Friday, July 4, 2014

Flavours of Brazil (and the World Cup) at Bridge Street Garage

Posted by Hendy

With the World Cup action in Brazil in full swing at the moment, Sydney CBD bar and bistro Bridge Street Garage recently partnered with importer, distributor and wholesaler Brazilian Style Imports for a timely "Flavours of Brazil" one-off dinner.

With its Latin American twist, Bridge Street Garage is led by Argentine-born chef, Oscar Gorosito, who produces a menu of traditional and fusion Latin American dishes. Brazilian Style Imports supplies Bridge Street Garage with a range of ingredients and equipment; from its tapioca flour and cachaça (Brazilian white spirit) to its double-decker parrilla traditional Brazilian barbeque grill.

Caipirinha with Velho Barreiro Cachaça at Bridge Street Garage, Bridge Street, Sydney
The night kicked off with the classic caipirinha (pronounced kai-pur-een-ya) cocktail - perhaps Brazil's most well-known cocktail.

Made with cachaça - the sugarcane-based white spirit that Brazil is renowned for - fresh lime, sugar and served with lots of crushed ice, the refreshing caipirinha has much in common with a mojito, minus the mint and with a sweeter overtone.

Guarana Antarctica soft drink
For a non-alcoholic beverage we were introduced to Guarana Antarctica, a soft drink made from the guarana plant, with sweet apple and cider notes.

Speaking to one of the founders of Brazilian Style Imports, he explained how Guarana Antarctica used to be the dominant soft drink in Brazil before Coca-Cola entered the Brazilian soft drink market. Now, Guarana Antarctica shares the overall soft drink market with its global competitor.

Tapioca cheese bread with Argentinian chimichurri sauce
To complement the kick-off drinks, a plate of tapioca cheese bread was served. The little bread rolls are made using Brazilian tapioca flour and are commonly seen bouncing around churrasco restaurants in Sydney.

With a crisp crust on the outside and a stretchy cheese filling within, the cheese bread was a highly addictive snack that would go well with a nice cold beer.

Chef Gorosito explained that the traditional chimichurri served with the bread is made using paprika, giving it its red colouring rather than the green one I'm more accustomed to seeing.

Casquinha de Siri - sauteed crab meat served on a salad of pomegranate, orange and rocket
Our next starter was the Casquinha de Siri; a traditional Brazilian dish of sauteed crab meat, coconut milk, tomatoes, capsicum and oil from the seed fruit of a special type of dende plant grown in the Northern regions of Brazil.

All the ingredients were pan fried together and topped with a parmesan cheese and bread crumb, then served on a scallop shell atop a salad of pomegranate, orange and rocket. With punchy ingredients like the parmesan and coconut milk, this dish smelt great and had a texture similar to that of finely shredded coconut.

Our starters were paired with the light and refreshing Miolo Pinot Grigio Riesling from the Campanha region in South Brazil.

Açaí berry smoothie with Velho Barreiro Cachaça
I was amazed at the decadent and luscious açaí berry smoothie which arrived to the table next - not the kind of smoothie that you would have at breakfast or before a game though.

With a mix of Velho Barreiro Cachaça through the fresh cream and berry-topped smoothie, it sure packed a punch though it was quite heavy to have with dinner and perhaps more appropriate for a hot summer's day.

Double decker traditional parrilla grills 
Sneaking a peek into the Bridge Street Garage kitchen we could see the traditional parrilla grills used in the kitchen for meats and even burger patties for the Bridge Street Garage burgers. Traditional throughout South America, the parrilla use natural wood charcoal to slowly cook the meat on the grill.

The double-decker version installed in Bridge Street Garage's kitchen is custom made and imported by Brazilian Style Imports specifically for the restaurant. The use of the parrilla allows the meat to take on a beautifully fragrant smokiness from the wood charcoal and results in a succulent and tenderly-cooked meat.

Core ingredients
Chef Gorosito also brought out a plate showcasing some of exciting ingredients that he was using that night for the Brazilian feast. The standout item on the plate was probably the chocolate, used to make a mole sauce in the next dish.

Grilled chicken with spicy mole, rice, Brazilian black beans
The next two protein dishes were designed to showcase the simplicity of using the parrilla. The grilled chicken breast from the parilla was served with the spicy mole sauce, white rice and Brazilian black beans; matched to a red Miolo Tannat wine also from Brazil's Campanha region.

The chicken was marinated well and grilled to a moist, tender state with a crusty, charred surface. While a bit of acidity over the chicken would have worked well, the chocolate in the mole was quite subtle and made for a good dipping sauce for the chicken.

New York grass-fed striploin steak with chips, onion rings and coleslaw salad
The good-looking striploin steak grilled on the parrilla was served complete with hand-cut chips, beer-battered onion rings and a coleslaw salad.

The steak was on the rare side and was a bit tough for my liking though it was seasoned and rested well. Meanwhile, the onion rings made great add-on with the crunchy, golden potato chips.

The making of the strawberry caipirinha
A feature session of the night was the making of the strawberry caipirinha at the restaurant's front bar. The strawberry caipirinha is a twist on the original classic with a strawberry and sugar compote made by the kitchen specially for the cocktail.

The making of of the strawberry caipirinha: measuring the Velho Barreiro Cachaça
The rocks glass is sugar rimmed to give it the sweetness on the start. Lime wedges are then muddled with the strawberry compote, before adding the Velho Barreiro Cachaca and plenty of shaved ice.

Line of strawberry caipirinhas

Brownie with Velho Barreiro Cachaça-infused rhubarb ice cream, chilli guava jam and pacoquinha
To finish off the night, there was a chocolate brownie served with a unique-tasting Velho Barreiro Cachaça-infused rhubarb ice cream. Along with a spicy chilli guava jam with heat that fizzled away with the rhubarb ice cream, there was a very sweet, possibly unnecessary pacoquinha peanut crumble scattered around the plate.

The "Flavours of Brazil" dinner was a great opportunity to learn about Brazilian cuisine, drinks and ingredients - and let's not forget, the celebration of the World Cup in Brazil. For any at-home, weekend World Cup viewing sessions, see the classic caipirinha recipe below, courtesy of Brazilian Style Imports.
Strawberry caipirinha
Classic Caipirinha
50mL Velho Barreiro Cachaça
1/2 a lime, sliced in 4 wedges
2 teaspoons of superfine sugar (can vary to taste)
Ice cubes

1. Put the cut lime into the serving glass and add sugar.
2. Crush the lime and sugar together with a muddler in order to extract juice & essential oils from the skin of the lime.
3. Fill the glass with ice cubes.
4. Pour the Cachaça all the way to the top of the glass.
5. Pour the contents of the glass into the shaker, shake well & pour it back into the serving glass. Alternatively if you don't have a shaker you can use crushed ice instead of ice cubes - in this case you just need to stir it well.
6. Enjoy - in moderation.

Food, Booze & Shoes attended the "Flavours of Brazil" dinner at Bridge Street Garage as a guest, with thanks to Stellar PR.

1 comment:

Felicia @ Next Stop: Food said...

yes please to anything with stretchy cheese filling !


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