Tia Maria – Tapioca House


October 19th, 2010

My friend Olivia took me to Tia Maria – Tapioca House, a Brazilian restaurant in Vauxhall, last night. The house speciality is the tapioca and it’s probably the only place in Britain selling them. Tapioca itself is a starch extracted from a plant root (generally from South America) and commonly known as cassava.

queijo de cabra & cebola caramelizada

Tia Maria’s tapiocas are made from cassava starch mixed with water, to form an elastic dough. The dough is cooked in a circular shape, like a crêpe and similarly, they are cooked dry in a frying pan or on a griddle. A filling is added to the tapioca, like that of an omelette, taco or crêpe – it’s folded and served hot. A typical filling might be goats cheese and caramelised onion, which is what I had.

The texture of a tapioca (see above picture) is like that of a cake or desert, soft and spongy, but the flavour is like a savoury dough. The sponge texture works very well with hot cheese and onion.

coraçào de galinha

Another speciality of Tia Maria, which I had to have, when I saw someone else eating them, is chicken hearts. A large plate of hearts is served with fried onion, salad and farofa, a seasoned, toasted, flour mixture (I believe this one contained cassava), which you dip the hearts into. The hearts had a delicious savoury flavour, and the farofa gave them a slight crunchy texture. The chef/owner, also gave me some minute, red, pickled, chilli peppers (pimenta malagueta), on the side, for a potent, hot, kick.

The food was great and I’d definitely go back. Tia Maria is in a little parade of Portuguese and Brazilian shops and restaurants, 9a Victoria House, South Lambeth Road, SW8 1QT. From Wednesday to Sunday they have live Brazilian music.

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4 Responses to Tia Maria – Tapioca House

  1. Audrey says:

    MadDog on tour !

  2. Lourdinha Dantas says:

    Congratulations Mr. Eduardo, Tia Maria’s!

  3. Rimenes Ribeiro says:

    Awesome environment and great food. In all, it’s a must go!

  4. Pingback: Late August Barbecue | Mad Dog TV Dinners

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