Chamas Churrascaria Reviewed by Guest ‘And Then We Moved To’

‘And Then We Moved To’ is a blog written by Mariam Ottimofiore about expat life and of discovering the best bits in each new expat country and location that she lives in. 15 years, 3 continents and 7 countries (US, UK, Germany, Pakistan, Denmark, Singapore, UAE) later, the blog is currently based in Dubai and is committed to showing the best of what this city has to offer.

Keeping in line with CitiSpi’s theme, ‘And Then We Moved To’ knows that as an expat, the key to feeling at home in any new country is to take time to discover it, to explore its best spots and to do so, with friends at your side. This week, she tried something new and visited the Brazilian restaurant Chamas Churrascaria Bar and Restaurant:

 

As soon as I walk into Chamas Churrascaria at 8 pm on a Wednesday night, I can feel my mood instantly lightening up. This restaurant is happening, friendly staff usher me and my friend to our table and the live Brazilian band is busting out some great music as we take our seats.  The ambience is inviting and the energy is friendly and infectious!

 

First up I notice that the restaurant has several really fun theme nights on offer. Tuesdays are wine night for AED 160, with a choice of 14 different wines and I can foresee a ladies’ night out here in the future with my friends.

Right away, what I love the most is the concept and comfort of dining here. “Chamas” translates to ‘flame’ in Portuguese and “Churrascaria” is a place where meats are cooked in the traditional way and barbecued on skewers on an open flame. I enjoy peeking into the open kitchen and taking in the smoky flavours and smells.

We order a few drinks (alcoholic and non-alcoholic) and love sipping on our Brazilian wine, a Brazilian caipirinha (made from rum, sugar, lime and crushed ice) and a virgin mojito. The salad bar is fun and fresh, full of lots of healthy options and as we bring our plates and settle back on our table, all we have to do is flip our coasters from red to green, to show we are ready for the meat.

 

Let the meat party begin!

If you are a die-hard carnivore, this restaurant will surely be your dream come true! The meat is served by traditional meat-waiters called ‘Passadores’, who arrive at our table with giant skewers.  I say yes in quick succession to:

Succulent chicken wrapped in beef bacon

Smoky Lamb and beef sausages

Barbecued Chicken drumsticks

Lamb chops full of tons of flavour

Rib-eye steak

Wagyu beef steak

Duck breast

Slow-cooked beef short ribs that are tasty but not dry

Signature Picanha beef steak with an explosion of flavour

First things first – all the meat was delicious! Marinated and barbecued really well over sizzling flames, you can choose how you like your meat (rare, medium, well done etc.). My favourites were the melt-in-your-mouth Wagyu Beef Steak and the restaurants exceptional signature Picanha beef steak – two definite must tries. There were 4 sauces on our table that we used a lot with the meat; my favourites were the Chimichurri dip and the mustard one. Chamas uses only the top quality meats suitable for grilling and you can see that this makes all the difference.

 

Another thing that made a big difference in my dining experience? The meat servers; the Passadores were extremely knowledgeable about the meats they were serving. They took their time to explain each cut and how it was cooked and this helped me to try several new meats that I might not have been brave enough to try on my own. I especially enjoyed hearing about the Picanha beef steak which is a very popular cut of beef in Brazil and how it is prepared to perfection at the right temperature to keep its moisture intact. At this point, Chef Larissa comes out to join us at our table and it was so nice to put her friendly face behind this explosion of flavours in my mouth.

 

You also don’t have to be a beef eater to enjoy the Chamas experience. Their meat selection included chicken, turkey, duck and lamb.

Another highlight in our dining experience was the grilled pineapple. It was served as a palate cleanser in between the meat to introduce new flavours and to increase our appetite and be ready to eat more meat after. The pineapple was coated with cinnamon and we each had 2 slices. I would easily go back for the pineapple alone; it was so addictive!

 

True enough, after the pineapple, we were ready for more meat and turned our coasters back to green. Dessert followed soon after and the dessert buffet was a tempting corner with a chocolate fountain and a number of pretty tarts and cakes and some Brazilian treats.

 

Overall, it was fun to take the Chamas challenge and see how long we could go “green” for. I think the restaurant is an ideal fun spot to go out with a bunch of friends or loved ones. It would be perfect for a celebration or a birthday. Occasionally it did get a bit loud with the live music and I was straining to hear what my friend was saying across the table, but we were both having so much fun and didn’t mind talking a bit over the music. I would recommend planning for a 2-3-hour window to truly relax and try all the different meats on offer, maybe with a break in between. And definitely go with an empty stomach!

Chamas Churrascaria Bar and Restaurant is located on the ground floor at Crowne Plaza, on Sheikh Zayed Road in Dubai. Prices for their all-you-can-eat packages start at AED295 (no drinks included), AED 325 (soft drinks) and AED 395 (free-flowing Caipirinha). Do visit their website for more details or give them a call to book a table. And don’t forget to download the CitiSpi app to find out about any special offers at this venue!