, order, eat and pay before 9pm. Afterwards, the place gets so busy it's difficult to get proper, attentive service from the bar and tables. The place is very good fun, full of beautiful people,  live music and non-stop dance. Very enjoyable evening and glad to see another Brazilian speciality in the London scene. Our bill came to  £25/head including lots of caipirinhas, pao de queijo and coxinhas!


Tapioca cheese (coalho) and carne de sol - Delicious!
BBQ meats including chicken hearts, picanha, prawns and fried cassava

what a feast! with beans and rice and tapioca galore!

Check their site for live music nights details
Tia Maria
126, South Lamberth Road 
SW8 1QT  Vauxhall, London
t: 0207 7939 700
Tia Maria Bar & Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

D.O.M. by Alex Atala-São Paulo, Brazil ***

Here is my last post about São Paulo, for now anyway.  Brazilian chef Alex Atala is well known for transforming the Brazilian culinary scene by applying French and Italian methods and recipes to showcase unique and native Brazilian ingredients in his contemporary dishes.   Atala started his career at 19 years old in Belgium, worked in various Michellin stars establishments. In France he worked at Jean Pierre Bruneau’s Michelin 3-star restaurant, and staged at Hotel de la Cote D’Or with Chef Bernard Loiseau.  He did a stint in kitchens in Montpellier, France and Milan, Italy. His restaurant D.O.M., situated in the best neighbourhood of São Paulo - Jardins,  was rated the 7th Best Restaurant in the world by S. Pellegrino World's 50 Best Restaurant in 2011 and holds Acqua Panna Best Restaurant In South America.
I couldn't  miss the opportunity to eat at D.O.M.  It was one of those Oh.My.God. moments in life, worth every single penny and even better we met the charming Atala in person. That day he came to every single table, meeting and greeting all customers and he signed his very big and heavy book for sale at around £100 a pop for one customer. The restaurant deco is modern and yet classical with added simplicity in places and elegance. The  staff is very knowledgeable, friendly and discreet. I opted for the 4 dishes tasting menu at R$280, around £100, and my friend who suffer from many food intolerance opted for two dishes on the menu suggested by the maitre d'. Note: the staff were very accommodating, dealt with my friend's requests in a polite and cordial manner. Nothing was a problem and we felt very welcome, indeed. A visit to D.O.M. is  a gastronomic  experience of a lifetime. You won't find this kind of refined and unique dishes anywhere in the world. If you were wondering the meaning of D.O.M. : it's is an acronym for Deo Optimo Maximo, which means “God is Optimum and Maximum”
The restaurant - around fifteen tables downstairs and a room for private gatherings upstairs
My tasting menu:
Hors d'oeuvre: Sweet potato and smoked garlic pate served with pão de queijo

Below, first course, not on the menu, compliment of the chef - Brazilian Catupiry cheese with fried cassava, reduction of Port and chives. Matching drink : Jabitucaba liquor

Suggestion of wine and some of the wine list: my glass of chardonnay was £20. Steep! 

Below, brioche breaded oysters with tapioca (sagu) and salmon roe marinaded in soy sauce and olive oil:  AMAZING!

Chibé, below right, is a hydrated cassava flour, usually made from the pulp of cassava and manioc - mass extracted from fermented cassava, native of the Amazon. A bit like couscous served with prawns and scallop, lime juice, coriander and wild flowers and herbs - fresh and light.  Below left, Mushroom consomme with wild flowers - my friend's gluten, diary and wheat free choice - Fabulous!
Mushroom consomme

streak in butter with lemon thyme, smoked cassava, broccoli and  peanuts foam  and Palm heart fettuccine carbonara - wow I want to make this at home!
Ribs slow cooked in Malbec  served with cassava bras (small fried strips) with Malbec foam, full portion for my friend and my tasting menu portion - below. The meat melted in the mouth and the strips of cassava were to die for. The best dish in my tasting menu. I love meat!
Aligot - a smooth and elastic texture cheese dish, traditionally eaten in the Pyrenees, France - made from mashed potatoes blended with butter, cream, crushed garlic, and the melted cheese , they use gruyere (French cheese)  and fresh Minas (Brazilian cheese)- The waiter comes from across the room playing with the fondue-like mass between two spoons and places it on your plate -  It's pure theatre - a show stopper!  Delicious!!
Sweet green papaya ribbons, yogurt snow and bacuri (Brazilian fruit typical of North, Northwest of the country) garnished with wild white flowers.
I love the yogurt snow - the texture of snow and taste of natural yogurt works really well with the sweetness of the green papaya. Festival of textures and flavors.

Best desert ever?  At this point I was already full. However, the chef sent an extra desert and
to date this is the best desert I've ever eaten.  Thank You Atala!
Very light sponge cake of cashew nut served with Jack Daniels ice cream, dark chocolate sauce, sprinkled with salt, black pepper and curry powder, garnished with wild rocket.  Matching drink: another Jabuticaba liquor. I can get used to it! 
We finished our meal with Capim Santo infusion and a variety of petit fours

right : my favourite childhood sweet - Dadinho - sweet peanut paste in dice form

The bill:  1 tasting menu (4 dishes), 2  dishes, 1 glass of wine, water, tea and parking.
well I had more then 4 dishes, actually.... who's counting?
One of Atala's books

In the kitchen with Atala
Unforgettable experience! A 'must' if you ever find yourself in São Paulo.
D.O.M. : Rua Barao de Capanema, 549 Jardins, Sao Paulo, Brazil
Reservation: +55 113 088 0761

D.O.M. (2011) from Ale Melo on Vimeo.
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