Updated: Jun 17
New restaurants are popping up all over the place in Newcastle at the minute, I love it. One of the most recent restaurants to open is Cabana Brasilian Barbeque and as the name suggests it is a restaurant that serves Brasilian Barbequ food.
Brasilian food is one of my favourite types of food. I worked in a Brasilian restaurant when I was at university, I fell in love with the all the flavours the food has to offer and I would absolutely love to visit Brasil one day. Before Cabana opened the only other Brasilian restaurant in the centre of Newcastle was Viva Brasil. Thom and I went there when it first opened and while it is a great restaurant I feel it is more of a novelty. They walk around with so many different types of meat on skewers and you just try them all, we got serious meat sweats after that visit and even though it was delicious I am not in any hurry to go back. As I said it’s the type of place you have to try once as a novelty not somewhere you would regularly go to when out for dinner. Cabana, on the other hand, is a more traditional restaurant where you choose off of the menu. It is inevitable that Cabana will also be compared to Turtle Bay which is just next door, even though Turtle bay is a Caribbean restaurant I do think they have some similarities. I have also written a review of Turtle Bay and you can read that here
I went to the launch of Cabana and as soon as the food started getting passed around to try I knew I had to come and have a proper meal as soon as I could so we decided to go after work one night as a treat before the Cinema. The restaurant itself is a great size and you are instantly taken in by the authenticity of the place, I feel the look they have gone for is a Brasilian street festival and they really pull it off.
We were sat in the booths that run down the centre of the restaurant and I will say that if you are vertically challenged like me (I’m 5’1″) you might find it slightly difficult to get up onto the seat as they are really high! But it is worth the struggle as I the booths are definitely the best seats. We ordered some drinks straight away as I was desperate to get a cocktail in me! I opted for the Cabana Classic Caipirinha which is made up of Cachaca (a sugarcane rum), lime, sugar and crushed ice and it is so refreshing. Thom opted for a bottle of Itaipava beer which he told me was also very refreshing. When the drinks arrived I noticed that I had TWO cocktails, I hadn’t realised it was 2-4-1 from 12pm until 7pm and then again at 10pm until close. I love that it is from 12pm as this means you can come here for a few drinks if you are out shopping or just fancy some lunchtime cocktails.
The starters we eventually went for were the Sweet Potato Hummus with Grilled Pita and then the Spicy Malagueta Chicken Lettuce Wraps. We are both obsessed with sweet potatoes and hummus so the first option was a no-brainer, the second was my attempt to be a little healthier.
As anticipated the hummus was amazing and but it had such a homemade taste to it that made it even better. We asked Barry if it was made on site and he told us that it is a Brasilian recipe that is made by a supplier in London but they only make it for Cabana. I like the fact that they are a chain but try to keep everything as authentic as possible. The lettuce wraps were just as tasty and the perfect starter as they are packed with flavour but really light.
Once all the food came I tried to start writing notes to remind myself what everything was like and to try and describe it well for this post, after a few minutes I realised I was just writing the word delicious over and over again but I couldn’t help it as it was all just so…………………….. delicious!
For mains I went for the Chilli Chilli Lamb Lamb Skewer. I absolutely love lamb so I usually gravitate toward it if it’s on a menu, I was worried about the Chilli Chilli though as how hot was it going to be that they named it twice? I took the risk though and it wasn’t too spicy at all. You can also stack your skewers with either ribs, chicken wings or prawns and we decided to stack mine and go for the ribs so we could both eat them. Thom went for the 8oz Pork Tenderloin which would have also been my second choice. Each skewer is served with either 2 Cabana Sides or one Premio Side and the selection is really good. I had chips and corn on the cob and Thom went for Feijoada Fries which was sweet potato fries with an amazing beef and pork chilli on top. Writing this down makes me realise we ordered a crazy amount of food, the craziest part being that we finished every last bit!
We were both very impressed when we finished eating with Thom making the statement “I think that was one of the nicest meals I have had in a long time” and I would have to agree with him. The flavour combinations were amazing, I think if I had to criticise anything it would be that nothing was very spicy even when the name of the food had the word spicy in it. For me this wasn’t a bad thing as I am not great with spicy food, however if you do like spice then you might be disappointed with that.
Once our main meals were cleared away I could tell Thom had that ‘I want a dessert‘ glint in his eye but I was so full there was no way I could eat anything else. After a lot of deliberating (I mean a lot), he decided on the Caramel Flake Frozen Yogurt Sundae. When Barry brought it over he brought 2 spoons, God Damn you Barry, I am going to have to eat some now! I only had a tiny amount though as I don’t have the best reaction to dairy but it was enough of a taste to realise it was unbelievable, the brownie bits really made it.
I love the whole look and feel of the restaurant and they really have put the effort in with the decor, my favourite part is the seats on the tables near the kitchen as they are made out of old steel drums. They also have a wall that is covered in wishes from staff and customers which I think is a nice touch.
Overall I was very impressed with Cabana Brasilian BBQ and we will most definitely be returning to try more from the menu.
*The entire time I have been writing this post the song Copacabana by Barry Manilow has been on a constant loop in my head!
**We were invited to Cabana to do this review but I am always 100% honest in every one of my blog posts