When we set up in Brixton market in 2012, Lucy, and myself wanted to showcase the true spirit of Brazilian cuisine in all its colour, flavours and diversity. We felt that Brazilian food in London was merely perceived to be no more than a bbq feast, accompanied by rice, chips, salad and mayonnaise.
So, for us Brazil represented a country with a rich history where three cultures met, and thus we decided to give London, Brixton to be more precise, a Brazilian restaurant like no other.
Creating our identity was not an easy game. After much hard work our menu was well received by our customers who seemed enamoured by our creativity in marrying flavours, textures and colours on plate the way did at Carioca. All this further encouraged us to work harder, and to come up with more dishes that were still Brazilian in its influence, and yet satisfied the demands of a modern consumer. Dishes like our Copacabana (a corn muffin, topped with fried plantain, pulled braised beef, black bean stew, sour cream and a poached egg) is only one example of the delicious food our customers keep coming back for.
But what should our eatery really be known as. We kept asking ourselves many times.
Having had Carmen Miranda painted on the window of our shop for over two years as we traded as Prima Donna, only made people believe at first sight that we were serving Italian food, and that our beloved Carmen was nothing more than a simple decoration. But then, tic, toc and suddenly the eureka moment had arrived. If Carmen was from Rio, and Rio was the most recognised symbol of Brazil, then we were clearly a Carioca. The orginal word “Kara’I oka”, comes from the indigenous Tupi language meaning “white mans house”. And so Carioca becomes pretty much the official name given to any inhabitant of Rio from then on.
Back to our food now. Everything we prepare is made by carefully selecting the best suppliers for our most authentic ingredients, be it our delicious açai, ripe plantains, or free range chicken.
Lucy takes pride in training all our kitchen staff to understand the process of food preparation, and the importance she places in combining the ideal balance of seasoning and spices that are necessary for each dish to be just perfect.
Tagged with: brazilian street food, rio street food, feijoada, caipirinha, coxinhas, coffee, maize muffins, pão de quejo, gluten free, chorizo, açai, esfihas