Saturday, 29 March 2014

Guanabara: entertaining Brazilian club, restaurant and bar

Guanabara is an all-in-one entertainment venue, combining music, food, shows and a club-like atmosphere.  Part of its appeal is that it's a bit different; for example, during the evening there is a singer, a burlesque dancer, samba dancers, martial artists and a circus act.  All entertaining stuff!

What's the food like?

The girlfriend and I went with the Set Menu - a two-course menu including a Caipirinha cocktail for £24.95 - plus £4 if you fancy dessert.

The girlfriend started with the flame grilled chorizo in cachaça with caramelised onions and Brazilian cheese bread.  She loved it; the onions combining well with the contrasting flavours of the chorizo and bread.

Flame grilled chorizo in cachaça with caramelised onions and Brazilian cheese bread.

I started with the salt cod croquettes with mixed leaves & mango salsa.  This was delicious; the croquettes were wonderfully crispy and well-seasoned, and the salsa complemented it well.  My only complaint was that I wanted more!

Salt cod croquettes with mixed leaves & mango salsa.

So the starters were spot on.  Could the mains be as good?

The girlfriend went with the Brazilian feijoada (black bean, chorizo, smoked pork and beef stew) with rice & seasonal greens.  Our Brazilian waiter advised to mix all the ingredients together, which is apparently what they do in Brazil.  The presence of the orange seems strange at first, but works well against the savoury flavours of the stew.  As with other bean-based dishes, it can get a bit dry over time, though.


Brazilian feijoada (black bean, chorizo, smoked pork and beef stew) with rice & seasonal greens.

I went with the grilled ribeye steak (rare) with hand cut fries and ‘chimichurri’ sauce.  The steak was OK - a bit fatty in places so I probably should have ordered it medium or medium-rare in hindsight.  The fries were a delight though - very crispy and well-seasoned.

Grilled ribeye steak with hand cut fries and ‘chimichurri’ sauce.
The meal did come with a Caipirinha cocktail included, but it was also 2 for 1 Happy Hour when we went.  Despite their small size, they were quite strong (though my oriental blood does mean I am a massive lightweight when it comes to alcohol)!


Overall, Guanabara is a pretty entertaining place to have a night out.  While the food isn't always exceptional, it isn't bad and must be seen in the context of the whole package; it's got good food and decent entertainment rolled into one.
  
Nearest Tube: Holborn


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