In need of a Brazilian?!

The former Osteria del Toro is now Welly’s first ever Brazilian Churrascaria. No it has nothing to do with churros! It’s traditional, authentic Gaucho cuisine; Portuguese BBQ. The décor inside is pretty much the same as the former Osteria del Toro, and is still extremely elegant and plush in its surroundings. Friend Sally arrived early and was propped at the bar about to indulge in a pre-dinner bite. Sprung. Sally and I jumped into a comfy booth and waited for Eileen. Sally’s pre-ordered cheese rolls arrived. I just had to try one and boy it was tasty. . A young girl with a very strong accent, served us what I thought was an amuse-bouche (free taster courtesy of the chef). No idea was it was mes amis, but it was a tasty and obviously some of the tapas included in the price. The same waitress transformed into a trolley pusher, walking past inviting us to try a ‘Caipirinha’. Sally is also a linguist but she was like che? I had to interpret. She’d not heard or tried one of these famous Brazilian cocktails before.  As much as we were tempted, we sat on our glass of vino from the expensive drinks menu.

I previewed the menu online and as you know, I’m not a big of all-you-can eat fixed menu kinda girl, so I was going to opt for a la carte; as well as meat dishes, you can opt for a salad, or seafood dish but sadly this is only a lunch option. How or what to order wasn’t explained to us that well, so we were all a little befuddled about what we were in for, however we just went along with the $57.95 Churraso Experience; tapas & tasters, churrasco and sides. You can upgrade to the complete for $69.96 person which includes dessert or go for the full monty Deluxe at $87.95 person which includes a seafood platter and a charcuterie board and the rest.

A bread basket with dips was delivered to the table. I think it was hardly touched. We also were given a traffic light thingie which allows you control the flow of things food-wise. This came in handy as we did get a little overwhelmed at times and found our conversation was always stop start stop start, with constant interruptions. Not good when you’re trying to natter as it did become annoying.

Prior to the meat, we got served this delicious mushroom pasta which we thought was a bit interesting for a Brazilian steakhouse. Geez we could have had seconds of that baby though regardless if it didn’t belong in the house!.  Then we were given a lovely green salad with a fab vinaigrette and roast patatas. The salad was divine so we ordered a second.

Lovely male waiters dressed in black and white (called Passadors) come to your table – ta-da – with long skewers of marinated slow-roasted, wood-fired, split-roasted or oven-roasted meats; beef, lamb, pork, sausage and chicken. They certainly don’t a-pass-a-you-by-the-door at all. The boys return and offer seconds and you control your portion. The pork was nice as was the beef (different cuts). The chicken was the highlight for me as it was so delicious, tender and smoky in flavour. Actually all the meat flavours were sublime but when you get offered so many at once, it’s hard to remember which is which. I don’t remember actually having any lamb but maybe we did and did we have salmon?! It certainly was a great way to try many things, but I prefer to take my time with one or two dishes and sides.  As for the dessert trolley, we watched it from a distance. No room at the inn.

Recently watching “Food Sources” or ‘What the Health” on Netflix, made me cringe as there is a huge focus on a plant-based, vegan diet and here I was consuming all this animal protein. Not guilty though as I also watched “Steak Revolution” and I swung back to voting for meat. I will never give it up, as it tastes so good, however I do need to cut back on my portion size and and up my greens even more so.

Be warned this place isn’t for the budget conscious, vegans and you can’t get a Brazilian here. Service was good and it was fun getting lost in translation.  I do prefer El Matador, but I’ll go back with hubby, and see what he thinks.

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