We decided to go to Cabana as we had a Tastecard and wanted a cheap eat in Stratford. Cabana is a Brazilian restaurant that has the look, feel and taste of a chain restaurant by that we mean that the service is mechanical, food lacking surprise.
As we walked in we were welcomed by a chef grilling skewers of meat on one side of the room. The restaurant is simply designed with light wooden tables, warm colour tiles and a simple bar in the center of the small room which backed onto the open grill. We liked the fact that you could see the man with the grill although the kitchen itself was partially hidden.
We were swiftly seated and ordered a margarita and a strawberry daiquiri, which were delicious and much better than what we would have imagined from this place. We ordered parmesan with honey, chicken croquet’s and salmon ceviche for starter. The parmesan was served with a small bowl of honey and was cubed rather than shaved which we found disappointing; reminding me of a children’s party where cubed cheese is served on cocktail sticks with pineapple. We have to admit the unusual combination did work. The chicken croquet’s were fluffy and piping hot but we couldn’t eat the raw salmon as it had clearly been sitting in the lemon juice too long so instead of being fresh, light and slightly tangy it was gooey with a fermented taste – not good.
For our main course we both ordered half a steak skewer, half chicken skewer and a mushroom skewer. The skewers come from the open grill and the waitress brings the metal pole over to your table where she pulls them off. At least you knew it was freshly cooked! The chef standing by the grill must be sweltering and constantly turns the meter long skewers and the smell of charcoal is pleasant as it fits in with the rustic feel of the place. We were disappointed with the meat however as the chicken had a lot of fatty pieces, the steak was severely tough and the mushrooms were shrived. Nothing puts us off our dinner as much as fatty tough meat and that is what we had.
The service at Cabana was attentive and fast we have to admit and the team were friendly and quick to explain the concept of the restaurant. Unfortunately the quality of food was a real let down and we were relieved that we could use our Tastecard to obtain 50% off our bill. For price, quality and lack of atmosphere we give Cabana:
Food Atmosphere Service