One of the lovely benefits of being a blogger is getting invites to launch parties and previews. I’ve always been a bit of a nosey parker and a gossip so having the opportunity to check out new places before they open to the public is a welcome perk!
There’s been a flurry of new bar and restaurants opening in the North East recently, all eager to please us opinionated diners (remember my visits to Turtle Bay and Thaikhun?) so Cabana Brasilian Barbecue Restaurant had tough acts to follow. However, I am pleased to report that the launch party did not disappoint!
— Rachel Kershaw (@rachmotormouth) April 20, 2016
After a swift change in the staff toilets at work (so glam!) I hot footed it to Newgate Street on the other side of town. Cabana is located in the old Co-op building which has recently had a £17 million facelift and is also home to a brand new Premier Inn, making it a prime location for the popular chain restaurant.
I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, I’ve never been to a Brasilian restaurant before, let alone the actual country so I can’t really comment as to whether the food samples I tried were authentic but they sure were tasty! The bar snacks included some thirst inducing toasted nuts (yum!) and some deliciously warm cheesy dough balls (heaven!)
According to this handy guide from Emma at Canny Food, the proper name for the cheese filled treats is ‘Pão de queijo’, in Brazil they’re often enjoyed for breakfast (and she should know, her husband is from there!)
While my friends and I made an effort to get in to the ‘spirit’ of things (Cachaça to be precise!) some more mouthwatering dishes were brought round for us to try, including grilled halloumi, salt cod fritters, cassava fries and chicken skewers. Although we only tried tit-bits, all the dishes were right up my street and definitely left me wanting more. The cassava fries were more like big chunky chips but light and fluffy, I could easily have devoured a whole bowl!
As well as an insight in to the food on offer at Cabana, the launch event was a chance to party like a true Brasilian. DJ’s Helen Holt and Carlito got everyone shaking their booty’s on the dancefloor, while the beautiful samba dancers showed us how it was really done! (Check my Instagram page for a video!)
The atmosphere was electric and I quickly forgot it was a Wednesday night out in the Toon, it felt more like we were on holiday! The place was packed so I didn’t mingle as much as I’d have liked but I did manage to catch up with my old mates Matt and Anna from Capital Radio, Nyomi who blogs at www.nomipalony.com and our pals from We Love Newcastle plus the lovely Pixie and her husband from Fashion Voyeur.
I would have happily partied with them all till dawn but for once my other half adopted the role of sensible designated driver and we said our goodbyes just after 11.
Will definitely be heading back though, James and I both commented that it would be a fab place to have a birthday party! So if you thought Newcastle’s nightlife was as vibrant as it could get, well Cabana just took it up a gear!
— Cabana (@cabana_brasil) April 15, 2016