Dinner at Cabana, With the Southampton Bloggers

A few weeks ago I went along to a Southampton Bloggers meet up at Cabana Restaurant. When I lived in London there were meet ups every week, or at least every other week, and as said before (repeatedly?), I’ve made some great friends by going to them regularly. They pretty much formed the basis of my social life for a long time.

Anyway, I’d signed up to the Southampton bloggers when I moved to Portsmouth (Southampton is 40 minutes away) and this was the first thing I’d been invited to that I was actually free for.

So, off I went to Cabana for an evening of meeting a few local bloggers, and to sample the new menu at the Brazilian restaurant.

Cabana Southampton

– Pic from Cabana themselves

Cabana in Southampton

I was late, dammit. Hate being late. The restaurant is on the terrace of the new West Quay Development, and with it being a massive intimidating shopping centre I got totally lost until a nice lady in M&S went all tour guide on me.

Anyway, got there, took up the last seat and I was immediately bamboozled by the extensive cocktail menu. Kept it simple with a little gin number, while the other ladies were going for cocktails laced with sprinkles, others with gummy bears, and some filled with sweet smelling puree.

“Carlos the Godfather, £8.95

Gin, lime, elder flower, cucumber and mint leaves, topped with tonic.”

Southampton Bloggers Cabana

From the group I’d only ever met Alice before, the Southampton Bloggers organiser. Back in June we met at a cruise ship event, briefly, but I’ve followed her on Instagram for ages. Always weird / nice, when you follow someone on Instagram and then finally meet IRL.


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Food at Cabana

The menu at Cabana is exactly the kinda food I like to eat – rice, meat, spice, cheese. So after wa-hey too much thought and poring over the menu, I committed to the chicken skewer with sweet potato fries and coconut slaw.

“Flame Grilled Chicken Skewer, £13.95

What we’re known for: 3 chicken thighs marinated for 24 hours, flame grilled to order and basted with your choice of sauce.

Cabana chicken skewer

Chats with my new blogger friends revolved around work, blogging and restaurants, as is normal for me. We swapped stories of Instagram, of other bloggers, of travel and I managed to pick up a good few recommendations for restaurants I need to try in Southampton.

Oh, but in between I had my starter, the Chargrilled Spicy Malagueta Prawns. A simple choice for me who’s forever on a mission to go for the healthy choice, but usually ends up with some sort of cheesy bread concoction. Go me, this time. 

“Chargrilled Spicy Malagueta Prawns, £6.95 

Malagueta (“Ma-La-Ge-Ta”): the Brasilian piri-piri chilli and we love it! It’s medium spicy, so it’ll tickle your tastebuds, not set your mouth on fire.”

Southampton Cabana

Time for another cocktail from the 241 list…

“Guara-negroni, £8.95

An energising take on the classic Negroni: Gin, sweet vermouth and Campari, topped with Guarana, (the Brasilian berry sparkling soda), and served on the rocks.”

Cabana is colourful and fun, and unfortunately the closest to Brazil I’ve ever been. My favourite touch is the flip flops on the toilet doors to tell you where to go.

I’m normally relatively snobby about chain restaurants, preferring to support the underdog, but, I’ve eaten here before and the food is just delicious and a good price too. I’ve sampled quite a few of the West Quay complex and it’s one of my faves.

Cabana chicken skewers

Winner winner chicken dinner

The chicken arrived, with all its delicious sticky hot sauce. Combined with the coleslaw and sweet potato fries, it was the perfect blend. A feast. 

The over indulger in me ordered halloumi, on the side, just cos most people had had that for their starter and I had FOMO. For me, it wasn’t quite cooked enough though. I love halloumi when it’s steaming hot, fried and gooey in the middle. That’s how you cook halloumi in my world – this had just been flashed the pan.

Anyway, plenty more to eat and it meant I could look generous by sharing it around.

Dessert at Cabana in Southampton

It was a three-course meal so for dessert, I went for famous Nutella doughnuts. Little fried doughnuts, baked with Nutella inside and then served with a gooey bowl of Nutella to dip them into. Gawd they were heavenly, I decided to eat half as many with twice as much chocolate on. Yum.

“Chocolate Raindrop Doughnuts, £5.95

Delicious fried doughballs stuffed with Nutella. Served piping hot.”

Cabana Southampton

Dessert conversation centred around periods and moon cups, so that was a fascinating lesson. So nice how you can meet new friends and within a few hours you’re talking about your time of the month. Bloggers, oversharers – love ’em.

I had to shoot off as my last direct train was leaving, and I was going to Neverworld Festival the next day, so when I realised the time, I dashed off with barely a bye, but with some new friends to follow on the Instagram for sure.

Southampton bloggers

Had such a lovely time with the Southampton Bloggers though, and the menu at Cabana. I’ve been before and I’ll go again – the chicken and the donuts make it totally worth it!

I was invited to try the menu at Cabana West Quay with the Southampton bloggers in return for a review on my blog. There are Cabana restaurants in Leeds, London and Manchester too. 

More on Southampton

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