Carioca - A Bite Of Brazil - Q&A

— 19 Oct 2016 by Matt Carter

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1. Tell us about who you are and what you do.

We are a welcoming independent restaurant Carioca offers a true bite of Brazil in the heart of South London. Taking its name from the local term for the vivacious people of Rio de Janeiro, Carioca is committed to showcasing the real spirit of Brazil’s cuisine - its
bold colours, rich flavours, and diverse culinary influences from the Portuguese, Africans and native South Americans.

Since the restaurant’s launch in Brixton’s Market Row in 2012, owner Maurilio Goncalves and his team have continually impressed with their innovative take on traditional Brazilian favourites. Renowned for their satisfying all-day brunch dishes like the “Copacabana” corn muffin topped with fried plantain, pulled braised beef, black bean stew and poached egg, Carioca’s vibrant modern food reflects the spectacular style of their icon Carmen Miranda and is served with the same warm Latino smile.

Promising to fly diners down to Rio in an instant, the restaurant’s mouth-watering mains such as “The Pelé beef rib bun ”with spicy Currasco sauce and hearty national dish “Feijoada” are ideal washed down with refreshing Caipirinha cocktails and Brahma beers.

All of Carioca's food is prepared in house using authentic fresh ingredients carefully sourced from the best suppliers. Brazilian head chef Lucy takes pride in training all of Carioca’s kitchen staff to understand the ideal balance of classic spices and seasonings combined with modern cooking techniques, which is key for ensuring that each of their dishes is perfect.  

2. Which song best sums up your brand and why?

CIDADE MARAVILHOSA - A carnival hymn about Rio, its culture, colours, beauty and people as the beating heart of Brazil. As Cariocas' we are very proud to be from RIO.  

3. What can we expect from your stay at BOXPARK?

Great food that everyone will talk about, competitions, discounts for local business and collaborations by offering complimentary meals and caipirinhas to support local causes AND A LOT OF FUN.

4. What item on your menu would you recommend and why?

Favela Cantagalo. Very delicious and satisfying dish; a crispy on the outside and tender on the inside cassava rosti, topped with slow cooked spicy pulled beef that melts in your mouth. This dish is topped with farofa (Brazilian seasoning made from cassava flour, banana and pancetta) crispy sweet potato shavings, and white cabbage, tomato and watercress salad to add balance and enhance flavours.  

5. What is your favourite current @BOXPARK brand and why?

Mama Lan, Brixton. Love the dumplings, all of them. Favourite dish is the spicy chicken ban mein.  

6. What's your top Croydon tip?

Lloyd Park. I have a thing for parks as a way of relaxing and escaping the buzz of big cities.

7. What does the future hold for your brand? Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?

Showcase our Brazilian street food to a wider audience. Establish our brand in South West London and across the capital.

8. What would be your last meal on Death Row and why?

Lots and lots of salted caramel gelato from Lab G from Brixton Village. I have a soft spot for gelato.