The Handbook
The Handbook
By | 26th October 2011

This autumn sees a double Brasilian whammy in the shape of two Cabana restaurants opening in quick succession in Westfield and Covent Garden. Duo behind the new barbecue sensation are Jamie Barber (Hush, Kitchen Italia, Villandry and Sake No Hana) and Rio born David Ponté (Momo, Mocoto).

Starters of cheese dough balls Pao de Queijo, Palm Heart Pastels and Chicken Coxinhas take their cue from the traditional churrascarias found on Brasilian street corners from Sao Paolo to Salvador. But the real highlight, of course, is the meat. Cabanistas will circulate the restaurants with colour coded barbecue skewers offering choices such as Malagueta marinated chicken thighs, Baby Back Sticky Ribs and Chimichurri Butterflied Rump Steak – though there are also vegetarian options including Giant Portobello Mushrooms with Halloumi Cheese. Customers’ menus will be stamped with their choices and they will also be able to flip a disc from green to red to indicate when they are finished or simply taking a break.

The venues will also have their own frozen yoghurt bars – as commonplace in Brasil as coffee shops in the UK and flavours ranging from Peanut & Cashew to Dulce de Leite will be available throughout the day both to eat in and take away.

An extensive list of Brasilian and Portuguese beers includes Sagres on tap – served at -2 ° in line with Brasilian tradition – while trays of half pint glasses will circulate the room. A central bar will serve a selection of Brasilian favourites such as national drink, Caipirinha that comes in several flavours.

Interior designer Alex Michaelis has ensured that the Brasilian spirit runs throughout the decor of the two restaurants with an aged and hand-made feel – think banquettes created from recycled jeans from Sao Paolo favelas, walls lined with Brasilian printed posters and scaffold plank wood flooring. Carnival here we come.

Westfield Stratford opens 9 November, Central St Giles on 16 November