"Floripa’s hall of a bar is like entering a Narnia door to a world of holidays.."Review Rating: Reviewed by T.A.O
If the passing of Favela Chic left you crying into your Cachaca you’ll be pleased to hear that Floripa has taken over the space with similar Brazilian swagger – minus the former inhabitants’ iffy staff.
Shoreditch is synonymous with London nightlife but when it comes to the East London enclave there isn’t a lot like this. Entering Floripa’s hall of a bar is like entering a Narnia door to a world of holidays. Tropical parrot prints cover one wall, growing vines hug to another and the interior somehow finds a balance between the style and fun of its individual aesthetic.
Long tables run at odd angles to one another, hinting at a collective community approach to dining, although space is found for the occasional intimate table for two. The long bar remains from Favela Chic, as does the stage and the lofty DJ booth – and once again, be prepared for the sight of staff dancing on the bar.
Ripping up the rulebook this is not, but Floripa has channeled the best of its Brazilian roots to go along with new and improved professionalism. Waiters don’t just dance around you smiling; they help, recommending cocktails and snacks from the eclectic menu.
And if you’re going to come along to Floripa, then make a note to come hungry because you’re going to want to sample the tapas like treats. The beef ribs run away with the plaudits for taste – hours of marinating, paired with hours of slow cooking leave them tender and juicy, basking in the flavour of salty beef and the rich dark beer that they are soaked in.
Picking and choosing dishes is the concept that Floripa have come with and it makes sense. When char grilled chicken thighs in a lime and coconut sauce are equally appealing as the amazing, mushy pulled shoulder of pork, you can have both. Value is neither great nor grossly bad. Dishes cost somewhere between £7.00 and £12.00 on average – although on the basis of this occasion, average won’t be a word you’ll be associating with the food.
A well-curated soundtrack accompanies the meal, warming up for the entertainment of late evening. Furniture is pushed to the sides some time after nine-thirty and the real action starts. DJs and live acts rock the bar and now is that time when tables begin to represent podiums for those without two left feet.
Floripa is a triple threat of sorts. Its cocktails are equally as good as its food menu (the Fogo de Floripa comes set on fire!) and once the tables have been wiped down in anticipation of an evening of wild dancing – it’s on. Or should that be, it’s aaawwwwwnnn! Either really.
T.A.O reviewed Floripa London on Wed 28 Mar 2012