‘ Brunch is a marathon not a sprint’ was the pep talk I overheard from one of the tables at the Ipanema brunch on Friday, I wish I taken this advice. I had read good reviews of this Brazilian Churrascaria styled restaurant and we were keen to try it especially as we can see the restaurant from lounge and involves very little effort getting there ( our car had broken down that morning). The atmosphere when we walked in set the scene nicely – a lively bar area, carnival head dresses on display and a samba band. We received a warm welcome and the concept of the Rodizio service was explained to us as were the different price options available.
Drinks swiftly arrived and so did a bread basket with delicious warm cheesy rolls, a small pair of tongs and reversible cards to indicate whether you wanted more food bringing over (green) or if you wanted a brunch break (red). We headed to the buffet first which was well presented with an array of Brazilian inspired dishes, sushi, oysters, salads, breads, soups, desserts and cheeses. The buffet is available throughout brunch and you can just help yourself to whatever you want.
As we returned to our table we had been served tapioca, fried bananas, beans and polenta in small dishes to compliment the meat then, the stars of the show arrived, and continued to arrive at regular intervals throughout the next 3 hours. Huge skewers offering various cuts of lamb, beef and chicken cooked and seasoned perfectly, bowls of braised short ribs, plates of lobster and cinnamon roasted pineapple. Wow, it was meat heaven! I particularly liked the deliciously tender braised short rib and the garlic infused beef. As the meat was sliced you caught it with the small tongs provided and, at first, it seems a bit odd only being served one slice, but you soon realise it is very filling and the staff are constantly checking if you want more by looking at the green and red cards on the table.
After a bit of a meat overload I had a dessert break, the carrot cake was fantastic especially the frosting and I shamefully admit to eating a couple of spoonfuls of Dulce de Leche sauce on its own it was so good. After a short rest we chose the cuts of meat we had liked the most for a final plateful – by now we could barely move, and after the last plate, both quickly turned our cards to red.
We thoroughly enjoyed our brunch, the quality of the food was excellent, the service was fun and friendly, the atmosphere was very lively, it had a nice buzz. Even though we went as a couple it would also be great for a bigger group and families – the children seemed happy trying on the carnival head dresses and dancing to the band.
Brunch is priced at 260QR which includes soft drinks or 335QR for a package which includes wine, beer and cocktails which I thought was good value especially as neither of us ate anything else for the rest of the day! If anyone is planning a Christmas party this would be a great place, we will definitely go back.