Frevo is the latest Brazilian churrascaria to land in Dubai. When we visited on a Wednesday evening, the outdoor terrace was fully booked, if not yet entirely full. We had in fact booked a table on the terrace (the al-fresco area had been recommend to us when we’d called to reserve), but there’d been a misunderstanding somewhere down the line. So we resigned ourselves to the indoor area, which was pleasant, but not as busy and consequently lacking in atmosphere. That’s despite the rather good live Latin music that played to an empty room throughout the evening.
The staff were very welcoming and warm – each of the waiters and waitresses we spoke to had an easy, chatty manner. They were also refreshingly well versed with the concept and the dishes, and the necessity of explaining both to guests who may be unfamiliar with Brazilian barbecue. Their training was evident in the easy manner in which the waitress let slip that Frevo also now hosts a Friday brunch, without any major sense that we were being upsold.
The soup arrived in a terrine at the table, and was dished up by our waitress (alongside that news of brunch). Dubbed ‘Paulista soup’, inspired by the city of São Paulo, it was an uncomplicated but pleasant recipe, with a simple broth, pieces of beef and large chunks of vegetable. Accompanying it was a basket of wonderful bread, including a delicious caramelised onion-stuffed pastry wheel, pão de queijo and an excellent olive oil-laden focaccia-style bread. We also enjoyed the fried bananas, which were, to my surprise, definitely banana (as stated) not plantain (as assumed).
Next, we were out of our chairs and up to the salad buffet, which featured a decent selection: everything looked reasonably fresh and interesting, including basic components to make your own salad, plus a selection of cheeses. We tried some decent smoked salmon and smoked mackerel, a few melting slices of beef carpaccio, a salad of palm hearts and some nicely roasted Mediterranean-style vegetables.
Once we were finished, the waiter flicked a switch on the bottom of a little box at our table, illuminating it in green and signifying to the passing waiters that we were ready for some barbecue. The selection of skewers seemed to arrive so quickly, that we felt as though we barely had time to try each variety before more arrived. The meat was good quality and well prepared, although unfortunately, I seemed to get some fairly well-done corners each time a different style of beef came round. We were offered a selection of beef and chicken: of that, the garlic-glazed striploin and bacon-wrapped chicken stood out as the most enjoyable.
At this stage, after all the bread and meat, we were unable to cope with a dessert, despite the waitress being a touch pushy that we should try one. Frevo is a strong all-round contender, offering a positive experience, with enjoyable food and good service – although I suspect the brunch may be a more thrilling affair.
The bill (for two)
2x Frevo menu Dhs500
1x large water Dhs15
2x mocktail Dhs60
1x coffee Dhs19
Total (including service) Dhs594