Saturday, 22 November 2014

Cabana VIP Event (#CabanaLeeds) | Trinity Leeds/Trinity Kitchen

Meow, so its time for another blog post.. I didn't know my SD card wasn't in my camera because my family like to use my camera and not tell me they still have the SD card... Anyways, Aaron may have filmed a bit but I'm not sure if that's going up... Basically, I got an email from a friend that works at Trinity Leeds asking if I wanted to go to an event for Cabana so I said yeah and went... I'm going to tell you about the night and what Cabana is and what they are all about and their delicious food and drinks...
Outside Cabana 
So I brought Aaron as he can do photography well and I also thought that it would be a good idea that he got to know about different cultures of food rather than letting him just live off the generic pizza student lifestyle. We walked through Trinity Leeds and made our way to Trinity Kitchen where we could see Cabana as soon as you came up from the escalators as its bright font gleamed above its door. We were met by Katie who works for PR and had emailed me to make sure I had everything sorted out for the event. She was lovely when emailing me about everything and even more public when I met her at the beginning of the event. We talked and finally shook hands and found out me and Aaron were Digital Marketing. Katie then wished us that we had a great time. We said thank you and then went in to be greeted by another person who I'm guessing were the front of house.
#CabanaLeeds
Use this if you tweet or talk about them on social media!
 We went in and were asked if #CabanaLeeds could be written on my hand which I obviously said yeah.. This was the moment when the event truly kicked off.. So the whole concept of #CabanaLeeds was so other people could see the tweets and that they saw what you thought of Cabana... Every one of my tweets with #CabanaLeeds was good feedback.. I shall tell you why below. Cabana loves social media! Once this happened, we made our way down to the bar.. A very handsome member of staff asked if we wanted a Caipirinha. What's a Caipirinha, you ask? It is a focktail mainly made up of a South American spirit called Cachaca. This particular cocktail comes in a variety of flavours such as pineapple, passionfruit, mint and strawberry... As we wandered around after, I shall next tell you a bit about Cabana... 
Me drinking a Caipirihna
So what is Cabana? Well for all of you newbies, it is a Brasilian (Brazilian? Brasilian?) barbecue restaurant that has mainly had restaurants within down south but as the new Trinity Kitchen boasts great cuisine (which is so damn true) they thought, "great students, great places, great food... Let's create a restaurant there!" The restaurant outside and in is vibrant and enthuastic with colour, sounds and patterns. The founders (Jamie Barber and David Ponte) wanted to bring Brazil to the UK and that's what they did!
Table pieces on each table showing bright colours on every table.

Walls of Cabana bring Brazil to Leeds
When we were 'networking' (being socially awkward and just wandered around) a member of staff (I'm going to see if I can get the names of anyone I mention after as I don't remember names well at first) came up to us and asked us if we had any questions.. Aaron asked if the pattern of the steps was based on either a road in Rio or Selaron's Stairs in Rio which they were which showed how much of Brazil Cabana wanted to bring to Leeds. The member of the staff also said that all of the chairs were recycled. Basically, Cabana works closely with communities in Brazil such as Recicla Jeans who make the recycled furniture then Cabana pay the communities for the seats and bring them over which shows how dedicated they are to help Brazil be more recognised and loved within the UK.
Mosaic steps based on Sebaron's Steps in Brazil
Recycled Chairs from Brazil to Leeds.
We took some more pictures (if they're not in the blog post then they will be in an album on my Facebook: http://on.fb.me/1r66ESi) and met Music and Eyeliner for a few minutes... Her blog is here: http://www.musicandeyeliner.co.uk/) Once we had taken the photos, we wandered back near to the bar drinking our mint Caipirihna's. We were offered some corn nuts which were crispy, crunchy, slightly sweet but slightly salty with a hint of spice. They were absolutely lovely.. Forget the innuendos but I genuinely would be able to eat these nuts all night long.. I had to prise myself away from them.
Toasted Corn Nuts (£1.95)
After this, we were complimented with cheesy dough balls (yes, bring on the innuendos...) Even though me and lactose don't get along, I still wanted to try them... They were absolutely gorgeous! They were fluffy on the inside and doughy and slightly crispy on the outside.. Coeliacs, don't be alarmed... They are gluten free so you can get in on the action of cheesy dough ball action instead of the usual watching everyone eating glorious gluten based products whilst you sit there feeling left out.. We were next offered Pulled Pork Sliders.. These were in the same dough balls but cut in half, filled with succulent pork then sandwiched back together. A slider is literally a new contemporary dish which are usually in the form of a mini burger. As I just said, the pulled pork was very succulent and juicy which means you could tell that the chef/chefs behind it had put effort into slow roasting it for a long time to make sure it could be pulled off the bone for the sliders.. The pork was slightly spicy with mainly spice and not heat and melted in the mouth. They were absolutely delicious. They were that delicious that we didn't take pictures of them and just ate them... Sorry... We couldn't help it!

