Crowne Plaza, Shaikh Zayed Road

Friday - - Review -

Hav­ing lived for one year in Brazil eat­ing, cook­ing and drink­ing with the lo­cals, I was al­ways go­ing to be a tough cus­tomer to please at a Dubai chur­ras­caria. Able to dis­tin­guish in a heart­beat the dif­fer­ence be­tween pi­canha from costela (meats), and samba from forro (mu­sic), I pride my­self on hav­ing at one time been a true Brasileira.

So when I was in­vited to dine at the new­ly­launched Chamas in the Crowne Plaza, Dubai, my ex­pec­ta­tions were not only high but fully pre­pared to be dashed. To my de­light, how­ever, Chamas proved me 100 per cent wrong.

From the mo­ment I stepped into the el­e­gant restau­rant with its chan­de­liers and glis­ten­ing open-floor kitchen all beau­ti­fully lit in a soft or­ange glow re­flec­tive of the restau­rant name (Brazil­ian for flame), I had a sneaky sus­pi­cion my Miss-Know-It-All bub­ble may just about to be burst.

The sight of tra­di­tion­ally dressed Pas­sadores (wait­ers), the sounds of an au­then­tic Latino band and aro­mas of fresh Brazil­ian beef rem­i­nis­cent of a typ­i­cal Rio de Janeiro eatery put the au­then­tic­ity stamp firmly on Dubai’s lat­est of­fer­ing.

Skew­ers of 18 dif­fer­ent types of freshly bar­be­cued meat, chicken and lamb are on of­fer, all served from a metal skewer straight to your plate. Best of the bunch has to be the picana, Brazil’s most prized cut of meat, which looked as it should – off the chump and rare.

You can eat as much as you like here and the meat just keeps on com­ing, so if you’re a car­ni­vore, this is the place for you. If you’re a car­ni­vore with­out the ap­petite of a bull, how­ever, you’ll be pleased to em­brace the red/green card con­cept. Leave the green card out and the pas­sadore will give your plate a miss, flip it over to red and he’ll be back.

My card re­mained firmly on red for serv­ing af­ter serv­ing of picana. To my sur­prise (and be­grudg­ingly ad­mit­ted de­light), it tasted ex­actly as it should. Bub­ble of­fi­cially burst, and with a tra­di­tional meat skewer at that.


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