Feijoada (Brazilian feast stew) - Boteco Do Brasil

Boteco Do Brasil

4th April 2017 6pm

www.botecodobrasil.com/edinburgh

We were invited along by the lovely peeps at Boteco do Brasil to sample some of the food they had on offer with their new menu. Boteco do Brasil have a history in Glasgow but have been in Edinburgh for a shorter time. I have to admit, I’d really only considered this venue to be a bar and never really thought about what food offering it had, so this gave me a good opportunity to find out. Also, being a group blogger event, it meant that I could nosey at other people’s food without getting stared at! We seemed to all choose food in our pairs so we could share our meals to extend the amount of food we could taste. So I went for chourico apimentado for my starter and moqueca with prawns for my main. My friend opted for espetinho de camarao for starter followed by feijoada for her main. She had some of the red wine on the table and said it was really good quality.

Starters were brought to the table and cameras started snapping, as is the way of the blogging community! Once that was done, we tucked in. My chorizo was beautiful – the flavour was spot on. It was accompanied with cassava, which is a bit like potato. I had tried cassava chips in the past and wasn’t keen but this was really good. The little peppers dotted across the dish added an extra punch that I adored. On the other side of the table, the barbecued prawns were also going down well. I got to sample some of it too. The prawns were cooked well and had a subtle heat from the chilli and garlic marinade.  The prawns were presented on skewers and were interspersed with tomatoes, sat atop a salad. Everyone else round the table seemed to be enjoying their starters, which handily can also be ordered as tapas if you prefer.

The mains arrived in a spectacular fashion. Most dishes required two plates and the steak dish came on a sizzling platter. My dish was prawns in coconut milk with onions, coriander, tomatoes and peppers. On the side was rice and farofa  (flavoured cassava flour to thicken the sauce).  Again, the prawns were cooked well and the sauce was delicately flavoured. However, whilst I enjoyed mine I was supremely jealous of the feijoada stew my friend was tucking into. This was a traditional Brazilian feast stew with black beans, pork ribs, bacon, salt beef and chorizo. This was also served with rice, chilli salad and farofa. The depth of flavour this stew had was incredible. My friend knew she needed to stop eating to keep room for dessert but couldn’t help but keep going back for more. Again, dishes round the table were all warmly received. If Brazilian food seems a bit too much for you, there are also a choice of burgers.

I had saved room for dessert as I was recommended the brigadeiro – a condensed milk and chocolate ball dessert. My friend saw a photo of the pave de morango and decided to try that. I have to say that the desserts were the hit of what was a very good standard of meal. The brigadeiro, whilst rich, weren’t as sickly sweet as I was expecting and I adored them (in fact I am still drooling at the thought of them now). With a little bit of cream and slices of strawberry, this was a triumph of a dessert. Across the table, my non-dessert liking friend was really pleasantly enjoying her dessert too. The strawberry was mousse-like and coconut brought an element to the dish which balanced out the small touch of condensed milk on the top. Much to our entertainment, two diners next to us chose the same desserts as us to share and wolfed down the strawberry dessert in what seemed like five seconds, each taking a larger spoonful each time to try to get the bigger share of the dish.

We really enjoyed our visit to Boteco do Brasil as have already planned a return trip to sample more food and make a start on the cocktail menu. What I thought was really a bar surprised me with some delightful food.

Food – 9/10
Service – 8/10
Atmosphere- 8/10
Value – 9/10

Overall – 34/40

Would I eat here again? Yes and I have already made plans

Cost – this meal was complimentary but the cost of the food (but not the wine) would be around £45 for two three course meals.

Please note that whilst this was complimentary, views expressed are my own. Thanks to Donna for organising.

Las Iguanas

Las Iguanas

20th October 2016 5.30pm

www.iguanas.co.uk/locations/edinburgh

I’ll be honest with you, we were lured to Las Iguanas by the £3.90 all day every day cocktails. The food looked like a decent offering from the menu so we thought we’d give it a go. Situated on the corner of George Street and Charlotte Square, Las Iguanas is set on two floors with a spacious feel and retro furnishings. We got perusing the menus. They had a whole heap of menus, offering gluten free and vegan menus and also a shorter menu that covered up til 6.30pm. One of us ordered completely from the early menu and then the other two of us decided to do a mix and match between us, with me having a starter from the main menu and the main from the early menu and vice versa for my friend. So I went for the calamari followed by the blazing bird with BBQ jerk sauce, whilst my other friends went for the nachos and the moqueca de peixe and for the quesadilla and the South American torta. We obviously ordered our first round of cocktails too. Whilst there is an extensive drinks menu, there is still a fair bit of choice on the all day every day £3.90 cocktail section, with over 20 options. Every one we tried was really good.

So the starters arrived and whilst my calamari didn’t look overly exciting, it was actually some of the best calamari I’ve had as it was in a cayenne and cassava crumb, which gave it and exciting twist that I really enjoyed. The nachos were going down well and I have to say that it did look like a vibrant starter. The quesadilla, which I almost chose myself, also were enjoyed (apologies for the photos though, we started eating before I remembered to take snaps).

Onto the mains. My blazing bird was massive. There was definitely no skimping on meat here which made it excellent value for money. The BBQ jerk sauce didn’t have much kick but was pleasant nonetheless. The meat did get a bit dry in places but not enough for me to feel disappointed. I had a choice of sides to go with the chicken; fries, curly fries or salad. I obviously went for curly fries, the king of the chip. These were great and tasted nice dipped in the BBQ jerk sauce. The accompanying slaw was probably not big enough so felt a little pointless on the plate. The moqueca de peixe, which is essentially a Brazilian seafood dish in a coconut, tomato and lime sauce, had some impressive presentation as the bowl of seafood sat atop a candle in an earthenware stand to keep it warmed and an additional plate arrived with rice and plantain, as well as bits and pieces to sprinkle on top. This dish got the thumbs up and was enjoyed very much. I am tempted to try that on a future visit. My other dining companion said the South American torta was ‘yummy’. Although she opted for fries rather than curly which I have to say didn’t look as appetising but she was happy with her choice.

Cocktails - Las Iguanas

Cocktails – Las Iguanas

We couldn’t fit in any desserts but we did have a look on the menu and there were some good choices along with some boozy coffees if that’s your bag.

We really enjoyed our trip to Las Iguanas and will most likely be back.

Food – 7.5/10
Service – 8/10
Atmosphere – 8/10
Value – 10/10

Overall – 33.5/40

Would I eat here again? Yes and get more cocktails!

Cost £65 for three starters, mains and 6 cocktails (one non-alcoholic).