Graduate Dining: Fazenda Rodizio Bar and Grill
Fazenda Rodizio Bar and Grill is a restaurant with more than what one can even call ‘a difference’. Mixing up the usual concept of picking what meal you’d like cooked for you and having someone else cook it, the restaurant offers and excels at what they call a ‘unique dining experience’. Ahead of graduation season, Leeds Student’s Victoria Gray reviews…
Hidden away in the depth of Granary Wharf, Fazenda, previously voted Best Latin American Restaurant outside London, is a treat not to be missed. As you enter you are shown to your table, and then have the six steps of dining explained to you.
The emphasis is strongly on meat, with the restaurant’s Brazilian background showing through in this aspect. The Rodizio style of cooking is Portugese for rotisserie, and the fourteen different types of meat are cooked on a barbeque that is visible from the dining area. Steak is the specialty with a number of different cuts and flavours but there is also lamb, pork, sausages, gammon, chicken and fish on offer. Although there are vegetarian options, this is certainly a restaurant for the carnivores among us.
turn the card on your table from its red side to green…
The six steps of dining involve firstly having a drink and enjoying the delicious Brazilian cheese bread and dips on offer, followed by a visit to the salad and sides bar to choose what will accompany your meat. So far, so easy. Next, you turn the card on your table from its red side to green, inviting the passadores (translated literally as ‘smugglers’, but in the context of the restaurant means ‘bringers’) to come by with meat and carve a piece for you. When you have chosen your meat, or selection of meats, turn the card back to red and enjoy, before repeating the process if you so choose. Finally a dessert is on offer.
Upon visiting Fazenda, we were shown to our table, given very large glasses of wine, and made our way to the buffet to pick our sides. At this point, we were slightly apprehensive, as we didn’t know what was coming, so went for a little bit of everything – the usual buffet behaviour, but as I discovered, this wasn’t the most sensible of options.
The meat was all cooked to perfection, and mixed very well with the sides
As we returned to the table, we flipped our card to green, and it certainly was a go signal. We were greeted by a huge hunk of gammon, which was carved off and added to our pile, followed quickly by a steak, and then a pork sausage. We turned the card back to red, and tucked in.
The meat was all cooked to perfection, and mixed very well with the sides. The ‘red’ pepper sauce particularly complimented the steak, as did the Russian salad, consisting of potatoes, chicken and carrots and chickpeas, mingling a variation of rich flavours.
A certain level of tactics is needed to make sure you could sample everything. When I returned to the buffet, with my favourite salad choices in mind, I suffered from a case of my eyes being too big for my stomach. I took way too much, before opting for every type of meat that came past, which resulted in a mountainous plate.
Perfect for graduation celebration
We managed to try over half the menu before admitting defeat. While everything was delicious, and the concept of not having to pick one dish from a menu and stick with it made the meal a lot more fun, it was slightly overwhelming at times. That said, being overwhelmed with delicious food is never normally a huge problem. A little bit of forward planning on graduation day can help anybody to enjoy a both varied and tasty dining experience at Fazenda.
Fazenda offer set prices for both lunch and dinner, with seven cuts of meat available at lunchtime and the full 14 at dinner. If you check in on Facebook while there, you are offered a superb Caprinha, a Mojito-like cocktail made with the Brazillian rum caçaha, and the bar has many more drinks available if a celebratory tipple is in order following your graduation ceremony.