A vibrant hub of sizzling Brazilian and Latino food, music, drink and culture, Made In Brasil is a charming, authentic restaurant and bar that attracts people from all around London who escape to this little centre of holiday heaven in the eclectic heart of Camden. A slight case of style over substance, but a charismatic bar and restaurant nonetheless.
Bright, colourful and a little bit crowded, the restaurant is everything you could hope for when looking for a bona fide Brazilian joint. Its bright yellow exterior with a lime green mounted carving of Christ the Redeemer ensures you can’t miss Made In Brasil if you tried. Downstairs offers private dining for parties with a Copacabana Beach Bar, and upstairs exposed brick walls, bright pictures and roughly finished tables bring that little bit of easy Brazilian charm to London. This relaxed approach extends to the menu (complete with typos) but it does add to the feeling that this is quite the authentic bar and eatery.
Warm, friendly and informal, Made In Brasil encapsulates the spirit of the country. Live bands manage somehow to squeeze themselves next to the bar and play salsa beats and Latino songs as you drink and dine, bringing further culture to the restaurant. If conversation is your aim, however, this may prove difficult, as you’ll find yourselves shouting to each other over the music to get yourself heard - though this certainly doesn’t seem to bother the customers too much.
The bar menu is accompanied by small plates of street food (three for £12.50 or five for £21.50). For those after a more filling meal, various tempting courses are available. The smoked chicken salad with Brazil nut and bacon dressing (£5.25) is generously portioned with a delicate flavour for those watching the calories but still after a decent starter, whilst the grilled halloumi skewer is rather small in comparison, especially when its £5 price tag is considered. It's tasty nonetheless. Steamed mussels with coconut milk and coriander are served with toast (£5.95) and crispy belly of pork with pickled shallot and parsley salad is also available.
Main courses include tiger prawns in a creamy cassava and palm oil puree (£11.95); Brazilian slow-cooked mixed pork meat and black bean stew served with rice, farofa, sautéed greens and orange segments (£10.95); and various meats and fish from the grill (between £10 and £13). The sizzling mixed seafood platter (£12.95) is bit disappointing, with small portions and not nearly enough fish. However, the cap of rump Brazilian beef (£12.95) served sizzling with onions, crispy garlic, steamed rice, mixed leaf salad and tomato and coriander salsa is delicious – lightly spiced, well cooked and accompanied perfectly by a fresh, tangy salsa.
Recommended desserts include the sumptuously creamy buttermilk pana cotta (£4.25), served with passion fruit syrup and coconut shortbread, and a very good guava cheesecake (£4.25).
Made in Brasil boasts one of the biggest selections of Caipirinhas and Caipiroskas in London, with pretty much every flavour and fruit combination you can imagine. The tangerine and raspberry Caipiroska is incredible, as is the pineapple Caipirinha. Other cocktails include Mojitos, Brasilian Sangria, Martinis and Margaritas, and an impressive selection of fruit juice and smoothies.
The wine list has less of a focus (who needs wine when there is such an impressive cocktail list?) but includes six whites, six reds and two rosés, all of which are reasonably priced. A few bottled beers from Brazil, Mexico and Portugal are also available for those not feeling too adventurous.
Anyone who visits Made In Brasil will soon find themselves in the holiday spirit, making this a great place to unwind on a Friday after a long week at the office. If you’re after a decent meal, head for the meat options to ensure you leave the restaurant fully satisfied.