Crowne Plaza, Shaikh Zayed Road
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.