It’s a little bit of Brazil in London
Carioca is located in the buzzing Brixton’s Market Row, right in one of London’s most famous “Babels” for foodies. To be honest, there is no better place to be. The greater news is: Carioca does Brazilian food with excellence.
It’s actually what Caetano Veloso portraits in his famous lyrics “Isso aqui ooh, é um pouquinho de Brasil iaia”. There is definitely a huge bit of Brazil in this restaurant than just its name.
The fusion of Portuguese, indigenous and African culinary that makes Brazilian food so authentic and flavorous is really well represented at Carioca. The concept is really simple: bringing some popular dishes and/or street food from Brazil to the table.
From pao de queijo to feijoada; the menu in this place is fulfilled with the best of Brazil on plate. And it’s always a difficult decision to make about what to eat. Especially when everything looks delicious and it’s all about your hometown food.
As a Brazilian living in the UK for five years now, I confess sometimes I miss that feeling of sitting down in a bar (always outside because the Brazilian weather permits it!) to have some nice bites and beers.
To my surprise, I had this feeling back at Carioca. And I even managed to sit in an outside table. Sorted! The Brixton’s Market Row has a lot of good vibe. People passing by, tables in both sides of many restaurants and some inquisitive shops like the one in the opposite of Carioca. Just have a look around when you visit it.
Food: While I tucked in a delicious Bahian Fishcake & Sweet Chilli Sauce serve with baby leaf salad and fresh cherry tomatoes, my husband wanted a bit more of substance getting the also delicious Brazilian Crumbed pulled beef and rice ball topped with poached egg served with churrasco sauce and fried plantain.
Both looked incredible! And to make the happiness complete I got some cassava chips as a perfect side for my Carioca experience.
I have pinched his meal just to see if he was lucky as I was with my choice. Both were superb and I can testify it was the taste of Brazil on plate.
It was a bit early for some caipirinhas. Well, it shouldn’t be never say that early for such a great cocktail, but I preferred to keep myself on beer mode that time. Maybe next time?
And I couldn’t leave the place without some pudding tupiniquim style. So Banana cake it was! Hubby had a slice of white chocolate cheesecake and we were done.
Despite we have chosen the light lunch menu, the portions were really generous.
But I feel like visiting Carioca again for a whole indulgence in the hearty menu that is pretty much about the richest food experience my country can produce.
That was great to have a quick chat with staff and one of the owners of the place Maurilio Gonçalves, that is also responsible for the cakes served there. Skills!
Carioca also does breakfast, brunch, sandwiches and drinks. What are you waiting for to check this South American gem in London?
Published June 12th 2016 here.