Cabana

Restaurants , Brazilian London
  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • 3 out of 5 stars
(14 user reviews)
1 Love It
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This is the second branch of Cabana, the first opening only weeks ago in Westfield Stratford City. Both of them look like a shopping-mall restaurants, but are quirkily and attractively decorated in bright colours, and are refreshingly different to the usual pizza-pasta chains.

The theory is that a constant stream of skewers of freshly cooked meats circulate the room, from which you take your pick. But on our visit it was a quiet night, so many of the advertised skewers failed to appear. Our chimichurri rump steak was a little dry and overcooked; in contrast, a rack of lamb was succulent and spicy. At Cabana you pay only for the dishes you order (it’s not all you can eat, like many restaurants of this sort), so choose carefully.

Pastels (pastries) are a deep-fried fast food served well-stuffed in Brazil, but the version here was a disappointingly near-hollow shell with hardly any cheese. Moist chicken croquettes and a hearty black bean soup were better.

We’re told the chef here is Brazilian, but the multinational service staff knew virtually nothing about the variety of cachaça sold from the bar. If you play safe and order beer instead even the cheapest lager on tap costs £2.95 for a small glass.

Cabana is not without its merits. The staff were upbeat, the room good- looking, the music suitably up-tempo. But if you’re after a more authentically Brazilian experience, look elsewhere.

Venue name: Cabana
Contact:
Address: 7 Central St Giles Piazza
St Giles High Street
London
WC2H 8AB
Cross street: 1 St Giles High Street
Opening hours: Open noon-10pm Mon-Sat; noon-9.30pm Sun
Transport: Tube: Tottenham Court Road tube
Price: Meal for two with drinks and service: around £65
Do you own this business?

Average User Rating

2.8 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:0
  • 4 star:6
  • 3 star:2
  • 2 star:1
  • 1 star:4
LiveReviews|14
NaN people listening
Aales

I was there tonight with my family and none of us were impressed with the food

The BBQ chicken was revolting, nothing like Brazilian taste, I wasn't sure if it was just a horrible taste or if it was off

The coxinhas were over fried on the outside and gooey on the inside

My son ordered a cake which was dry

For the price we were expecting a wonderful experience but were bitterly disappointed

I am from Brazil and I can tell you that what we ate tonight was an insult to Brazilian food

We wouldn't recommend this restaurant.

Emma P
Staff Writer

I've never been to Brazil so can't comment on the authenticity of the food. That said, everything I tried – we were in a large group, so had the chance to sample a large swathe of the menu – was seasoned and spiced impressively. The ribs and steak were particularly good. Friendly service and decent cocktails made the evening go with a swing, but the sense of being in a goldfish bowl (the exterior is a glass box) makes it a bit soulless and not somewhere I'd come back to for a small dinner party. Great for lunch though if you're feeling hungry.

Cookie Monster
moderatorStaff WriterTastemaker

Went with a large party of roughly 20 people and we were well looked after all evening. From the cocktails, to the mixed starters, to the great selection of BBQ meats, everything looked and tasted delicious.

Ros A
Tastemaker

Three and a half stars from me for Cabana St Giles. Wonderful, friendly staff (I think our waiter was called Pablo, he was ace - full of energy and very attentive). I like the decor here but it's a bit chilly in spots due to strong air conditioning. Food was tasty, recommend the sweet potato chips. We had the guac and dips to start, as well as some dough ball type thingies. Starter portions are for sharing, and are pretty big (not complaining!) I had the spicy chicken main and it was good. Nothing bad to say about this place really. 

Luisa G
Tastemaker

Good food, with the new staff. Now the place have employed some new people who speak English, it's far easier to get your food on time, and the correct order. The food itself tastes very good, and I've been back a few times!

