REVIEW: MADE IN BRASIL BOTECO, CAMDEN
Camdennow has its very own taste of the exotic with the opening of Made in Brasil Boteco. It looks colourful and vibrant, but is it worthy of dinner out?
As I’ve not been to Brasil, I can’t vouch for the authenticity of Made in Brasil Boteco, which suggests an ability to transport you to the carnivals of Rio and the road side bars of Brasilia. If it is a mirror image, then I have really missed out.
Stepping into this bright and relaxed cachaçeria bar and restaurant, you get the feeling that the place has been here much longer than it has. With a local hangout vibe, the second restaurant in London for Made in Brasil, located on the corner of Chalk Farm Road and Ferdinand Street, has gained quite some popularity over a short space of time.
I certainly was not disappointed by the warmth of the staff – I was unashamedly charmed by our waiter who promptly plonked himself on the seat next to me to explain how best to go about ordering for the night.
Our drinks took a while to arrive, I would have liked to start before the food, but were wonderful. Be prepared for bold and fruity flavours as all traditional cocktails start with a base of cachaça, a spirit distilled from sugar cane juice that packs a bit of a punch. I had no particular favourites – maybe I’m just a wine gal – but I’d definitely try at least one from the extensive list, perhaps as a pre-dinner drink.
To eat, we opted for Petiscos (Brazilian tapas), rather than having to commit to one meal each. I of course would have had no idea what to choose on the menu, and so asked for the favourites.
Without doubt my favourite item and a quiet achiever was the camarão na moranga, creamed prawns served inside a perfectly cooked pumpkin. To. Die. For. In all honesty this with a side of potato chips and dipping sauce (cooked traditionally to Brasilian style – I don’t know how they do it, but also delicious) would have been enough for me. We also didn’t leave any of the beringela ‘a parmegiana’ behind, an aubergine lasagne with crusty bread for either dipping or scraping cheesy goodness from the bottom of the dish. Also noteworthy was the casquinha de siri – baked crab meat on shells with a tasty crumb.
We dined on a Monday night, but due to the pure size of the place – the restaurant is split over three floors – you can tell that weekends would be really bustling and happening. There is also a regular calendar of live music, dance and other cultural events, which I’m sure would be a hoot, and balmy nights would be fantastic on the rooftop bar, cocktail in hand.
Words: Phillipa Rust
48 Chalk Farm Road NW1 8AJ; 020 7267 4868; madeinbrasilboteco.co.uk