One of the newest restaurants to open in Leeds is Fazenda, which is a Brazilian Rodizio Bar and Grill.
Rodizio refers to a type of restaurant popular in Portugal and Brazil where you pay a fixed price and they just keep serving you meat of all kinds. I’d say that’s a pretty accurate description of what happens at Fazenda in Leeds.
The restaurant is situated in the swanky canal basin area of Leeds by the side of Mint Hotel, very close to the railway station. I’m guessing the location by one of Leeds’ best and most popular hotel pretty much guarantees it a good number of customers.
On the night we dined, it started off pretty quiet but ended up pretty busy for January. The style is perfect for the modern age: pay a flat fee and then eat as much as you like.
The ‘starters’ buffet bar contains plenty of green stuff to assuage the guilt you’re bound to feel after eating your own body weight in beef steak. Although the starter buffet was adequate with a good selection of cold meats, including cured ham, the salads looked a little unloved as the real star of this show is meat.
When you’re ready for the meat, you turn over your card (yes, you get a card) to green and it keeps coming. And coming. And coming.
Only when you turn the card back to red does the meaty onslaught subside. In general, the quality of the meat we had was good/very good. Brazilian sausages and chicken were well seasoned and tasty. Of the steak we had, the sirloin and the garlic rump was the best cooked – ie pink – but the rib was a little overcooked for my taste.
Ambitious diners can return to the salad bar and then go for more meat, in fact a large group of guys seemed to be having the time of their lives – this is the perfect place for a group: novel, good fun and above average quality.
All in all, Fazenda is a fun place to have dinner in cool, modern surroundings. Although it has a gimmick at the heart of what it does, it works pretty well. I do think it’s the sort of place you’d go a couple or three times and then perhaps head somewhere else.
At £24 for all you can eat, I think it’s OK value but for me there is a lingering doubt over quality versus quantity. On reflection, I might want to eat just one beautifully cooked steak for £20, cooked just for me, exactly how I like it, rather than a relentless onslaught of bovine protein.
Or maybe that’s just me.