Stop and Go coasters
It's the coasters that excite me most.
For a while now, I've been meaning to get to Churrasco--not just for the promise of all-you-can-eat meat; not because the meat is served to you on swords that are brought to your table; but primarily because you can control the arrival of food to your table by flipping your personal coaster to Red (stop, I'm full) or Green (keep it coming!). Yes, I admit it. I am easily amused.
As we head to the restuarant on the main strip of Coogee, we can smell the charcoal from a block away. The place is packed on a Saturday night, filled with mostly young males and, we notice wryly, a good sprinkling of Asian clientele - we always love a good meal deal! It's rather noisy and clangy inside - conversation is restricted to the person next to you, and whilst it's not too much of a problem whilst you're eating, it can be difficult to hear what the servers are saying when they announce each dish.
Potato salad and rice
Each table is set with a trio of potato salad, rice and black beans, although for the most part, people are here for the meat. Dinner is a flat $35 for all-you-can-eat meat, with salads costing an additional $10.50 each. We order a jug of sangria for the table from the extensive drinks menu, although caipirinhas and mojitos (both $15 each) seem the more popular option.
Chorizo and pork sausages
And then the meat fest begins. There's an element of ceremony as each server comes around to your table, brandishing a sword-like skewer of meat which is offered to you for your approval. We nod obediently at every arrival for the first twenty minutes, our plates on the receiving end of one or two pieces of meat.
Rump and scotch fillet
There's a wide range of meats available, from eye fillet to sirloin to rump cap and scotch fillet. The scotch fillet is my favourite of the evening, tender and juicy. We also find lamb, chicken wings, chorizo, pork sausages and ribs. The meats are seasoned with salt only, and we're grateful for the sauces on our table, a light vinaigrette and a chimichurri sauce that is sweet and spicy.
Chicken hearts and chorizo
Chicken hearts are a surprise arrival, and to our delight we find that because they're less popular we score a second serve of them on their way back to the kitchen. The chicken hearts have a slightly bouncy texture, but they're a delicacy we savour.
Chorizo and chicken hearts
Cheese bread, or Pao de Queijo, is a welcome surprise. This is a traditional bread made with tapioca flour, eggs and cheese. The result is a choux-pastry like texture with the subtle taste of cheese.
BBQ baby mozzarella balls
Barbecued bocconcini or baby mozzarella is another dish that helps break up the monotony of meat. I'm also impressed when trays of marinated bbq zucchini and mushroom arrive. Vegetables! The vitamin-rich pleasure!
The mainly male clientele dig in
We gorge ourselves on meat for about an hour. Occasionally we find ourselves waiting with plates empty, and hearing the waitstaff can be a bit of a struggle, but for the most part, the food flows freely.
Dessert is bbq pineapple, fresh sweet pineapple chunks sprinkled liberally with cinnamon and then heated over charcoal until smoky.
As we exit the restaurant, I finally notice the rotisserie of skewers, slowly rotating over a bed of charcoal. It's a mesmerising sight, and one I'd happily sit down to watch.
Our coasters are flipped to stop but it's time for us to go.
FREEBIE FRIDAY UPDATE:
The entry cut-off day to win one of five double passes to see Bright Star has been extended to Friday 18/12/09 5.30pm.
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240 Coogee Bay Rd, Coogee, Sydney
Tel: +61 (02) 9665 6535
Lunch on Sundays from 12pm
Dinner Monday to Sunday from 6pm
$35 per person includes:
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12/16/2009 02:40:00 a.m.