The chance arose to meet up with two people I’d gone on a work trip to Brazil with; G works for a children’s charity called ABC Trust (Action for Brazil’s Children), which works with a number of projects across the country to help underprivileged kids, especially those who live in favelas, by teaching them usable skills.

So where else would we go for dinner but Cabana, a relatively new chain of informal Brazilian diners, which has several branches across London including the one we went to, on Upper Street. The last time G, J and I had shared Brazilian food was in Rio, so we were looking forward to being reminded of how good the sometimes quite heavy and hearty food there can be.

As J was running late, we cracked on with ordering a couple of very pleasant caipirinhas, and a selection of starters to share. We kicked off with pao de queijo, the addictive chewy, cheesy dough balls that Pizza Express REALLY needs to start copying; tongue-tinglingly spicy malagueta prawns, doused in Cabana’s own signature fiery marinade; and some crunchy chicken coxinhas, basically really nice chicken croquettes.

Then J arrived and G took charge of ordering a few mains to share. We went for feijoada, the traditional black bean and meat stew, alongside a 10oz grilled ribeye steak with chilli béarnaise sauce, spicy malagueta chicken (since we’d enjoyed the zingy prawns so much), a tomato and palm hearts salad and a bowl of cassava chips to share.

The grilled steak was brought to our table on a massive skewer and was perfectly rare, as we’d asked for. Nice and tender and went very well with the accompanying béarnaise. The chicken, oddly enough, wasn’t as spicy as the prawns had been, but thankfully each table has a bottle of the malagueta sauce (and you can buy it, too) so you can knock yourself out with that (almost literally; it packs quite the punch). The feijoada came with orange slices, manioc flour to sprinkle on top, and rice, and was darkly, richly filling.

We hoovered it up in about 20 minutes (shamefully – actually who am I kidding? I’m not ashamed! I was all for ordering more cheese balls but was shot down. Probably just as well). One final caipirinha (I tried pineapple and mint this time – very refreshing indeed) and we were done. Slumped, greasy messes, against the quirky denim covered banquettes (which are made by people from favelas). If you order the ice cream, 20p goes directly to ABC Trust. So you’re not only eating some good shizzle, but helping others too. That is enough to warm my cockles.

Atmosphere: 6.5/10 (it was a bit quiet but then it was Tuesday)

Service: 8/10 – everyone was lovely and friendly

Value for money: 7