When it comes to barbecued meat, few people do it better than the Brazilians. Churrasco dates back hundreds of years to when cowboys – or ‘gauchos’ – cooked their salted meat on sword-like skewers for hours over an open fire, creating strong flavours which pair well with marinades and herbs. The churrascaria is a later invention, keeping up the ‘rodizio’ tradition of serving an all-you-can-eat meat feast from the skewers. It’s huge in Brazil – and now it has hit Discovery Bay.
Priding itself as being the city’s ‘only authentic Brazilian churrascaria’, The Venue now brings the rodizio to our shores. It’s more modern than the average spot you’d find in Rio, and with a spacious dining room and an outdoor area, it suits the style of DB North Plaza perfectly.
There are à la carte options here – but we say, when in Brazil… do the rodizio ($298 weekends, $198 weekdays until May 10), unbuckle the belt and prepare for the meat sweats. There are up to 14 different types of barbecued flesh in this experience, served out by the meat carvers straight from the kitchen. You should try each one before asking for second helpings.
A word to the wise – the rodizio starts with a self-serve salad. It’s decent, but don’t overindulge. You’re here for the meat. Expect chicken drumsticks and wings, prawns, prime sirloin steak from Brazil, beef ribs from the USA, filet mignon wrapped in bacon, lamb from New Zealand, chicken and pork sausages, and, well, the rest. It’s all straight from the grill, carved in front of you and is meant to go with self-serve side dishes of spaghetti carbonara and such… only it doesn’t, because you will pretty much just gorge on the pièce de résistance proteins.
Now, we know our barbecued meats. And, sadly, The Venue isn’t quite up to speed yet. The lamb is juicy, pink and well-rosmaried-up and the steak is a quality import. The ribs also possess a rich flavour and juicily fall off the bone. But the sausages are underwhelming, the chicken is underseasoned and the prawns are overseasoned, tasting too salty and peppery.
However, those few poor meats aside, this is a unique venue for Hong Kong. It’s just added a new experience to our fascination with South American cuisine and it ticks all the ‘modern surrounds’, ‘knowledgeable staff’ and ‘stuff-yourself’ boxes. A good barby takes time. When The Venue gets it right, for anyone who doesn’t live over there on Lantau Island, it’ll be well worth a journey of discovery. Matt Fleming
The Venue Brazil Churrascaria and Bar Shop G27, 96 Siena Ave, Discovery Bay North Plaza, Discovery Bay, Lantau, 2777 8411; thevenuehk.com. Dinner for two: $600.
|Venue name:||The Venue Brazil Churrascaria and Bar|