Not long ago, I visited Churrasco in Coogee and had some great food, despite the meat sweat filled horror stories everyone insisted were a reality when you visited Churrasco. (For the record- I did NOT get meat sweats...) I took such a liking to this style of food that I was REALLY excited to hear, along the twitter grape vine, that Mundo Churrasco, a Brazilian Churrascaria was coming to Brisbane.
Luckily, the opportunity arose and a couple of friends and I headed to Mundo a week after it had opened (I know, I know- this post is REALLY LATE- about a month or so... I've been busy!)
When stepping in, I was quite taken aback by the size and style of the restaurant. I am not sure what I was expecting, but I didn't expect it to be so cosmopolitan. The high ceilings with chandeliers were definitely a surprise. Hopefully this nice fit-out is to discourage bogans from coming in with the soul aim of eating every piece of meat in the place- as I'm sure will happen at some time or other.
The (cast of hundreds) staff were obviously in 'opening mode' as they were super polite and a little on-edge. We were shown to our table and two different waiters appeared to tell us about churrasco styled dining, which definitely helps if you are a newbie to the whole scene. They explain the 'red or green block system' and the whole philosophy of the restaurant.
One of the cute-to-boot owners of Mundo, Shirley, introduced herself and poured our water- which she kept doing religiously for the whole night. I'm a fan of Shirley. You can never have your water glass topped too many times.
We all chose to have the all you can eat BBQ Option for $29.50- this includes all you can eat accompaniments, meats and salads. There are other options available such as the tasting plate but everyone goes to Churrasco for all you can eat, don't they?!
The accompaniments were brought to our table and we were told that if we needed anything- ANYTHING at all, just to let the staff know. They refill the sides when needed. Now, this was really nice, but at times I felt like the service was a little too attentive (just asking if generally everything was ok). This eager beaveness, I'm sure, was all part of the opening week jitters, and a much lesser crime than the alternative, being ignored.
There were quite a few accompaniments including:
*Pao de queijo or cheese bread = little chewy mounds of cheesy doughy balls. These were a little too chewy for me, and didn't really have much flavour- but I really don't like typical cheese bread anyway.
* cassava chips- a little oily but crunchy on the outside. ( I am a lover of cassava but for those of you who have not had the pleasure of meeting this beautiful root vegie- it has a yammy texture and originates in Africa. Tapioca pearls come from Cassava's which you may have seen used in various desserts.
* Brazilian potato salad- again, a little too creamy for me;
* Salad- a very simple but welcome addition. I cannot eat all meat without having some serious vegies or salad;
* a salsa- again, simple and a little watery but fresh;
* some spices to add to the rice and meat- sorry (I am a little confused as to what this spice mix containted- I should have written it down).
After the accompanyments were served, the carving waiters started slowly coming around with the different types of meat. When I say slowly, it was basically at a snail's pace. I think they were still getting used to the amounts of meat needed to serve a full restaurant. We were seated right outside the kitchen which was right in the action, and a good spot to get the first offerings from the waiters, and still, we were left wanting for longish periods at a time. It must be noted that when the waiters did arrive, they were really friendly.
We were offered a couple of different types of meats- the hump - which was way too blue, even for me. My friend J will seriously not eat anything that is under 'well done' and a look of horror passed over face as she was given the least cooked bit of flesh between the four of us. I swapped with her, but still couldn't finish it off completely. Rump, which was salty- but nicely tender and the fillet which was salty and garlicky - but also nicely BBQ'd.
The BBQ'd veggies; zucchini, tomato and capsicum were nicely charred and really helped me feel better about so much meat consumption.
It's a shame that we missed out on the Brazilian sausage and Chicken thigh, as I loved loved loved the chicken at my last Churassco experience. The meat coming around tended to be the same three types- we would have loved to see some more variety.
I think Mundo Churassco (in the future, which is probably now, seeing as though I visited close to a month ago) will have/has a lot to offer as a unique dining experience for Brisbanites. I hope the problems of service of meat being slow, and the over attentive waiters were teething issues that have been sorted out by now. The food definitely has potential, a little too salty, but cooked gloriously well in most cases. The prices were very reasonable and it would be a great place to go for a night out with a big group of friends, or with friends who have children. Vegetarians friends would most probably be mortified. It's not really a place you would go for a romantic dining experience, on some diet (unless it's Atkins) or wanting to play dainty ladies (see my finished plate below!)
So readers, are you a fan of the 'all you can eat' themed restaurants or do you prefer a petit, fine dining approach?
63 MacGregor Tce
07 3369 1660