Ever since I got back from my trip to Brazil in February I have had major Brazil withdrawal symptoms. It was not just the caprinhinis and white sandy beaches which I formed an addiction to but also the Brazilian food – a feast of fresh seafood and meat heavy churrascaria.
|Caipirinhas and coxinha|
For fellow addicts like me salvation is now at hand in the form of Emporio Sao Paulo a cafe and deli in Parson’s Green established by Brazilian manager, Carminha. On a so-warm-if-you-closed-your-eyes-you-could-be-in-Brazil-day The London Foodie organised a visit to Emporio Sao Paulo along with Greedy Diva, Tamarind and Thyme and Hot and Chilli.
|Feijoada – we were served a small taster size portion|
We started with a caipirinha made in the traditional Brazillian style with basically no mixer and cachaca rather than vodka. It’s a drink that is delicious but can knock your socks off. Carminha confided that what is often served as a caipirinha in London would not pass muster at her cafe. We also tried out some Brazilian finger food in the form of empadas de frangos which were pastries filled with shredded chicken and coxinha, cone shaped bread crumbed mixes of mashed potato, chicken and spices.
Emporio Sao Paulo offers home made meals to eat in or takeaway and Carminha said the feijoada (£7.50) which is served on Wednesdays and Sundays has been a surprise hit with locals. Emporio Sao Paulo’s version of the pork and black bean stew was delicious with tender, slow cooked pork melting into the beans. I even enjoyed the manioc which I had avoided in Brazil thanks to its similarity in taste to sawdust. Teamed with the rich feijoada it actually added a great textural contrast and I was instantly converted.
Emporio Sao Paulo has also recently introduced a moqueca (£6.50) which was tasty but lacked the lovely rich coconut flavour I remember from the moquecas in Brazil. Carminha admitted she had opted for a lighter version of the Brazilian sea food stew in order to appeal to local tastes.
During our meal we were served wines from Go Brazil Wines including the Casa Valduga Gran Reserva Brut 130 (£18), a crisp sparkling and the Casa Valduga Premium Chardonnay 2009 which was a zesty unoaked chardonnay.
To finish we enjoyed a cake stand filled with brigadeiros de frutas a sweet made from condensed milk with a filling of passionfruit, pistachio and even a whole grape. There were also tiny glasses of creamy chocolate brigadeiros for the chocaholics amongst us.
Emporio Sao Paulo is a charming deli and cafe with enthusiastic owners who are keen to spread a bit of Brazilian love in London. It is probably more the sort of place you would pop in for lunch or to pick up some supplies and takeaway feijoada rather than head there for a lengthy dinner. Don’t expect anything too fancy but you can at least cure a few of your Brazil withdrawal symptoms.
Gourmet Chick was a guest of Emporio Sao Paulo and Branding Latin America.