Sumptuous dishes are served rodizio style at Au Lac Do Brazil restaurant. VNS Photo Minh Phi.
Au Lac Do Brazil's rodizio-style steak restaurant offers authentic Brazilian BBQ in the heart of HCM City. Mỹ Duyên reports.
In HCM City's hot weather, I rarely choose to eat BBQ during lunchtime, but I was curious about the city's first authentic Brazilian steakhouse and its special rodizio service. So I accepted an invitation from a friend to Au Lac Do Brazil, which has been around since 2003 and is still as popular as ever.
For those who may not know, rodizio-style refers to roving waiters who move around the dining area slicing grilled meats and seafood directly onto diners’ plates from long skewers they carry.
Stepping into Au Lac Do Brazil, diners are greeted with the ambience of a traditional Brazilian eatery with a long wooden bar, hot colours, and walls decorated with pictures of Samba dancers.
Passion fruit mousse should not be missed. VNS Photo Minh Phi.
The spacious two-storey restaurant seats 200 diners and has a private dining option, as well as a balcony area overlooking scenic Pasteur Street, a perfect spot for families or parties.
The restaurant offers a long list of grilled items, ranging from Brazilian meats with unique preparations to marinated cuts of meat like beef, lamb, pork, chicken and seafood.
You can choose from the "All You Can Eat" option or a full churrasco, which means an array of barbecued, fire-roasted meats carved tableside. At the restaurant, up to 13 main courses of meat cuts are offered.
Nguyễn Thị Kiều, a young woman who eats meals regularly at the restaurant, told me she often goes there to eat with her family.
“The atmosphere, food and service, especially rodizio style, are all fantastic and different. I'm always excited about visiting this place when we have an opportunity to get together,” she said.
The pineapple skewers at Au Lac Do Brazil are a must-try. VNS Photo Minh Phi.
Indeed, one of the most impressive features was the rodizio feature.
“The rodizio style is the pride of our Au Lac Do Brazil. It makes our brand. The service adds a special ambience and gives a family like atmosphere,” said Hà My, a senior staffer of the restaurant.
“Aside from cutting meats skillfully and professionally, the cutters also talk to diners and describe our meats and impart knowledge about our cuisine, making it a more delightful experience,” she added.
Since it was a working day for us, we did not want to eat a lot, so we had thin slices of each grilled item, starting with Calabrian sausage and D-rump steak, as recommended.
Other menu highlights besides the great meats are the salads and side dishes, as well as sauces and dressings, all prepared in a Brazilian style. These items change every week, depending on the season and what is available.
Au Lac Do Brazil offers a cosy ambience and friendly service. VNS Photo Minh Phi.
The premium Calabrian sausage was well matched with cucumber pickles, while the D-rump steak with sautéed mushrooms with onions was especially tasty.
For those who love grilled meat with bread, there are many choices, including baguettes and butter, garlic bread and cheese bread.
Pineapple skewers and Milanese fried banana are also must-tries. They are aromatic and a great balance to the heavier grilled meats.
After the two courses, I was still hungry, so I ordered shrimp and cupim, or beef hump, which was very flavourful, and served with a Caesar salad.
Grilled Australian lamb chop served on an American wooden oak plank with grilled tomato, bacon and asparagus is one of the new courses on offer at Au Lac Do Brazil. VNS Photo Minh Phi.
There is also a long list of drinks including juices and Brazilian-style cocktails as well as Chilean red wine, a perfect accompaniment to Brazilian style barbecue.
Our next dishes were picanha, the best part of rump steak, and costelao, prime beef rib grilled in a special way. These dishes are favourites of people who love Brazilian churrasco.
I skipped the chicken wings and pork ribs because I prefer beef dishes. Served with black-pepper sauce and pineapple skewers, the two steak items did not disappoint.
Meticulously prepared, the picanha was delicious and its texture juicy and tender, while the beef ribs were also great. Those were my favourites, while my companion voted for the picanha.
“To make our steaks perfect, we strictly select our suppliers and make high demands of our grilling team. We also set high standards for our cutters who must be professional and skilled. They sometimes act as entertainers to delight our guests,” Hà My said.
The city’s first authentic Brazilian restaurant. VNS Photo Minh Phi.
We were ready for dessert, but our server had another suggestion.
“Your meal would be incomplete if you leave without trying our feijoada, butter rice with stewed black beans, a traditional Brazilian rice," Hà My said.
I often skip rice when I eat out, but I broke my rule and ordered the butter rice and beans, which were soft, tender and fragrant. It's a dish you cannot find anywhere else in town.
Finally, we tried a passion fruit mousse, which was creamy with an exceptional taste.
Though the restaurant still serves its favourite dishes, it is now offering new plank steaks. A grilled Australian lamb tenderloin served on an American wooden oak plank with grilled tomato, bacon and asparagus (VNĐ850,000) is a dish I will try at my next visit.
If you're looking for an authentic Brazilian-style steakhouse for a night out with friends or family, or for a place to celebrate the upcoming festive season, Au Lac Do Brazil should definitely be included on your list. VNS.
Au Lac Do Brazil
Address: 238 Pasteur Street, District 3, HCM City
Tel: (028) 3820 7157 - 0909 478 698
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org
Hours: 11am-2pm & 5pm-10:30pm
Comment: HCM City's first authentic Brazilian churrascaria with rodizio menu, cosy ambience and friendly and professional service. Samba dances with Cuban performers every Friday night.
Lunch: VNĐ690,000++/adult and VNĐ320,000++/child
Dinner: VNĐ790,000VNĐ++/adult (full churrasco) and VNĐ390,000++/child
Service: eat-in, take-away, and catering
*Au Lac Do Brazil has another location in Hà Nội at 25 Trần Bình Trọng Street in Hoàn Kiếm District.