What’s the best way to celebrate finishing your degree? Unlimited cocktails, delicious food and live music, I hear you say? You would be right. A few months ago (yep, sorry about that) after doing a presentation on my independent project in front of all my tutors, I was officially D.O.N.E with my degree, and feeling pretty awesome. The lovely Kayleigh had been invited to the #RoadToRio event to launch their new lunch menu at Cabana in Trinity Leeds and I was so grateful that she asked if I wanted to come along with her. Who could say no to a free celebration, Brasilian Barbeque style?
First of all, can I just say that the restaurant interior is stunning. I’m really not a fan of dull restaurant interiors that lack personality- no matter how good the food is- but this was definitely not one of those places. I am obsessed with the booths made from old jeans, and the beautiful strings of lights- oh, and the surfboards on the roof. The staff were all so friendly and cheerful, and the best part? The Raspberry Caipirinhas, of course! We were offered one as soon as we arrived, and they just kept on coming. Like, I literally had five of them *covers face in shame* but they were delicious.
Due to the fact that they were making so many at the same time, the cocktails were all varying degrees of alcoholic- the first few were really juicy and delicious, but the last two were pretty damn strong! As in, the last one basically tasted of pure rum (I’m pretty sure this wouldn’t usually happen if they were making them specially). I’d love to try some more of their delicious cocktails- I’ve definitely had my fill of caipirinhas for a little while!
We started off with some little nibbles- houmous with their spicy malagueta sauce, with carrot and cucumber sticks. I bloody love houmous. So much so that I even ate most of the cucumber- which I hate- just so I could mop up as much of it as possible. Then we went onto these little lettuce boats, which had chicken, guacamole and their special malagueta mayo drizzled on top- lettuce never tasted so good! I usually hate the watery texture of lettuce, but the fillings were so flavoursome that I couldn’t even taste it. Guacamole is my fave.
Next, we had a sample of the proper mains on the lunchtime menu. The Lulalapa lunch box consists of sweet potato fries and crispy squid with the malagueta mayo drizzled on top- we had a sample of this (in the white cup) which was more like an entire portion- there were so many sweet potato fries! I would definitely have that again- the squid was incredible, as were the fries. NOM. But the real piece-de-resistance was the Bahian Coconut Curry with chargrilled chicken skewers and rice. God, that was the tastiest curry I think I’ve ever had! It tasted so fresh and it didn’t feel really naughty like a classic Indian takeaway would, and it was so nice to have the skewers on the side for a change, rather than having the chicken in with the curry.
We also had the Hipanema Bowl, which is a quinoa, avocado and butternut squash salad with mango dressing and Halloumi skewers. Whilst I loved the Halloumi (because, cheese, y’know) the actual salad was a bit bland- although Bee absolutely hoovered hers up! I just found that the avocado made it very creamy, and it needed a bit of spice or garlic or something to jazz it up a bit so it wasn’t quite as rich.
As the fabulous guitarist and singer played some traditional-sounding music that perfectly suited the atmosphere, we were handed our final course- churros and hot chocolate for dipping! At first, we only got one tiny portion between us, which where donuts are concerned is just not enough. Luckily, we eventually got another portion each, and our cravings were totally satisfied. I am a huge churro fan, and these were absolutely perfect (although I personally love them coated in some form of cinnamon sugar, just sayin’). In fact, Kayleigh was so satisfied that she couldn’t stop going on about how full she was!
I had an amazing time, and thank-you so much to Cabana for having us for such an incredible event. It was the perfect celebration to end my degree, and it was great to let myself have as many cocktails I wanted without having to worry about getting back to my work. I know I’ve been out of the blogosphere for a while, but it was seriously the best blogger event I have been to since The Botanist last year! Go take a look at Cabana’s website for the rest of their delicious menu, and I highly recommend you plan your first- or next- visit right now. Treat yo self.