Brazilian churrascarias don't get much better than this
Head to Frevo at Fairmont The Palm for 15 cuts of meat and a dessert that was made by the god of sweet teeth.Neil Churchill July 29, 2014
After walking through Fairmont The Palm’s high-vaulted and spacious lobby, stepping into Frevo is quite the contrast. The modestly sized tables and comfy, cushioned seats are packed close together, allowing for a sharing of energy between parties that stops short of eavesdropping on conversations. It is a venue of two halves: the inside an explosion of colour and music with bright streamers and lampshades while suspended candles add a touch of decorum. The outside terrace is more sedate and private with a romantic view of the marina’s skyline.
You hear Frevo before you see it, the sound of lively percussion music welcoming you on entry and immediately reflecting the vibrant tempo of a Brazilian carnival. An open kitchen and the engaging staff set an energetic mood and things pick up further when a live band takes to the stage around 9pm. Although it wasn’t full the atmosphere was bustling and buoyant from start to finish. Diners kept coming throughout the evening and were a mix of hotel guests and savvy residents. The terrace operates a different mood. Though the music is still clear the ambience is more relaxed as guests take in the brilliant view over the Gulf’s waters.
Though it does have vegetarian options it makes more sense to come to Frevo if you love meat. And when we say love, we really mean ‘in love with’; Frevo claims to offer one of Dubai’s only authentic Brazilian Churrascaria experiences.
The starter of paulista soup made with potato, beef cubes and red and white beans is so good that along with an incredibly moreish mix of breads and cheeses, and a fried banana, it is a good enough meal on its own. A second bowl was tempting but be warned – the trick to Frevo is saving as much room as possible for the main event. You’re then invited to sample the salad bar where a mix of fish, cheeses, greens and vegetables can either serve as a second course or simply decorate the side of your plate as you wait for the meat. The sautéed mushrooms and potato salad were definitely worth leaving the table for.
Then comes the reason you go to Frevo: 15 cuts of succulent Brazilian meat. Served in espeto corridor style, each table has a light that when switched green tells the wandering waiters carrying skewers of meat to come over and carve at your side. Switching the light to red tells them you’ve had enough, or maybe you just need a break. Wagyu beef, sirloin, smoked beef, rump steak and rib eye landed on my plate in the first 10 minutes. This was soon followed by lamb chops, garlic sirloin, spicy beef and rump picanha. Later came striploin, leg of lamb, spicy flank and beef wrapped chicken.
We turned the light red. For even the most ardent carnivores such a mixture and plethora of meat needs to be carefully done as it could quickly become tiresome, not to mention overindulgent. What Frevo’s chef has done brilliantly however is to give each meat its own distinct flavour and texture. The distinction is noticeable, allowing you to request your favourite for a second taste. The smoked beef and rump picanha were the standouts for us. A number of sides and sauces including fried biro biro rice, chimichurri sauce and mushroom sauce filled the table, but it was the creamed corn and black bean beef stew that, like the soup, were tasty enough to have on their own.
At this point a lie down in a pair of loose fittings trousers would have been good, but the pièce de résistance was about to appear. Frevo’s dessert chef lays a mat on your table, on which he layers chilli chocolate sauce, chocolate crumbles, scoops of mango ice cream pierced with strawberries, whipped banana, churros and three chocolate fondants caramelised with a blowtorch. Extravagant, sure, but probably the most heavenly pudding we’ve had in a long time.
It could be the tastiest Brazilian restaurant in Dubai.
Details: Frevo, Fairmont The Palm, Palm Jumeirah, Dubai. Visit: fairmont.com/palm-dubai