Mike Cooshneea

Brazil conjures up images of beautiful, vibrant & voluptuous women in the sun shaking what their mamma gave them at carnivale. So you would expect the food at cabana to tantalise the taste buds with as much vibrancy as what greets the eyes i.e. moist meat and an explosion of flavours. To continue to use the analogy of women if I may, what we were served on a plate however was akin to a British tourist who had spent far far far too long basking in the Brazilian sun. The ribs we expected to be plump chunks of meat falling off the bone that were moist and full of flavour. Instead we got dry, chewy meat that had to be torn off with your gnashers (false teeth need not apply) and had clearly not been cooked slow and low as ribs should be. The industrial knife we were given struggled to see saw through the unfortunate piggies ribs. Good ribs take time, love and attention, unfortunately all three were lacking from the chef. The hanger steak (I think the cow did hang itself) ordered medium rare was tough, minuscule and by no means the butchers choice (as described on the menu) by any stretch of the imagination. The flavour of the meat to be fair was the only redeeming quality. Kudos needs to be given for the biro biro rice and homeslaw (tasty with a nice crunch of nuts throughout), however these two simple sides were the best part of the meal. The beirut described in great detail....is a cheese toastie! So if you are looking for a place to eat that epitomises the food of Brazil, this is one to avoid. It has the flamboyant and loud part of carnivale covered but completely misses the heart of what makes Brazil great.... love, care and passion. Flying to Brazil is expensive, so is eating out at Cabana, my advice my samba loving friends...jump on a plane and go for the real experience, that way you won't be disappointed. Mike

David

Anyone who has said they enjoy this restaurant have obviously not eaten brazilian food before, the prices of this restaurant were absolutely disgusting for what I got also- they had a card flip if I wanted another skewer, but I would have had to paid £10 for another skewer of meat (of which there was little as 3 massive chunks of pineapple took up the room where the meat should have been). Stay clear of this place if you want to enjoy your meal and feel like you aren't being ripped off.

Abraxas

I am Brazilian and have been recently to the Westfield Mall branch. Very friendly staff, upbeat atmosphere with nice Brazilian music, sadly that was the only positive side. As for the food, not really Brazilian-tasty, just too bland and waaaay overpriced. Ordered a steak with rice/black bean soup, nothing could even remotely be described as Brazilian-flavored, where is the seasoning? No pork sausage with the beans? They seriously need to hire a Brazilian cook...

Luis

Overpriced, without taste, and definitely not Brazilian or fusion This restaurant seems to exist on the premise of having a Brazilian chef, if in-house there's no evidence of that as the one I spoke to couldn't speak any Portuguese at all. The simplest dishes are either too salty or tasteless but the tasteless bit might have been because they were served cold. The shrimp/prawn curry had 3 small prawns drowned by a liquid yellow sauce that would never be called a moqueca in Brazil. It was lunchtime and I had to call work as it took them a ridiculous amount of time to bring the food. Staff barely knows what they are serving and quite often give the wrong instructions on which dips to use with what, even management that although very Brazilian-looking is not. Managers are clearly hired by their looks, they look Brazilian but will blurt out an unceremonious "what???" if you try to be nice and say a hello in Portuguese. Not very British either, eh? Stay away, it is made to look Brazilian, but they don't talk the talk, nor walk the walk, and worse they don't even cook the cook.

Anna

Went to the one in Westfield Stratford city, was very exited when I saw the menu as I am Latin American, saw a lot of variety and the atmosphere seem good, the staff were friendly but the food not only overprice but also cold. Me and my husband order a few different dishes the size of the dish was ridiculous a very tiny portion the food was cold, and in some cases raw. I'm not the type of customer to write reviews but I was so disappointed with the food that I need to let other people know so they stay away until the restaurant realises how terrible they are at the moment. Probably u could find better food on a street stall.

Leodora

The staff are very patient with us and the food is fresh, well presented and excellent value. The welcome is very enthusiastic and the food is consistently good with good portions.

Mia

Been to this branch of Cabana twice now, convenient location and nice decor, staff are friendly, but stressed because there are too few of them on the floor. On the last visit we waited for a very long time for our food and had to remind the waiters several times about missing dishes that took a further 10-15minutes to arrive. The food is tasty enough, the only complaint is the lack of vegetarian options (few and far between, but it is a Brazilian grill so wasn't expecting them). Unfortunately the slow service and the over priced menu mean I can't see myself going back any time soon, which is a shame because it has such potential to be a great place.

Jonathan

Was also quiet when I visited but the beef skewers were cooked superbly with the salad, rice and beans also being typically Brazilian and moreish. The staff were very friendly as well. Not sure where the Time Out journalist has had his Brazilian pastels, but being a regular visitor to Brasil, he doesn't know what he is talking about. The only downer is the beer is pricey (£4.95 for Itaipava and £3.95 for a lesser known Rio brand). A nice change from all the gourmet burger places nearby.