So, a couple of weeks back we reviewed Jamie Oliver's newish pizzeria…erm we mean flat-eria, Union Jacks, and have since found ourselves sauntering across the Central St Giles piazza to sample what's on offer at neighbouring restaurant Cabana Brasilian Barbecue.
At the base of one and within the shadows of all those big and vibrant Central St Giles office towers, Cabana is a little less cosy and more sterile than Union Jacks but nevertheless a cool enough place to hang with an urban but spacious feel to it. And the Nandos-esque straightforward efficiency of ordering food here makes up for any possible lack of atmo.
The menu is less accommodating, a bit difficult to choose from and somewhat difficult to describe. There's plenty going on, and the uninitiated might have trouble figuring out how much to order without underdoing or overdoing it. The good news is that there's some really tasty stuff to choose from and the smily Luso lovely servers and staff do a splendid job explaining and advising.
Cabana does up meat on parade in deliciously Brazilian style with a much more streamlined approach to the giant roving skewer AYCE process than at some other typical rodizios around town. Diners get a red/green, stop/go card to flip when they want to be served more or when they have had enough.
At first glance the menu might seem to be all about the carne, but a substantial and savoury side order of black beans cooked with cumin, onions and garlic (£2.95) proves even vegans need not necessarily eschew a chow down here. Likewise with the cassava chips (£3.45) – super tasty while they're hot. Still, if a place slaps “Barbecue” at the end of its name it best be serving up some quality chunks of chargrilled yum. Cabana does. Pork and papaya sausages (two for £4.50) are but one bite-worthy suggestion.
Brazilian beer (284ml of Sagres from the tap at £2.95), cachaca, cocktails, refrescos and even Brazilian wines provide the wash down for a lunch that's “tudo bem”.
Cabana Brasilian Barbecue is located at 7 Central St Giles Piazza, WC2H 8AD. There's another at Westfield Stratford City too.
Disclosure: Londonist visited Cabana upon invitation by the restaurant.