Restaurant Review: Fazenda Rodizio Bar & Grill, Manchester

Fantastically Feasted at Fazenda

Fazenda Spinningfields carnivorous cacophony left me shell-shocked: I’ve never experienced such quality, variety and quantity of mouth-watering meaty offerings, all wrapped up in an intimate, stylish environment.

Fazenda Spinningfields’ a Rodizio restaurant, a concept familiar to Bem Brasil fans; however, that’s where the comparison ends. As good a product as Bem Brasil offers, Fazenda’s classy ambience made their competitor feel like a Premier Inn. The smartly dressed, happy-go-lucky Gauchos flirted around the dining room. They will be offended if by the end of the evening you haven’t taken your pants off and shouted for the midwife to deliver the food baby you’ve named Sirloin.

I greatly appreciate value restaurants (more money for wine, obviously); likewise, I love quality steak. Unfortunately, the two never meet. Until now. I mentally awarded Fazenda Spinningfields two trophies: ‘The Classiest All-You-Can-Restaurant Ever’ and ‘The UK’s Best-Value-Quality Steak Restaurant’, two accolades not to be sniffed at. If the management is reading: please don’t increase your prices, turn your restaurant into Gauchos and price me out.

With such a carnivorous cacophony of Frango (Chicken Thighs), Fraldinha (Beef Skirt), Cordeiro (Lamb), before being seduced by the house speciality Picanha (Cap of Rump), I needed to be reminded of the main event – Filet Mignon. It arrived sensually caramelised, strikingly rare, and just beautifully boviney. Even though it looked and smelt delicious, I had the ultimate first world problem of having to fend off Bife de Presunto (Smoked Gammon) and Linguica (Brazilian Beef & Pork Sausage) for fear of exploding.

It wasn’t all just top drawer steaks, wonderfully prepared in delicious marinades – as if that would have been a problem. There was Morcela (Brazil’s answer to Bury’s Black Pudding), Barringa De Porco (Pork Belly) and who knows what else. It all became a blur. I could have forgiven Fazenda Spinningfields for not turning my pescetarian friend on, but far from being a fish out of water, the sumptuous hot and cold salad bars and lush seafood dishes left her equally satisfied.

Everyone, including the door staff, were in good spirits – I’ve rarely seen broader smiles – especially not from someone wielding skewers full of chicken hearts. Maybe it was the meat sweats, but Fazenda Spinningfields got my blood pumping in all the right areas. This was a rare example of a brilliant restaurant you want to shout about, but also keep for yourself…

…Please don’t tell anyone else.

Fazenda Manchester Review Summary

Atmosphere 10  Cost 10  Quality 10  Service 10

A rare treat

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Restaurant Review: Angels, Ribchester (No.II)

Angels Restaurant – On Cloud Nine

In this restaurant review of Angels Ribchester, I won’t bore anyone by deconstructing the welcoming service, eccentric interior and sophisticated atmosphere Angels Restaurant offered – mainly because I already have, but secondly because it’s simply excellent and I’d suggest requires no further elaboration that that.

Despite recently reviewing Angels Restaurant, their ‘Gourmet Evening’ seduced me into Ribchester with their super-reasonable midweek price point. I know the restaurant is an annoying drive to get to for most people; and yes, you’ll probably have to get up early for work in the morning, but it’s still well worth a visit. For the money they’re asking, you won’t find a smarter restaurant around. The Angels Restaurant Gourmet Evening was a delight; the menu contrasted unusual combinations and predominately classic British cooking, with every course well balanced and beautifully presented. Angels Restaurant should be applauded for putting ambition above blandness, standing out against the pedestrian Ribchester crowd.

After the usual choice of excellent warm bread and soft butter, Angels Restaurant kicked off with ‘golden beetroot, whipped goat’s cheese, tempura cauliflower’. The starter was a wonder, with the humble beetroot and exotic tempura batter getting along like inter-racial soul mates. This apparently simple starter is a guaranteed cock-up if attempted at home, and was the jazziest thing to ever happen to a cauliflower. The paired Pinot Noir was non-offensive but not the life and soul of the party. It was certainly not a bad pairing, but maybe a richer white wine could have been better.

The ‘salmon, ginger cream, orange purée’ was memorable, as those elegant flavour combinations were a personal first. The citrus notes of the delicate Chablis worked wonderfully with the dish, and I found myself sitting up straight, feeling rather pleased with myself. The ‘mushroom & apple veloute’, balanced the acidity of apple with the earthy mushrooms admirably. The ‘blade of beef, watercress & grain mustard sauce’ was hearty and delicious, with the mustard commendably picking out the peppery Rioja pairing.

The local cheese was well a piece of cheese really, but the artisan biscuits and chutney were fit for the Queen. Finally, the ‘pineapple caramel, banana brownie and coconut ice cream’ provided a satisfying mixture of textures and temperatures. The desert wine was an absolute sensation – think incredibly refreshing port and cranberry juice. If you think dessert wines are all sickly and syrupy then please reconsider. I immediately made a mental note to drink more dessert wine.

Some fat, greedy people criticise Angels Restaurant’s small portion sizes. Have these people ever been to a restaurant before? I’m far from wasting away, yet I unbecomingly took my belt off before the bill. Luckily Angels Restaurant manager Claire, ever the epitome of discretion, recognised the number of plates I’d tucked away, rather than forwarding me onto the Ribchester Sex Offenders Register.

Angels Restaurant
Review Summary

Atmosphere 9  Cost 10  Quality 9  Service 9

Angels Restaurant Ribchester Review
‘golden beetroot, whipped goats’ cheese, tempura cauliflower’
Angels Restaurant Review Ribchester
‘salmon, ginger cream, orange purée’

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