Cabana Islington

Last night I was invited to the fifth location of a Cabana, Upper Street, Islington.

It officially opens this weekend, but I got invited to try it out. I could take up to three other people with me, to check the atmosphere out and get a better feel for the place.

The interior or exterior didn’t blow me away, it looked like any other restaurant with wood panelling and lights on the ceiling, but food could still have blown me away.

I went in with an open mind. I’ve never been to Brazil, met somebody from Brazil or gone to a restaurant that serves food from the country, so I didn’t know what to expect.

Firstly, I ordered a drink, as you’d expect. It was okay, but it wasn’t that great, it was quite sweet but generally sour and nobody wants a sour cocktail. In fact, all of us found our different drinks just tasted sweet/sour/bitter without an actual flavour of either fruit or alcohol. Which really, considering the price of the drinks was a bit of a disappointment.

For starters we all had different things. I personally ordered the crispy cheese parcels, which were very small and only half filled with cheese and weren’t very strong either. Basically, they were a bit of a disappointment. My companions ordered a Brazilian take on a samosa which turned up as a single one and I’m pretty sure didn’t satisfy anybodies starting needs I feel.

Especially when we had to wait over 30 minutes after the starters for the mains to turn up. Which would be fine, but it’s a barbecue restaurant, everything that’s ordered shouldn’t take that long to be cooked.

When the food turned up the agreement was that it was rather so so and that it wasn’t anything special. A companion ordered a hanger steak, and when it turned up it wasn’t the most impressive piece of meats for the money at all, in fact it was rather small and something you could buy in a supermarket for about £5.

Nothing really turned up in an impressive manner either, especially because of how unorganised the new staff to be there. At one point they removed half the plates and left the other half on the table for 10 minutes before the same waiter came and took them away.

In the end we decided not to wait around to get dessert, that would have meant waiting around probably another hour for some mediocre food to turn up and for us to eat it.

It was really a rather big disappoint and I wouldn’t choose to go there again if I had a choice. Especially if I had to pay for it. In total for starters and mains food for four people came to £76 – but because it was a press night, trying to impress it didn’t cost me anything (thank god for that).

If you want simple and plain food for what I suppose is an average price of food on Upper Street then sure go along, but I wouldn’t recommend it to be brutally honest. Perhaps other people there had a better time last night, more tasty food and a quicker service but I can only judge on my own experience.

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