BRAZILIAN dining is something I'd never encountered before visiting Picanha by Fazenda and my experience definitely made me question why I hadn’t tried it sooner.
The Chester restaurant, which opened only a couple of weeks ago, employs the all-you-can-eat restaurant service known as Rodzío – a dining style becoming ever so popular throughout the UK.
My boyfriend and I were incredibly excited to try this for the first time and from the moment we walked in we were greeted by a friendly young host who promptly took our coats and seated us at the perfect table next to the window.
I couldn't help but notice that the newly-crafted restaurant is really quite stunning to look at, with modern decor and a very spacious seating area which would be perfect for big parties.
To start our evening, we ordered drinks from our waiter for the evening, who then took us through the Rodzío process and was very helpful in explaining what I can eat as someone who requires gluten-free food.
To begin, diners can head over to the gourmet salad bar to choose as much as they would like to accompany the meats which would later be served – each item on the bar is labelled with helpful allergen information.
My recommended choices from the salad bar would definitely be the broccoli with chili, black beans and the asparagus as they were the perfect accompaniment to the meat we were served later on in the evening and could also be made for a great starter for those who are feeling hungry.
As soon as we sat down with our salads, a delightfully smooth glass of Agento Malbec and a glass of the Brazillian Brahma lager, my boyfriend's choice, were already waiting for us at the table along with our very accommodating waiter making sure we were OK with the quite different style of dining from what we were used to.
The offer for the all-you-can-eat experience is £25 per head which I genuinely believed was a fantastic price for the high quality meats and salad selection we sampled.
Ten different meats were served to us throughout the evening as part of the Rodzío table side service and the very friendly Picanha servers bring the meats on a skewer with knives to carve as much as you can handle.
Diners are given a card, green on one side and blue on the other, to show the waiters when you have had as much food as you can take for the evening or if you're ready to try some more.
The meats carved at your table are as follows: chicken thighs known as sobrecoxa de franco, which lived up to their reputation of being grilled to perfection, gaúcha sausage, barrica de porco – a beautifully cooked pork belly served with honey, lemon and cinnamon sauce, definitely my boyfriend’s favourite as a pork fan, Brazillian-style lamb called Gordeiro and my ultimate winner, smoked gammon and pineapple, or bife de presunto and abacaxi as its called in Brazil.
There were also five different steaks to try including Picanha, a beautifully cut cap of rump which melts in the mouth and was a pure delight to the tastebuds.
The other steaks on offer, all cooked for different preferences from rare to well-done, were tri-tip bottom sirloin, contra filé sirloin which was deliciously tender, alcatra rump steak, which can be served with garlic at your request, and a juicy bife ancho ribeye.
We could not believe the choice on offer and that we could eat as much as we wanted of these amazing meats. They definitely were the best I've ever tasted and the quality was brilliantly high considering the cost of £25 per head.
Despite eating an enormous amount of food for our mains, we just had to sample two desserts and to my delight the majority on the menu were gluten-free.
I had the pleasure of having the chocolate mousse which was served with a chocolate crumble on top to create the gorgeous combination of desserts.
My boyfriend ordered the 'marquise de chocolate' – a rich chocolate brownie base topped with a thick layer of Argentinian toffee and whipped cream, which of course I could not resist trying. I was not disappointed.
Picanha is a delightful addition to Chester's array of dining experiences and as its located on Newgate Street, it’s in a great location for people to visit.
This will definitely be my new first choice of restaurants in the city and I'm thrilled to have found such a high-quality grill right on my doorstep.
How it fared:
Food quality 10/10
Children welcome - yes
Disabled access - yes