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“A great food experience, even for Brazilians”
Review of Mangai

Mangai
Ranked #8 of 1,928 Restaurants in Joao Pessoa
Cuisines: Brazilian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Breakfast, After-hours, Delivery, Reservations
Neighbourhood: Manaira
Reviewed 27 July 2014

First of all, if you are reading this review either you are planning to visit João Pessoa or you are already there - which is a great destination choice. JP is one of the most underrated cities in the northeast of Brazil, even for Brazilians who prefer Salvador, Recife, Fortaleza, etc. It's the city that was not 'discovered' yet - full of attractions, unspoiled beaches and welcoming people.

The restaurant is located two blocs from the beach of Manaíra and it has a big parking lot. It is a typical northeastern restaurant which serves food by the weight (by kilo). It has a huge buffet with lots of typical dishes.
A piece of advice, forget your bilingual dictionary to try to understand the food's name, you won't find them out. Just taste the dishes and try to figure out. For example, What about "Sovaco de Cobra" for lunch today? In a free translation "Snake's armpit". Calm down, there's no snake involved in this dish, It is made of minced "carne de sol" (translated as 'sun-dried-meat', which is sort of salted meat), corn and onions. Besides carne de sol, two more recurrent ingredients in their menu, queijo coalho (sort of a lightweight white cheese) and macaxeira (cassava).
Wash this food down with the exotic juices from very different fruits of the region.
Do not leave the restaurant without tasting their delectable desserts. My suggestion is Coco Zoião (Coconut Goggle): cocada (which is a coconut candy made of eggs and shredded coconut) with ice-cream served in coconut husk. You can have some "cocada" to take home, There's also a take away service there.

Final note: the pace of the city is very slow and so is the service, if you are in hurry the answer is twofold: either you're not on holiday or you're not in the right city. That's the place to slow down and relax.

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    • Atmosphere
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    • Food
1  Thank Cordeiro
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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52 - 56 of 7,192 reviews

Reviewed 11 July 2014

Such a fun experience - unlike any I've had before. It's buffet style, loads of food to choose from, the atmosphere is crazy and if the waiting room seems crazy crowded, it's ok, it was for us too and it went really fast. Go here, now!

Thank GreenStarfish
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 June 2014

Tried it out based on the good reviews i read - atmosphere was welcoming but food was below average. Many dishes were sitting out for a while - meat was dry, shrimp was not deveined and dessert was stale. We arrived at the restaurant abt 7pm very busy atmosphere so expected fresh food. Overall disappointment.

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    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank TravelbyCynthia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 June 2014 via mobile

Lovely place been there 5 years ago and still lovely. Would recommend to anyone especially families as has good atmosphere

Thank fam990
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 June 2014

Agree with what everyone else has said. This is the place to go to try a whole range of local cuisine, and all of it delicious. If you're looking for a kids' club or a wine list, not the place for you...

Thank colinreynolds
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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