Tuesday 1 December 2015

Cabana, Manchester

Cabana, Manchester
So we were well peckish, and about to go and watch Anthrax and Slayer; a Brazilian meat emporium was the obvious choice (nods to Sepultura). We arrived in Manchester to near 'end of days' style weather, and threats of going on a carousel, which incidentally never materialised. 

Cabana is one of the latest openings in the newly refurbished Corn Exchange. I've already tried quite a few of the new places, but was captivated by Cabana's twinkly lights and meaty promises. When I was asked to review it, I jumped at the chance. Pre-gig was the perfect opportunity - two birds and all that. 

We were enthusiastically greeted by a young chap whose name I unfortunately didn't catch, but he was very keen to tell us all about Cabana and was spot on with his recommendations! 
Cabana, Manchester
Two for one cocktails... my old friend. We couldn't resist veering away from the food menu to warm those cockles (cockles that were almost frozen off by that Arctic style blast outside). For some reason I appear not to have taken pictures of them all; that was obviously eagerness to drink them.
Cabana, Manchester - Drinks
We were a bit over-faced by the menu, so were happy to run with whatever our chappie recommended. I must apologise for the quality of the pictures; it was quite dark inside and outside looked like it might never be light again.

Guaca-molho: I love a bit of guacamole with tortilla chips. I could cane my own body-weight in them, and on occasion, have come pretty damn close! I liked the little bits of sweet onion mixed in.
Spicy Malagueta chicken wings: That Malagueta sauce is on everything, including a big bottle on the table. Overkill? Nope. It's immense! Sweet, a little spicy and all kinds of ace. Run with it. 
Parmesan and wild honey: Who would have thought that this would be so great? I can't say I've ever had parmesan in chunks before, but this was bloody marvellous!
Pulled pork sliders: Little bits of pulled pork rammed inside dough balls. Very clever. I tried to eat mine in some sort of lady-like fashion. Don't bother, it makes more mess! Down in one please.
Cabana, Manchester - Starters
We were a little surprised when the manager suggested that we both have the same main, but ran with it. Feel bad about that two birds comment now, because that's what we had!

Spicy Malagueta chicken skewers: There's that sauce again, but I was secretly quite pleased! Those little charred bits from the grill were absolutely delicious. The sauce is perfectly sweet, and turns quite sticky when cooked. Mouth is watering whilst writing, again. 
Cabana, Manchester - Skewers
Sweet potato and standard fries: Exactly what you would expect; crunchy fries which were well seasoned. It was nice to have a bit of both.
Rio beans: One of my favourite items that we tried. These beans had a lovely after-kick from what we thought may be smoked paprika. Lovely.
Homeslaw: This is a 'dressing' style coleslaw for all of those mayo haters out there. Really crunchy with a subtle tang that went well with the sweet chicken.
Cabana, Manchester - Sides
We declared ourselves way too full to attempt a dessert, for we feared that we had already eaten enough to make us nod off through Raining Blood. We did however perk ourselves back up with another Caipirinha, which seemed to do the trick.

I'm very excited by everything that's going on in the Corn Exchange. Firstly, there are lots of lovely restaurants and bars in the same venue, meaning you're never far away from somewhere to have a quick drink before or after your meal. Secondly, it's a stones-throw from Victoria Station, so there's little wasted travelling time. Lastly, it's all inside which is perfect for nesh people like me. I'm not a fan of winter and all the horrors which accompany it.

Go to Cabana with your mates if you like barbecue charred meats, plentiful sides, chatty staff and lovely cocktails.

Disclaimer: I was invited to Cabana to try out their meaty goodness. I was under no obligation to get excited about that sauce, eat so many beans or talk their waiter's head off. 

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