Made in Brazil

I, personally, was not made in Brazil. I was made in Canada – a fact of which I am fiercely proud. But if I were to have been made anywhere else I would have to choose Brazil. I have come to the conclusion that Brazilian people are the soul of the planet – everything that I know about Brazilians suggests that they love life, and throw themselves at it. Also, they are stunningly attractive. I have never met an ugly Brazilian person ever.

I went to dinner last night with Andrea, who was made in Brazil, and her brother Daniel who, incidentally, was also made in Brazil. They are from Salvador, in Bahia province, a place which they tell me never gets winter. Jon came along too – he’s from Southend.

The venue, accordingly, was Made in Brasil in Camden, which we chose because a) the reviews were good b) there is a giant green Christ the Redeemer above the entrance and c) because I heard somewhere they had a parrot. There was no parrot. At least not one that I could see. Maybe he was hiding.

I should preface this by saying that my office puts on “last Friday drinks” every month and even on pay day, I like free things (I once got a flu shot because it was free), so prior to arriving at the restaurant I was already feeling pretty cheerful.

The whole evening, aside from the lack of parrot, was really wonderful. There was live music and a certain energy about, which suggested that even if you didn’t want to have fun, you were gonna.

The food was great of course – but a place like this is not just about the food, it’s about the atmosphere and the ambiance and the music…and the drink.

The caipirinha is Brazil’s national drink – it’s made with cachaca, sugar cane rum, and sugar. Made in Brasil’s drink list boasts a wide selection, ranging from the original lime to the very berry and chili mary caipirinha. Apparently they serve other things too, like the capeta, another traditional Brazilian drink/chocolatey boozey concoction, but I didn’t get that far.

I went for the pineapple. It/they went down quickly.

To start off with, we had a selection of Brazilian tapas  – pao de queijo (cheese bread), manioca frita (manioc chips, served with aioli), bolinha de carne seco (cassava and beef balls) and coxinha (stuffed chicken pastries – definitely fits the bill). Andrea insisted that in Brazil you would never eat this type of food in a restaurant – it’s just street food – but judging by her enthusiastic nods throughout this first course I assumed that it was authentic enough.

Coxinha

Then we played games! Daniel showed us an activity whereby everyone rolls up little bits of their napkin and puts anywhere between one and three little rolled up balls of tissue in their hand, and the game players must then guess the total number of balls that are hidden in everyone’s fists. I have now adamantly proved to my friends that I may be able to spell, but I cannot count for shit.

As a main I ordered a plate of stir fried vegetables with cassava cakes with a coconut and palm oil sauce. Brazilians eat lotsa meat, so I didn’t have much choice – but there was at least one other option on the menu. Andrea had a steak, and once again there was a fair deal of nodding, and her brother opted for the feijoada, a traditional black bean and pork stew, which is about as Brazilian as you can get, from what I understand. I was pretty much at Carnival. Basically.

Feijoada

For dessert, I had a serving of falling asleep on the tube ride home. All signs point to a good night!

Need to know:

Made in Brasil

12 Inverness Street

02074820777

Nearest tube: Camden Town

Opening hours: Sun-Thurs 12pm-1am, Fri & Sat 12pm-2am

21+ after 10 pm

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