Brazilian Brunch at Fogo de Chão

Churrascaria-style dining with meat carved tableside

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Fogo de Chão is relatively new on the Dubai steakhouse scene, though it’s the 51st location for the global brand, so you’d imagine it must be doing something right.

The famous steakhouse, which originated in Brazil, specialises in churrascaria-style dining, which is basically a fancy way of saying it’s fresh off the barbecue.

The chain has locations around the world including São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, New York, Beverly Hills, Miami and Mexico City, so Dubai joins a pretty prestigious list.

It’s with high expectations, then, that we trot down to Central Park towers wearing our sketchiest trousers, in eager anticipation of sizzling steaks and gushing meat sweats.

On arrival the huge wooden doors swing open to reveal a sculpture of Antonio Caringi’s O Laçador, a historical monument in Porto Alegre, Brazil. If (like us), you don’t know what that is, look out for the stern-looking stone fella in a toga. It’s impressive, and it’s a sign of what’s to come.

The restaurant is expansive and feels pretty old school, featuring dark oak tables adorned with white cloths. The staff are snappily dressed and the whole vibe is an exclusive one. There’s a big patio area for cooler months, centred around a water feature, and the views across the city are lovely.

What really catches our attention though, are the views of the Market Table. It is a sight to behold, and certainly gives O Laçador a run for his money.

Situated (rightly so) at the very centre of the restaurant, fresh slivers of smoked fish lie next to mounds of manchego cheese, which lead onto mountains of bulbous olives that overlook baskets of crusty bread. We could go on.

It’s one of the best we’ve seen and we make a mental note not to fill up before the main event, though you could fill your boots here and still count the brunch as a successful one.

After a jaunt (or two) around the wondrous table it’s time to get the show on the road and we happily submit ourselves slab after slab of meat in every cut of the imagination.

Each diner is given a token that you flip to green to signal more meat and to red if you’re having a breather. For us it’s green all the way and the meats start arriving thick and fast, carved generously at the table-side, which is perfect for eating yourself into immobility.

We shovel down cut after cut like happy savages, barely stopping to wipe the grease from our delighted faces. Juicy chicken follows tender lamb that follows tasty beef and then it’s happening; the meat sweats are pouring – and we couldn’t be happier.

We love the picanha (the prime part of the top sirloin), though every cut we try is tender, juicy and flavour-packed.

We toss back beef sausages like they’re going out of fashion, and crispy lamb chops go down an absolute treat.

Side dishes are also unlimited and creamy mounds of garlic mash arrive (and are devoured) plentifully, though the caramelized bananas are a bit out there for our liking.

Desserts are limited to one per diner and we sample a wonderful crème brûlée that rounds off our feast perfectly.

The restaurant isn’t packed but nor is it empty and the vibe is sophisticated.

We advise arriving hungry – and ready for a proper carnivore’s feast.
Dhs250 (food only), Dhs299 (soft drinks), Dhs439 (mixed drinks). Fri noon-4pm. Central Park Towers, DIFC (04 343 8867).

WHAT IS IT...
Churrascaria-style dining with meat carved tableside

WHY GO...
The laden market table and unlimited meats

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