Saturday, June 6, 2009

Churrasco Sydney, Woolloomooloo

"Do you like barbecued meat?" asked my Brazilian colleague. What else could I answer but "Hell yeah, show me the way to the carcases!" So 8 of us trouped off to Churrasco, a 15 minute walk from our office to enjoy a traditional Brazilian BBQ lunch.
For $35 per person, you get endless chargrilled meat and vegetables, salsas, rice, beans, yummy cheese bread and the divine grilled pineapple sprinkled with cinnamon sugar. The restaurant has a branch in Coogee and one at the top of William Street in Sydney on the corner of Riley Street. The Sydney branch has an L-shaped dining space with the longer section taken up by long communal tables and really heavy wooden stools (presumably so they are strong enough to withstand the weight of meat-stuffed patrons), enough room for entire offices to dine together in the meatfest.

The open kitchen (or should that be BBQ pit hehe) is in between the two sections of the restaurant and consists of multiple tiers of metre long skewers sitting over a charcoal fire.

The condiments were set out first, I could recognise a salad of tomatoes, onions and parsley which is called a vinagrete in Portugeuse, and a chili sauce but what was the powdery stuff that looked like breadcrumbs? My friend said it was toasted cassava flour (tapioca is made from this root vegetable) which is typically sprinkled over the meat. I tried a little of it, it didn't taste particularly distinctive but added a toasty texture to the cooked meat.

Next came a bowl of potato salad. You can see next to the bowl that heavy duty knives are supplied in readiness for the skewers of barbecued meat!
Then came a bowl of rice and a bowl of Feijoada, the national dish of Brazil. This is a black turtle bean stew that has been cooked for hours with different types of pork products (bacon, sausage, ribs, trotter, head and tongue) and beef and flavourings. I was so impressed with the flavour - rich and savoury - I really could have just eaten the rice and beans as a meal in itself!

The first thing served was beautifully grilled pieces of ham brushed with a grainy mustard and caramelly pineapple chunks.

Then it all started to arrive, men carrying platters of deliciously barbecued pork belly, pinkly cooked lamb, 3 differently flavoured types of chicken, the photo below shows a sweet sauced chicken and a savoury one. Different cuts of beef offered were so tender and juicy and then came the chicken hearts, which can be rubbery if overcooked but these were tender although not as flavourful as the meats. Deliciously grilled zucchini was followed by smoky balls of cheese which tasted like a bocconcini and then the gooey on the inside crunchy on the outside little balls of cheese bread called Pao de Queijo which are made out of tapioca flour. Then the chorizo came out accompanied by a skewer of chicken sausages, all cooked to perfection and then the ham and pineapple came back... We didn't really need the extra salads we'd ordered but at least we acknowledged a nod to the "eat your greens" part of our consciences!

After this photograph, I'm afraid I was too busy tasting and eating to take anymore!

Thank you my friend for introducing me to the delights of the Brazilian barbecue! I'm now going to find a recipe for Feijoada and experiment over the long weekend, bom apetite!


  1. Oh my! What a feast..I've never tried Brazilian and I think I'd have to get into training to go through the dishes you had. How could you stop taking photos? I was totally entranced! I'm not sure I wanna try that one with trotters and tongues though...national dish or not!

  2. Hi HB, I've got a feeling you're going to get the opportunity to try it, I'm currently soaking a kilo of black beans and have assembled a smoked hock, smoked ribs, pork bones and beef jerky. Couldn't find head, tongue and trotters so will leave them out!

  3. We walked past this place the other day and wondered what it was like! I'm a big fan of churrasco so great to hear that it was good :)

  4. Keep an eye out for the Feijoada blog! :)

  5. i thought i've been to another one of there's on Oxford St but realise now it's called Churras which has similiar food. I've walked past the william st and coogee one many times and hoping to one day try.

  6. So how did the feijoada available here compare to your homemade one yaya?

  7. Not as good obviously but still very edible!