Sunday, 14 August 2011

Emporio Sao Paulo, Parsons Green

Parsons Green. Who knew? I stepped off the tube on my way to Emporio Sao Paulo on a summery, very Brazilian-esque evening in London and there before me was a thriving, village of cafes, shops, beer gardens, and after work picnics and kick to kickers on the leafy green itself.

So this is how the other half live, eh?

Amongst all this is Emporio Sao Paulo, a little cafe cum deli established by Brazilian manager, Carminha. It's not strictly a Brazilian cafe, but the flourishes are there - little savoury meat pies ("empadas") filled with chicken, prawns, palm heart or cheese and, my favourites, fried "coxinha" - bite sized drumstick shaped bundles of shredded chicken and spices, both on the counter. But really it's about a relaxing place to enjoy good coffee and good food from around the world.
I attended a Brazilian themed event with fellow bloggers, The London Foodie, Gourmet ChickTamarind and Thyme and Hot & Chilli, and tasted the feijoada (a comforting blackbean stew served with rice, spring greens and farofa (manioc flour)), comfort food normally served on Wednesdays and Saturdays in Brazil which has the same standing for the Brazilians as the Sunday roast holds for the English. 

We also tried the Moqueca de Peixe e Camarao, a seafood stew cooked with a light tomato based sauce, peppers and in this case olive oil - although the Mooqueca Capixaba version from Spirito Santo state is more influenced by African flavours and made with palm oil and coconut milk.

Finally, sweet little brigadeiros de frutas - condensed milk with chocolate, passionfruit, grape or pistachio. Heavenly!

The food is home made by various off site suppliers. It's not all Brazilian, and the deli at the back is stocked with all sorts of supplies, Italian, French and other. But I have a feeling that part of the draw for the customers of Emporio Sao Paulo is that touch of Brazialian sunshine that manager, Carminha's, personality brings to the floor.

Having never been to Brazil, I was happy to continue my education with some more of the national culture - caipirnhas and Brazilian wine. I'll drink to that.

A true caipirinha should be made with cachaca, a type of rum produced in Sao Paulo and made from crushed cane sugar. We drank caiprinhas with Salto cachaca and they were summery perfection. A good cachaca should be enjoyed neat, like a whiskey, or for a twist we drank the Salto blended with lime, which is dangerously easy to drink. 

Nick from Go Brazil Wines introduced us to some Brazilian wines which he sources directly from Brazil - a crisp, citrussey sparkling (the Casa Valduga Gran Reserva Brut 130) that would rival any fizz in its £18 price range (a good party wine) and an unoaked chardonnay (the Casa Valduga Premium Chardonnay 2009) which made for inoffensive easy drinking in the hot weather.

That's it. I'm heading to Brazil.

Emporia Sao Paulo, 197 New King's Road, Parson's Green, London SQ6 4SR (Tel: 020 7736 5188)

Greedy Diva was a guest of the Emporio Sao Paulo


  1. Lovely seeing you at ESP, those caipirinhas were so good!

    Luiz @ The London Foodie

  2. What a fun night. And yes I highly recommend a trip to Brazil.

  3. It was great to see you again that night! I've got to go back for more brigadeiros...


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