Passadores are here, with their skewers and knives. In cowboy attire, their fingers firm on the skewers steaming with chicken breasts wrapped in turkey bacon or rump steaks, they are at your table. "Sir, madam, would you like to try this?" one of them asks and we never would want to say 'No'. In no time 'the gaucho with the espeto' carves out with a knife a tempting slice from the cut of grilled picanha.
Finally, some authentic South American dishes originated from Brazil and Argentina have found an outlet in Muscat and the food aficionados here are all set to fall head over heels for a real churrascaria rodizio concept. "Just try the picanha (a cut of beef) with a slice of Abacaxi no espeto (roasted pineapple with sugar and cinnamon). You would love it," says Andrea Lewinski, the executive chef at Espeto Gaucho, the Brazilian restaurant at the Cave, which is slated to be opened for public on August 28. We were among a few lucky ones at a food trial and were baffled by the unlimited Brazilian selection of meats grilled in a typical Brazilian Style. And equally impressive was the ambience and the rodizio style of service.
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"It's a continuous service and food served on the table with 16-19 different cuts of meat, apart from starters, salads, soups and desserts. There would be two cards on the table for the customers to use, the green one to show that they are open to start the food service and the red one to stop the service," explains Kishore Singh, the head (hospitality division) of Hussain Fadhil and Partners, which runs the restaurant. The Pao de queijo and Mandioca frita had tasted good with chimichurri and pineapple jelly sauces and mussarela de bufala salad had simply burst a host of tastes on our palates. It was then time to flash the red card, but we didn't, as we chose to sign off only after a round of Brigadeiro de colher, the chocolate bonbon dessert with a real story behind it (it was said to have been created by some ladies from Rio de Janeiro who named it after an Air Force brigadier and Brazilian politician of the 1920's Brigadeiro Eduardo Gomes).
"This is for people who love some real grilled good-quality meat which will be presented in a rustic manner on the table like the way cowboys cooked and served their food in the countryside," Kishore points out. The menu ingredients are sourced from Brazil and, apart from the rodizio menu (the continuous service of unlimited meats - lamb, chicken and beef on the table but different from a buffet for its freshness and method of serving) priced at OMR14 and OMR10, people can select their fare a' la carte. "There also would be a 'kids menu' at a reduced price starting from OMR3," he adds.
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