We had another wander and took some pictures of the candles and lighting as we thought that it was good that Cabana had different lighting and candles on tables compared to other restaurants. Candles give off the fact that Cabana would be a great place for a first date as street food and getting to know someone is a great mix! The lights above in the restaurant give off a great sort of zumba/ballroom/funky club vibe which sounds weird but you'll understand when you see the pictures...
Romantic candles on each table

More casual yet quirky tealights

Slightly out of focus lights from sbove

Lights from above

Fairy light-esque lighting

Festive photography skills

Party inspired lights from above near the bar & grill
After many more photos were took, we were greeted by a waiter with Chicken Coxhinas... These are croquettes of shredded chicken.. So good! Crispy morsels of goodness! (Wow, Jamie,.. You're great with words...) These were crispy yet succulent. The chicken was on point and had quite a bit of spice but it was nice against the croquette! Next we had Spicy Malagueta Prawns.. Cabana is very well known for their Spicy Malagueta food but I shall talk about that later on... These were sticky but soft.. The prawns were cooked but not rubbery.. The sauce was slightly spicy hence the name but they were sticky and slightly sweet... They are the sort of food where you either need to get dug in and get napkins or lick your fingers afterwards or you stay away from them and regret it when you miss out on them but its your call... They also do other street food such as ceviche (I may have had this but im not sure if i did but it was remnant of this but ah well...) Ceviche is fish cooked in lime juice... We didn't have all of the menu but if you want to be exotic then I suggest you going in to try it.

After this me and Aaron went to go get a drink from the bar as Aaron was filming certain bits for a film and I was kinda vlogging on his camera. This bit will probably sound so cringy to me but so funny to you... Basically, the very handsome bar member of staff asked what drink I wanted and I thought, "I'll try a cider" therefore I asked if I could have a cider and then got me a glass. So basically he poured the kiwi and lime drink into the glass then apologised for it dribbling at the top then I replied, "Its okay... Worse things have happened..." Did I flirt with a member of staff? That's right I did... Ugh.. Oh god..
The infamous cider..
.
The bottles behind the bar.

The infamous bar
So this is when the main event kicked in... The above was just a start food wise.. The grill and the chefs finally kicked into full swing! The following may not be order as lots of food was coming around and its all from memory... It was just such a good night! So there was the Zingy Lime and Garlic Chicken... This is mainly for people who can't handle a lot of spice. It was so nice.. The chicken was succulent. You could taste the citrus notes of lime and then you got a bit of a hint of garlic. Then skewers came round... Oh the skewers.. I cant exactly remember what they were called but they were absolutely gorgeous...The skewers came in three flavours. Chicken, Beef and Pork (I'm pretty sure there was a lamb thing which was absolutely gorgeous yet punched with spice but I can't remember...) More Chicken came through my fingertips and into my stomach until the infamous Spicy Malagueta Chicken happened..
 

