rodizio preto, london

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very good meatfest in soho. I had booked this place, went back to the netosphere to read more reviews, then doubted my choice of restaurantfor a dinner with friends. we needn’t have worried though.

the restaurant was rightly crowded on a saturday evening, and we were seated belowstairs. in fact the only downside to the whole experience was our waitress who was a tad ditsy and unsure about things – oh well.

this rodizio (as with most) operates on a all-you-can-eat policy such that you basically pay a flat rate at the end. there are only two choices, one for only the hot buffet and the salads, and then you pay a premium of about 5 pounds over that for the option of the having loads of meat. I don’t think the buffet and salads are worth it – though it does mean that you can have vegetarian friends with you even though they probably wouldn’t have as great a time as you do.

I’ll start by saying that the buffet spread upstairs seems larger and better than the one downstairs, but we were there for the meat anyway so the salads and etc. merely served as a buffer. there was a fried food counter with fried onion rings, brazilian cheese mochi bread (not spectacular but alright), fried bananas (my friends went back for seconds and triples as you can see from the laden plate on the left, second from bottom), what looked to me to be variants of pasta and lasagne. very heavy starchy stuff.

adjacent to that was the salad section which were 4 different salads heavily dressed as well as a bowl of fresh cut tomatoes and baby salad leaves. the salads included a bean-and-mushroom salad, a green-beans-and-peppers salad (I liked these two), something with radishes and cabbages that looked the least oily, as well as a strange looking salad of okra. the salads all taste like they have the same dressing, but it’s not a bad one, just a bit heavy on the oil.

let me tell you my strategy for going through this meal. aim for the simply grilled meats, stay away from the starch, and use the salads and fresh tomatoes to refresh your palate as the meal proceeds. there are apparently 15 different types of meat and I’m not sure if we got them all, but these included many different cuts of beef, pork, chicken and lamb. out of those, the lamb was apparently not too great, the pork was dry and the beef and chicken did the best. stay away from the bacon-wrapped chicken which was horribly salty and dry – I’m still suffering from that tiny bite I had.

I can’t tell you what the best one was since I don’t know which cuts they were as the meal went on, but I would stick to the beef and chicken – there was one sort that was exceptionally good – medium rare beef. incredibly tasty and rare, you can see the photo above of the pink meat. I got at least four or five slices of that. sorry for the morass of meat photos – there isn’t a really appetising way of photographing slices of meat that just happen on your plate as a waiter walks by.

I’d come back especially when I have many (male) friends to feed. it was very cheap for the amount of food we got, as well as the fact that we’re right smack in town.

by the way – we also celebrated a birthday at the restaurant that night and they didn’t charge us for service and were really nice about bringing it out and giving us plates and serviettes and etc. very impressive. the cake was from patisserie valerie, if you’re interested, and was a black forest cake with a moist crumb but a bit too much cream for me!

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