There is something disturbing about watering hole in fashionable East London being called Favela Chic. I am pretty sure there is nothing particularly chic about having to live in a Brazillian shanty town. Still, putting these concerns aside there is no denying that a night at Favela Chic is a lot of fun.
The soaring space is decorated with an eclectic mix of charity shop finds. Old school desks double as tables, battered wooden planks line the walls, ballgowns hang from the ceiling and a statue of Jesus looks on from a corner. If you go you must order the caprihinis at £5 each or £28 for a jug they make them strong at Favela Chic and lets you get into the Brazilian party spirit. The door staff can be annoying so the best way to get into Favela Chic is to book in for dinner. Bear in mind though that Brazilians are not really known for their cuisine and eating at what is essentially an East London bar is always risky.
The menu bristles with Brazilian ingredients such as cassava (always better deep fried) and palm hearts. It features traditional Brazilian dishes along with some random Italian influences. A good starting point is the tropical salad. Food is served in large terracotta dishes to share and the salad is a jumble of beans, palm hearts, star fruit, carrots, cherry tomatoes and is dotted with tiny hard boiled quail eggs. Kibe is the Brazilian version of a meatball. Small balls of beef are coated in breadcrumbs and served on top of rocket and Parmesan. Without any sauce the Kibe is quite dry and hard work.
Roasted black feathered chicken is served as chunks of plump chicken sprinkled with spice. The chicken is stringy and illustrates the dangers of eating at a bar. Aubergine a parmigiana while not really an authentic Brazilian dish is a welcome addition with its tangy tomato based sauce and gooey grilled aubergine. However a big miss on the menu is the grilled swordfish which is rubbery and overcooked (pictured below).
If you have not already had enough of caprihinis at this stage you can order caprihini tart which is essentially a lemon tart with a twist. I preferred this to the bland tirimasu which was bizarrely on offer. Don’t linger too long over dessert though, Favela Chic is much better as a bar than a restaurant so there is no point in eating here if you are not going to take advantage of the dance floor.
Details: 91-93 Great Eastern Street, EC2A 3HZ (Ph 0207 613 428)
Damage: Pricey but maybe that was all the caprihinis.
If you liked reading this and want to read about a bar that serves decent enough food try Dollar Grills and Martinis. If you are in the area try one of the brilliant cheap Vietnamese restaurants on Kingsland road such as Viet Grill.