WHERE YOU MUST PLAY YOUR CARDS RIGHT
If you are looking for an unusual and quirky dining experience that’s entertaining too then head for Estabulo in The Light.
Estabulo occupies a spot that has been many things over the last few years but it’s newly refurbished, if a little on the dark and heavy side décor wise, but that goes with its image as a Rodizio Bar and Grill.
The restaurant specializes in the Brazilian Gauchos traditional method of cooking taking different cuts of meat, which are skewered and cooked over open flames.
We had braved some very cold weather to get to Estabulo so the warm welcome by the staff and the warm surroundings were much appreciated.
We ordered a cocktail whilst we looked at the menu. I must say the drinks menu offers a wide choice of beers, wines, cocktails spirits and a special gin menu. My passion fruit Daiquiri was one of the best but my partner’s mojito had not a lot of kick in it as it should have.
Now here’s where we both became a little confused and wondered what was going on when waiters – called Pasadores started bringing meats to our table, as we had not ordered anything.
Obviously our server had not explained very well to us – that this is a dining experience where you call the shots and its all to do with that little green and red card.
So we did our rather late homework and read the instructions on the menu.
We started by visiting the gourmet salad and hot buffet with salads, vegetables, breads, meats, cheese selection and some hot dishes including some yummy garlic mushrooms and great salads. But one thing did dismay us there was only a choice of one salad dressing to go with the plethora of salads on offer.
I am not a great meat eater and the sight of all these cuts of meat being taken round the tables made me opt for the fish option – a very wise choice.
Once you are ready for your meats, what I thought to be a beer mat ,is an instruction card to the Pasadores that you are ready for them to start bringing the grilled meats one by one for you.
The green side is the sign to ‘Bring It One! Saying you are ready for more meaty goodies when you have finished the one you are eating or when you have finished your starter. When you need a break you turn it round to the red side ‘Erm..No!’. To resume you just turn it round again to the green side and the Pasadores will resume bringing the meats back round.
This idea is great for family dining as it engages everyone at the table in a fun way of dining.
My partner partook of several rounds of meat. One sirloin which was cooked to his liking and a fillet steak which was tender and succulent. He just tasted the Maminha – bottom sirloin though and the strong flavour was not for him. He finished off with pork belly which was cooked just as it should be and just fell off the fork.
I opted for the fish option and was more than surprised when it arrived. It came beautifully presented on a large plate with substantial portions of king prawns, sea bass and salmon. Accompanying it were asparagus, artichokes, aubergines and other delicious and freshly cooked vegetables. Each type of fish was cooked to perfection. The king prawns in particular were flavoursome and succulent whilst the sea bass just melted in your mouth. The salmon was grilled to perfection and was just the right texture. Top marks to the chef.
When it came to choosing my dessert I was lost for choice and went for the passion fruit and raspberry torte. I just wasn’t expecting what came out – it was a real heaven on a plate and a credit to the pastry chef. It was light and very decadent with a tangy raspberry mousse and fruit compote making the presentation exquisite.
Once you get used to Estabulo it could grow on you. It’s an all you can eat restaurant and very good value with lunchtime selections as well as evening ones. Perfect for family dining, for a fun evening meal on the town and a boon healthy eating conscious people. If you are not meat eaters, they offer a really tasty vegetarian option of pastas or that wonderful fish choice that I partook of. There’s allergy information on the menu and a selection of dishes are gluten free.
Estabulo, The Light. Tel: 0113 3450370
Open:Daily 12 noon – 10.00pm. Sundays 12 noon-9.00pm