Having never been to a rodizio I have to admit I was pretty excited to be checking out Fazenda’s new restaurant in Spinningfields. All you can eat meat, brought to you on giant skewers and sliced for your pleasure, what’s not to like?
Once seated we went for some South American tipples to get us in in the mood, Brazil’s national cocktail the caiparinha, a blend of cachaça and lime, and a pisco sour, a brandy based drink which hails from Peru. Both were expertly mixed and not for the faint hearted. Right now if you check in to Fazenda on Facebook you can claim a free caiprainha for your troubles too. To whet our appetites a little further, a trip to the salad bar brought with it all manner of treats including salamis, hams, olives, feijoada – a delicious bean stew, and plenty more besides.
And so on to the main event, with 6 different cuts of steak on offer (before you even get on to the other meats) you’d expect an impressive wine list and Fazenda does not disappoint. We opted for the Valdivieso Single Vineyard Carmenere, a delectable Chilean wine with smoky pepper flavours and the bottle didn’t last long, there’s a whole lot of grub to be washed down though so that seems only fair.
Making our way through rump, fillet, sirloin, rib eye, flank steak and skirt it’s all nice and rare and cooked beautifully well. I have to admit to being a bit dubious about how well everything would be cooked when it was being served up on such a scale but everything was spot on. I found the skirt to be my favourite of the beef but could have quite happily got through a plate of anything on offer. There were other meat to try too though, linguica, a spiced South American sausage is delicious and the morcela black pudding crumbles with its rich creamy texture. I’d been waiting to try the chicken hearts and they really are a tasty morsel, garlicky and slightly chewy they’re reminiscent snails to me.
After all that, some desserts on the lighter side of things fit the bill and we went for coconut panna cotta with lime and the passion fruit and mango bavarois. They’re both delicate and creamy but brightened up by those tropical fruit flavours. I also couldn’t resist finishing things off with a coconut batida, a cocktail with Velho Barreiro cachaça, Koko Kanu rum, coconut milk and cream. It was sweet, very boozy and a little like a white Russian.
The drinks, desserts and salads are all tasty but it’s that carnivorous instinct bringing people through the doors, and the meat really is top notch. If you haven’t experienced it yet, you’d better book yourself a date with Fazenda’s passadores, I’d be back in a heart-beat.