Spicy Malagueta Chicken (£8.95)


A piece of meat from the skewers...
So, earlier on I was on about the prawns but this is a whole other story. So Cabana are very well known for this sauce as the Malagueta Chillies are close to Cabana's heart. These go into their marinade which creates their Spicy Malagueta products. So the chillies go into a sauce with a lot of other ingredients to create the sauce which it is marinated in. The sauce I am on about is available to buy in store. The chicken is then marinated overnight. It's then skewered with delicious crisp cooling bell peppers.to accentuate the fact that it has Chilli Pepper in the dish. After this, the dish is brushed with a Honey Mustard glaze then cooked on open coals which gives it such a smoky flavour. It was succulent but spicy. It was slighty crispy but coated in sauce. It was just wonderful.. Too wonderful to put into words.
Sweet Potato Fries (£3.95)

Sweet Potato Fries
 So once we had eaten our weight in Chicken which was somehow possible, a waiter came round and we tried Cassava chips. Cassava is a vegetable in South America which if eaten raw it can kill you so it is cooked so it can be edible. The taste of them reminded me of a parsnip crossed with a sweet potato which sounds weird but you have to go and try them to understand what I mean. As I had tried the deadly vegetable if raw, we were then offered some Sweet Potato Fries. Now, I was about to grab one when they said, "you can take the tin if you want.." Hmm... CHALLENGE ACCEPTED! Me and Aaron started eating these lovely crispy fries that are flavoured with rosemary which just makes them more gorgeous taste wise but slightly gives an exotic scent to them at the same time. After a while well after the food wall hit us, a waiter came and cleared our table, then we instantly drunk a bit of our ciders and went,"y'know what would be amazing? Desserts!" at the same time.. What are friends for, eh? Once we had said that, we took some photos... Well, selfies.. At an event, you have to create a memento of the night so thats what i did... It was probably unprofessional of me but hey ho...
Cute Brazilian Influenced Selfie
So, this is the final bit of the night.. Awh... It's been such a fun night I thought to myself... Dessert came around.. We were given little plastic bowls with delicious frozen yoghurt in... The flavour in question ended up to be peanut butter.. The flavour was strong but it was needed against the canvas of the frozen yoghurt. The flavour was strong but sweet and salty at the same time which was great after some spicy filling food.. The yoghurt would calm down any spice you had and yet had a thick texture which was great for a dessert... It had everything it needed..

Now we thought.. That's it.. Nope. There was 2 more desserts to come around.. The second dessert was a chocolate cake.. Yes one for all you chocoholics... Coeliacs, come and get some as this cake had no gluten in... Just like the dough balls! This cake was dense, fudgy and moist.. What else do you want from a cake?! I've had a few chocolate cakes in my lifetime and even if I've felt sore from it afterwards because my body has a love/hate relationship with lactose then it has not been worth it whereas this cake was just unbelievable.. I kind of had three pieces which sounds greedy but if you're going to be handed cake then you might as well as have it and eat it all!

The last dessert was amazing.. They saved the best until the last.. It was all the best but still... It was Snowball Doughballs.. I had heard of these but never had them. Oh my god, they were heavenly! Little gluten free doughballs with nutella secretly hidden on the inside dusted with icing sugar... I could eat these all day! They were small but so nice. They were doughy and oozy on the inside... I can't sum this up in words but they were just so gorgeous!

We were drinking still but we were waiting to be kicked out at some point when all of a sudden, the founders that we had bumped into earlier came round with bags.. This was amazing.. We were given bottles of the Spicy Malagueta Sauce with vouchers on top for when we next to come. A perfect end to a perfect evening,.. I will be definitely going to Cabana again and telling everyone how good it is because it was just amazing! If you live near Leeds or London then I urge you to go to Cabana as soon as possible
Thank you for Cabana for having me, its staff, Katie Hayes and the founders.
Please go to Cabana and try it if you can because its amazing.
Thank you to my friend Aaron for photographing (http://www.youtube.com/user/lesmiserableone
I'm going to be doing a video with the sauce at some point so check out my channel for that and maybe the vlog (if possible) going up soon.. http://www.youtube.com/user/TheJamesSowden
Have a great week and I shall see you soon!

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