Sunday, 22 December 2013

Restaurant Review: Raizes Brazilian, Bethnal Green

The cold buffet selection at Raizes in Bethnal Green
Last year there seemed to be a dearth of work Christmas parties to attend. This year it has been a different story with a string of parties concentrated into the final full two weeks before Christmas. Dinner at Raizes turned out to be a pretty low key affair after the main departmental party the night before. I think all of us round the table were secretly glad for a civilised dinner and a night off the booze.

I've almost made it to a Brazilian buffet in Sydney and London a couple of times before, but never actually had the experience. Is it true that unlimited skewers of delicious BBQ'd meat arrive at your table until you can eat no more?

BBQ pork being carved at the table
I was a little underwhlemed when we arrived at the restaurant as there were no obvious signs of the promised skewers of meat being bbq'd or the accompanying salad bar. However, after drinks had arrived we were pointed in the direction of the buffet hidden away in the back corner of the restaurant.

The buffet was more impressive than I expected with one table dedicated to salads and another to a hot buffet. The salads were all refreshingly light without any thick heavy dressings. The hot buffet contained some stews which my colleague, who has a Brazilian wife, assured me were very traditional. There was a plate of chips at one end of the buffet which seemed out of place somehow. They were beaten eaten with gusto though. Chips are universal I guess.

Beef sirloin
Initially, the meats were a little slow to start coming round the restaurant, but as the place filled up they started coming out more regularly and soon we were being inundated. Whole sirloins, cubes of rump, pork sausanges, chicken wings, legs of lamb and hunks of pork all passed our table during the night. Without exception the meats were heavily salted and the rump was a favourite. They'd usually tried to cook one side of the meat rare and the other side well done so you had a choice.

The beef came round far more regularly than anything else, which was a slight problem for our table as we had a few non-beef eaters at the table.

Mateen had written a Brazilian themed quiz which kept us entertained, and if I'm honest, helped perk up the energy levels.

The the end of the night a protein haze had arrived and none of us could eat any more. I couldn't manage breakfast the next morning either, a most unusual state of affairs!

Raizes
460 Hackney Rd
London
E2 9EG
Raizes on Urbanspoon

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