Made in Brasil, Camden Town

Type of Bar: Bar/Restaurant, Easy-going, Brazilian
Damage£
Ideal for: Food, PartyShamelessly Drunk

Camden’s Inverness Street takes on a great party vibe in the evenings, and Made in Brasil is an indispensible part of it.

It seems to have a party atmosphere almost constantly – which makes it a necessary pitstop when in Camden practically every time. At under 7 pounds, you can’t turn down the incredible assembly line of bartenders preparing Caipirinha after Caipirinha. Or if Cachaca isn’t your thing, the vodka variation, Caipiroskatends to take a slightly different route in flavours. The caipirinhas tend to focus on one flavor at a time – acai (fabulous), kiwi, chilli; the caipiroskas tend to be more hybridized with strawberry and basil, or mandarin and cashew.

MiB offers other classics and variations of Vodka Martinis, but trust that they know what they specialize in, and do it well.

Once the live band comes in and the night picks up, you want to turn to a shooter that really does you in. When the Gostosa is brought to the table, the actual aged Cachaca looks a lethal acid yellow. But couple that with the slice of strawberry dipped in chilli sugar that chases the shot and the sudden effect on the palette is extraordinary.

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Practically any flavour you need

The food menu is traditionally Brazillian, and well-priced, from a la carte to tapas. Expect a lot of cassava and black beans – you could dine in the much calmer basement, or keep the noise up upstairs when you’re stuffing face on the incredible Queijo coalho tostado com vegetais assados, or its meat-eater’s cousin.

In any case, the atmosphere coupled with the quick drink service means that you are always dangerously close to yelling “ANOTHER!” after every shot. Remember that Hailo is your friend.

Made in Brasil might not be a mixology haven, but they rock tradicional and rock it right. You want a live night out and a mother of a hangover; this is the place to end up.

Drinks: ***
Atmosphere: ****
Service: ***

 

Made in Brazil
12 Inverness St,
London NW1 7HJ

http://www.madeinbrasil.co.uk/‎

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Street Feast, Hawker House, Hackney

Okay, quick article about winter’s Street Feast at Hawker House – a weekend night market that’s free entry before 7PM (3 pounds after), that offers the best of London’s street food, pop ups, vans and trucks. Each weekend provides different traders with a few permanent bar joints.

 

A quick run-down of some of the traders we sampled:

Beginning at the Rotary Bar, I was disappointed with a pretty bad excuse for an Old Fashioned, and although their ever-popular Frozen Margarita is all most people were talking about, it wasn’t enough to blow one’s mind. Although, their prices were incredibly reasonable. Go for the Margarita.

Yum Bun, you need Yum Bun in your life. Think of dim sum Char Siu buns except with *actual fillings* instead of being cheated with the barest of filling inside (I’m looking at you, Ping Pong). Coming in a variety of pork, salmon to Cornish Pollack, Yum Bun’s got the best appetisers in the market, rivalling Rica Rica’s Chilean stall.

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Grabbing a red at Street Vin, I waited in line for the legendary Kimchinary – which lives up to its reputation. It’s simple, uncomplicated comfort food that opens the way to food Nirvana. No complex analysis here; their Korean Burritos are just to die for. Kimchi, fried rice, bul go gi, cheese, tortilla – absolutely recommended without a shadow of a doubt.

The Whisky Bar’s huge whiskey selection offers a great ‘roulette’ for a spontaneous whisky flight, and we settled for a Rob Roy (Scotch, sweet vermouth, Angostura bitters), which was… alright. I can’t really say much about it; it wasn’t the best, but it certainly wasn’t the worst.

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We ended at the Sorbitium Ices stall, and boy were we glad for it. Trying almost everything on their menu, and it was impossible to be disappointed by this place! The sea salt caramel icecream is sticking to 2013’s fashionable sea-salt craze, but the sorbets were more adventurous. Rose & prosecco worked well without the rose being that sickly artificial flavour that many rose products tend to have; but the olive oil & pine nut sorbet stole the show as being the most surprisingly pleasant flavour, and definitely worth hunting Sorbitium down for.

Street Feast will be returning to Dalston Yard mid-May for 20 weeks; and to Lewisham for 15 weeks in mid-June.

Street Feast,
http://www.streetfeastlondon.com/
Twitter: @StreetFeastLDN

Scarfes Bar, High Holborn

Type of Bar: Hotel, Lounge
Damage£££ – ££££
Ideal for: Date, Meetings

 

My friend put it best: The Scarfes Bar looks like the Zetter Townhouse‘s conservative older brother. The design is impeccable, the three major dominating aspects of the room: the enormous fireplace, the mirror above it, and the central chandelier work together instead of clashing in their shameless grandiosity. The dress code for the venue is ‘casual’, so expect to see business meetings or couples coming over from the Holborn Dining Room across the hall.

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Staff and young and snazzy, and take a while getting around the giant room. The cocktail list is short, but off-menu classics can be ordered. Rather unlike the Zetter Townhouse, though, drinks are long and refreshing.

These aren’t usually my style, so I had to keep an open mind when my Seine River Fizz (Grey Goose vodka, Domaine de Canton ginger, lime juice, basil leaves, Fentimans Victorian lemonade – topped with a cap of Elderflower foam) arrived. I was pleasantly surprised that I had actually enjoyed it, although I have to admit that without the elderflower foam, the drink would have lost any and all character. The initial punch of Elderflower really makes the drink what it is. In fact, it is the major hit on the nose, and the flavour for the first half of the drink. The last half certainly has a slight basil flavour, without becoming too green and intense, which might be a good thing. The ginger, though, is barely detectable.

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If there is any unfortunate aspect to anything, is that drinks range between 12.50 and 14.50 pounds. 11 or 12 I would have been happy to pay for my Seine River Fizz – 14.50, not as much. A mate echoed my sentiments on their drinks.

In any case, this beautiful bar’s long drinks and highballs are certainly worth a visit for if that is indeed your favour in drinks, otherwise, I’m afraid I can’t exactly recommend it, not for what they charge. Although I can see myself coming here for a coffee date and to study, with the incredible environment.

I have yet to try the Mirror Bar at the hotel, but have higher hopes for it.

Drinks:**? Perhaps ***?
Atmosphere: *****
Service: ***

 

Scarfes Bar
Rosewood Hotel,
252 High Holborn,
London WC1V 7EN

www.scarfesbar.com/‎