“I’m going Brazilian tonight.” Five seconds after uttering those words to my editor my face flushed with embarrassment as I started thinking, “Oh shoot, that didn’t sound so good…” However, my first gastronomic adventure of sampling an authentic Brazilian barbecue in Petaling Jaya was nonetheless an enjoyable one.
What satay is to Malaysians is what Churrascaria (pronounced choo-raas-car-ee-yah) is to Brazilians. Carnaval (or Brazilian Carnival) is an annual celebration held 40 days before Easter and marks the beginning of Lent. So, the restaurant which is aptly named Carnaval Churrascaria is self-explanatory, really.
The Churrascaria, which means barbecue in Portuguese, was developed in South Brazil. Barbecues there take place outdoors regularly, usually accompanied by lots of drinking and dancing. Now, the Churrascaria has moved indoors into full service restaurants like Carnaval Churrascaria. With the name proudly emblazoned outside in the country’s signature colours of green, yellow and blue, the modest and homely ambience beckons even the most discerning patron. The interior exudes a rustic and simplistic charm, with terracotta tiles and colourful oil paintings depicting the Carnaval hung on each corner while the Brazilian flag is patriotically displayed above the bar counter. The catchy Brazilian samba tunes which fill the restaurant make the dining experience all the more fun.
According to the manager, C.Y. Lum, all the meat at Carnaval Churrascaria is of the highest quality and imported from Australia and New Zealand. “Because our niche is serving meat, we make sure we serve the best.” All the meat, comprising beef, lamb and chicken marinated and barbecued in their special 30-year-old recipe is cooked to perfection in its own juices. Be prepared to expect about 12 different cuts of meat, offered to you at your table by meat waiters called Passadors – it’s kind of similar to having your own butler.
The unique point about this restaurant is that there is no menu. You can start your meal at the salad bar followed by generous servings of the succulent meat, at your leisure. One thing is for certain at Carnaval Churrascaria, they are never short of food. The head chef, Joao Batistos, a native of Brazil, also has 15 years of experience under his belt.
My evening began with a sampling of hot and cold salads, where I had a pick at some coleslaw, pasta and potato salad and much more. A big hit at the salad bar is the Fried Sliced Brinjal, fried in a special batter. One word – delicious! Lum also recommended we try the signature Brazilian cocktail, Caipirihna – consisting of rum, lime wedge and sugar and shaken with ice.
The other alternative is the Caipiroska, which main ingredient is vodka. The buzz from the cocktails definitely whetted my appetite for the entrees – the meat! In came the Passadors, with skewer after skewer of the sizzling delicacies of Garlic Beef, Rump Steak, Tritip steaks, lamb shoulders and ribs and smoked chicken. I would highly recommend you to try the barbecued pineapple, which is so divine that 20 to 30 fruits are used each night.
Despite our full bellies, we simply couldn’t leave without dessert. Whether you choose the Caramelised Banana, Crème de Mangga or Pineapple Fiesta, you won’t be disappointed.
There are different promotions available during the week. But at just RM48++ for an all-you-can- eat meal, I will definitely be making another trip to Carnaval Churrascaria.
Fact File :
77, Jalan SS22/19,
47400 Petaling Jaya
Tel: 03.7725 2252
Opening Hours: Open daily from 6pm to 11pm
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