Date visited: 08 September 2010
It’s amazing the things I am learning about cuisines from different regions of the world. For example a Churrascaria is a Brazilian steakhouse, a Churrasco is barbecued meat and a rodízio is a type of service in Brazilian restaurants where waiters constantly bring cuts of meat, often slicing them at the table, until the customer indicates that they have had enough.
I discovered all this after a very excited Clinton (all-you-can-eat!) and a rather bemused me (all-you-can-eat…) walked into Preto in Putney. We were immediately besieged by a very friendly hostess, handed a disc which was green on one side and red on the other, seated and the process explained to us. Centre to the dining floor is a large buffet table crowded with an assortment of salads. At the back is an open kitchen with a variety of meats roasting merrily away. We were to help ourselves to the salads and once seated the staff or Passadors would circle the restaurant slicing up servings of meat directly from their skewers. This is known as Espeto Corrido or ‘continuous service’.
Make them stop! Please, make them stop!
The cuts of meat were wonderfully cooked, tender and running with juices. It wasn’t long before I began to fill up, but no matter that my little disc was blatantly red-side up, each Passador proudly insisted that I try just one more. The constant onslaught (please excuse the pun) is enough to wear down even the proudest of carnivores, as was the case with Clinton, and we both finally pushed our plates firmly away, undid the top button of our jeans, and relished the idea of the hour’s walk home, in spite of the threat of rain.
Verdict: This is a novel way to enjoy a meal, and the restaurant itself is perfect for a large party of friends or an intimate date. Just ensure you arrive on an empty stomach.