I kept being told the menu at Brazil would keep a Flintstone happy so, when a good pal chose the venue for a mid-week birthday bash, I was more than happy to go along and check it out.
The place itself is welcoming with contemporary décor, friendly staff, a cute little smoking garden with tables and water feature (so you don’t have to hang about outside the door) and Brazilian or South American music playing softly in the background.
It’s an all you can eat and drink (selected beverages) affair starting with thick, skin-on potato chips which arrive in plentiful bowls pretty much as soon as you sit down.
Fluffy in the centre, crispy on the outside and piping hot, I had to remind myself to leave space for the feast to come.
And what a feast it was!
The meats (and a prawn option) are cooked over open flames on long skewers from which they’re served at the table – and it really is eat all you want, if one slice is enough that’s fine but if you want two or three or more, no problem.
And if the meat’s all done before your appetite, they’ll simply cook you some more.
We started with piri piri chicken, tender and not too spicy, followed by herby sausages browned to perfection, chunks of chicken in a delicate mustard coating then prawns wrapped in bacon. These were clearly a favourite right round the table and it was easy to see why. The taste of the big, juicy prawns sat perfectly alongside the salty smokiness of the bacon and we kept asking for extra servings.
Ha ha, for some it was a case of the eyes being bigger than the belly as we realised that these were really just the appetizers!
Next came giant lamb chops, lightly charred on the outside, pink and tender on the inside, followed by fillet mignon just a smidge rare and, again, wrapped in bacon.
At this point my eyes were drawn to the other side of the table where the largest leg of lamb I think I’ve ever seen was making its way slowly from diner to diner. Impaled on a skewer, the server would hand each person a set of tongs to collect the pieces directly as he sliced them from the joint.
And there was still more.
A delicious smell heralded the arrival of garlic rib-eye. I like my meat fairly well cooked and this was the highlight of the evening for me, almost blackened on the outside with a garlic crusting that made my mouth water despite all I’d already eaten.
And lastly, the item for which Brazil is rightly famed. The beef picanha, a typically Brazilian cut which comes from the top sirloin cap and nowhere else.
Our server had earlier inquired how we would like out meat cooked and, not knowing what was to come, I wondered why as, until this point, everybody seemed to be getting the same.
But, all soon became clear. Picanha is grilled over open flames and is one of the meat cuts traditionally served in Brazilian rodizio-style restaurants, where it is common to roast the whole piece and then serve in slices as thin or thick as desired, so that several people can share a single piece with everyone getting their different cooking preferences.
Almost full to bursting but determined to try the house special, I chose just a small, and very delicious, well-cooked slice from the outside of the cut. By the time the server reached the inner sections, the meat was suitably bloody for the chap sitting to my left, so happy diners all round.
Brazil really is a carnivore’s paradise and, being a dedicated meat eater, I was more than impressed. However, when informed that we had a vegetarian among our party (she’d come along to celebrate the birthday rather than for the food), the staff were happy to whip up a pasta dish and there’s also a small but well-stocked salad bar for those who want to add a little something green to the all-out protein fest.
For desert there’s ice cream, a selection of cakes or another house special – pineapple, coated in cinnamon and heated on the grill. This one is a love it or hate it. I’d got it into my head it would resemble caramelising with brown sugar, which would have been perfect, but, for me, the cinnamon just didn’t work. However, judging by the number of others on our table tucking in greedily, it’s actually a pretty popular choice, so what do I know?
All of this comes at the princely sum of around BD20 but, since it was a Tuesday night, our server informed me it was ladies’ night which means half price for girls. And, if you’re feeling even slightly energetic after a gigantic meat blow out,ww there’s even salsa in the upstairs club/lounge afterwards to help burn off some of the calories.
The bill (for one) All you can eat and drink BD10 Perrier water x1 BD 1.811 Total (inc service) BD11.811
Brazil Rodizio Grill & Lounge
Time Out Bahrain staffhttp://www.timeoutbahrain.com