A carnivore’s fiesta in Leeds: Bem Brasil review
The Brazilian Rodizio trend has hit Leeds in a big way, and so I’m surprised it took me so long to venture into Bem Brasil on the newly revitalised Greek Street. Thankfully, the many positive word of mouth reviews I’d received were justified, and it proved to be a worthy visit.
For those not familiar with the concept, it’s pretty simple. For £25.95, you have unlimited access to the salad bar, and once seated, the waiters (a.k.a Passadores) bring numerous cuts of barbecued meats to your table. When hungry, keep the small disc turned to the green side, and then flip it over to red when you need a break.
Whilst the interior of the restaurant cannot rival Fazenda for sheer decadence, the various cuts of meat were on par; but, it’s the service that sets Bem Brasil apart from its contemporaries. From the friendly greeting, to the swift and personable service, nothing was too much trouble.
The salad bar is no afterthought, and so be mindful not to overload your plate and sell yourself short with the mains. Choices include deli meats and cheeses, Brazilian stews and various other vegetables and side-dishes, all decent quality.
So, onto the bread and butter of this joint, the meats. Never one to miss out, I’m pretty sure I tried everything going and of course, there were a few cuts that stood out.
The sirloin was one such highlight, incredibly succulent and packed with more flavour than your average steak. Ever the heat addict, the chilli beef was also very favourable, benefitting from intense barbecue flavours with added spice.
What I found surprising was the high quality of the other meats offered, the lamb in particular was incredibly tender and flavoursome, as was the chicken in pancetta.
For drinks, we selected a bottle of Chilean Syrah, which was the ideal match to the meats with its bold, peppery tones.
As mentioned before, the service really stood out. The waiters were quick to pick up the fact that we liked the rarest cuts, and worked hard to deliver this on each and every stop (of which there were many).
Like so many before us, we ended up far too stuffed to enjoy dessert, but instead ended the meal with some shots of Cachaça, which is a sweet and tasty, Brazilian spirit.
Bem Brasil lived up to its promise, and delivered on food, service and ambience. For £80 all in, it also offers value, especially given that you certainly won’t leave hungry. Whilst it’s not the type of restaurant you would visit weekly (unless you want to become the size of a house), it is somewhere that commands further trips.
A welcome replacement to the rather mediocre Giraffe, this is a restaurant that looks like it will have some staying power in the highly-competitive Leeds market. A big thumbs up.