Review: Marvellous Meats at Fazenda
Listen up meat-lovers: Fazenda is the place for you.
Over in the posh end of town, The Avenue in Manchester’s Spinningfields to be precise, there is an array of fantastic restaurants. From Pan-Asian delights to costly cocktails, this is the place for quality food. Having said that, sometimes the tiny portions you get from fine dining are just not enough. Sometimes you’d rather have a good old slap-up meal.
At Fazenda you get the best of both worlds. There is superbly cooked food and enough of it to fill your boots. It’s based on a simple, yet excellent idea: pay a set fee for the meal and eat as much as you want.
The setting is classy and sophisticated without feeling too uppity. It also has comfy booths for larger groups. Large wine racks surround the tables and an open grill near the front door shows off the tantalising array of meats available.
We began our meal by stopping by the salad bar. This sounds a bit boring but it is fully stocked with delicious sides. There are rice and vegetables galore here, alongside cold meats, sushi, pâtés and even some traditional Brazilian dishes such as Feijoada (a black bean and meat stew). Don’t be tempted to go mad and try everything though, you need to leave room for the main attraction.
And what a treat it is. Freshly-grilled and carved right at your table, the meat is cooked exactly as you want it and provides a unique dining experience. It works like this: waiters circulate the restaurant constantly with large skewers of meat, exchanging them for a different delicacy every five minutes or so. This means that you can try every one of the meats available at your sitting, which is a selection of seven at lunchtime and a whopping 16 in the evening. You’re even handed a little menu so you can keep track of what you’ve tried.
Each person is given a double-sided, drinks mat-sized card that works like a traffic light, with the green side signalling ‘Bring forth the meat!’ and the red side indicating a break to give you time to enjoy your food. And it is truly top notch stuff; the pork belly was fantastic and the steak was one of the best I’ve ever eaten.
It’s also extremely reasonably priced for the amount of food you get – less than £20 per person at lunchtime and closer to the £30 mark in the evening due to the larger selection. The desserts are pretty good too, especially the chocolate mousse, and are beautifully decorated with little meringues and candied fruits.
As this is a meat restaurant the vegetarian options are understandably limited, with the only choice being a hand-made pasta of the day. But the fantastic salad bar should go some way to compensate.
This is a great place to bring your friends for a catch-up and a laugh. But don’t plan anything too rigorous afterwards – you’ll be absolutely stuffed.
Where: The Avenue, Spinningfields, Manchester
When: open 12pm-12am
More Info: http://fazenda.co.uk/manchester/
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