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Restaurant review: Visit Rodizio, but only for the meat

2019-07-28 00:02

Rodizio Grill & Tapas launched their eatery in Melrose Arch and Phumlani S Langa wasn't impressed by much but the meat. 

Rodizio Grill & Tapas

10A High St, Melrose Arch, Melrose North

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On a cold Thursday evening a few weeks ago, a Brazilian restaurant franchise opened its doors in Melrose Arch. I first heard about Rodizio from some people who’d tried the one in Bedfordview. With the news about the Melrose launch, I thought this franchise must’ve elevated its game.

Don’t get me twisted, there are some fine eateries in Bedfordview – shout out to Kaylee’s Eatery on North Reef Road – but Melrose Arch is “high end”.

I arrive with City Press photo editor, the good brother Leon Sadiki. The vibe inside is slightly odd as we’re ushered through an entrance hall. Brother Leon and I stand at the entrance to the dining hall where people are checking the seating on a piece of paper on a pillar. We bask in the whiteness.

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“Yeah, it looks like one of those,” brother Leon grimaces. Yes, it seemed this was going to be one of those dining experiences where you’re the only black folks in the joint.

We can’t find our table and so opt for a safe corner near the front of a room with painfully bland décor. Brazil is a lively place. People play football like they’re dancing samba. Their art is vibrant, from the sounds of bossa nova – RIP João Gilberto – to the silky combat-like dancing of capoeira. This room doesn’t represent that.

Shame, the waiters are wearing awful Mediterranean-looking shirts, but the homies are friendly and serviced the room efficiently. A group of melanin-baring sisters make a beeline past the cheap-looking gazebo area to the table next to ours. Safety in numbers.

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Dancers perform and do a Spanish flamenco routine at one point. The band is odd too as they play only two instruments but generate the notes and sounds of completely different ones.The food is very Portuguese, which I love. You see, Portuguese and Brazilian people know about plating up. Put food on that plate; I don’t need to see art with swirls of sauce and sprinkled parsley. Where is the meat at? And with that thought, glorious cuts of meat were brought out. The evening begins to turn around as I taste the crazy beef kebabs, well marinated with a splendid odour. They should bottle that. The meat was truly a journey, but the spinach and pumpkin were reminiscent of hospital food.

The pinnacle of the gathering involved a drunken dance floor scene playing the night out as white folks clapped off beat to My Lady Soul and I Will Survive. Good fun, actually.

Stop making your waiters wear dumb-looking clothes, and boost the vegetables and the prawns. Why those things are served with the shells is beyond me; I’m trying to chill over here.

There wasn’t any dessert, but we leave well fed. If it isn’t meat, don’t mess with it at this restaurant.

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November 10 2019