Music fans might remember the tall and tan and young and lovely girl from Ipanema. Well, she’s left all her headgear for us here in Doha, and as soon as you enter Ipanema, the Samba costumes are stocked up for you to try on.
You can't help but feel strong Brazilian vibes here, and from the incredible smell of the meats, we’re quite sure if the Girl from Ipanema did visit, she must have left slightly stocky and very stuffed.
The restaurant is long and narrow and when we enter it's fairly empty. By the time it fills up and the band kick in, we realise we're miles away from the action and can't see what's going on. A shame, as it leaves us feeling a little left out.
A basket of breads arrives to the table. The pão de queijo (Brazilian cheese bread) is soft, cheesy and a great way to get ready for all the meat we’re about to polish off. Well, it would be ideal if didn't wolf about ten of them down.
The traditional Rodizio style of service keeps things lively – servers come to your table with different meats on iron skewers. As long as your coaster is green, you’ll get meat non-stop. Turn it around to the red side and you'll get a break.
The Friday Brinner features passadores serving 10 types of delicious meats, and there's a seafood counter, too.
When the live entertainment from the Brazuqa band begins, suddenly the place seems a lot more lively.
We start off our meaty journey with the flank steak, which is good but doesn’t wow us immediately. The beef cubes, though, are epic. They're wonderfully marinated with garlic, salt, pepper and spices and the meat is tender and tasty. The spicy chicken drumsticks are rather addictive and you might end up popping too many of these (you’ve been warned). You’ll get to try everything from rib-eye and sirloin to short ribs and beef kebabs, some are average, some are dry and some are incredibly tasty. Don’t miss the signature picanha – it’s unlike the other steaks and far juicier.
What’s common between most of the meat is a lack of seasoning and a lot of smokiness from the grill.
If you end up gorging on the meat, don't be afraid to take a little break before diving back in.
Try the grilled pineapple coated with cinnamon and sugar. It's as warm, fruity palate cleanser.
The servers also bring some crayfish to the table – it’s seasoned with butter and garlic and is perfect.
Head to the buffet counter to find a selection of seafood. If you feel the need for some foliage, there's a salad bar, too.
There’s a great selection of traditional Brazilian desserts and we try a little of everything. The highlight is the soft, gooey chocolate mud cake.
The brunch is pretty no-nonsense, the Rodizio-style is fun and the options are plenty. Just don’t come if you’re vegetarian, or have a child's measly appetite.
QR245 (soft beverages), QR345 (selected beverages). Fri 12.30pm-3.30pm. Marriott Marquis City Center Doha Hotel, West Bay (4419 5000).
The bottom line
A delightful churrascaria-style buffet.