Monday, September 14, 2009

Fire @ W Hotels

The last time I had Brazilian churrasco was many years in Montreal. Back then I can consume a lot of meat, way more than I can now. Actually back then, I can consume a lot of many things as well. I remembered how delighted I was too see all the meat coming non-stop one after another for my tasting. O well, that was then; now, I cannot even finish a 12oz steak together with the a few side dishes (plus a salad) without taking a little chewing break. With my friend's invitation to Fire for its Brazilian churrasco promotion, I was here to test the size of my stomach!

My previous visits to Fire was prior the start of my food blog so I treated this visit as a brand new adventure. To match its theme, the color red was predominately used throughout the restaurant and the space-tunnel like hallway accompanied by the red floor LED lights would lead to you the main dining room. Again, all you see is the color red everywhere mixed with black which was very trendy and hip in my opinion. The decor and environment was nice but the red chair was not the most comfortable in my opinion because the two so-called "arm rests" would block your elbows one way or the other when you are trying to cut your meat. You might have to sit very upright to avoid this situation. If you opt for the sofa seat, you would be fine and comfortable.

So what exactly is a Churrasco? It is basically grilled meat on skewers and in a Churrascaria (restaurant serving churrasco), waiters would walk around with the skewers and then cut & serve them directly at your table.

At a Churrascaria, it usually comes with a little chip with one side saying SIM POR FAVOR - [Yes, Please](Green) & the other NAO OBRIGADO [No, Thank You](Red). If you want more meat to be served, simply flip the chip to the Green side and your meat will arrive very soon. If otherwise, flip over to the Red side to take a little break which I took many times during this meal.

(1) Starters
The starters involve many items, notably deep fried polenta, deep fried banana, heart of palm salad and fried pastry with minced meat. Along with the starters were various sauces and salt but as I am going to review, many of the items were with strong flavors that such additions were not needed. The deep fried banana was very nice and the polenta as well. My favorite has to be the heart of palm which was a refreshing and delightful item to start the meal.

(2) Churrascaria cuts
The were a list of various meats and items that were being offered / brought to the table every 5 mins or so. Food will continue to come as long as you have the green SIM POR FAVOR chip facing up. Items include, garlic bread, lamb rack, chicken with bacon, pork rib, tenderloin (aka Fillet Mignon), top sirloin, sirloin, chicken legs, beef rib, sausage (pork & beef) and chicken hearts. I did not take pictures of all the items because they came so fast one after another and my plate was full of various meats and did not look pretty at all!

Among all the above items, the beef ribs were the best in my opinion. The meat was tender and juicy while chewy for those along the bones. Another positive thing was that it was not as salty as other items such as the sausage, lamb rack and chicken hearts. The chicken with bacon (aka bacon wrapped chicken, cocktail style) was nice as well in terms of the combination of flavors and texture. For the beef / steaks, there were three kinds and among them the tenderloin was the best because it was the least dry. The top sirloin was so dry that I could not finish it even though it grilled medium-rare. The sirloin was a bit moist but still in the "dry" category in my opinion. One possible reason can be because it was the most outer layer of the steak that was being served / cut. (maybe that was the traditional way to cut & serve it?) Anyhow, almost forgot to mention that the garlic bread was above average, likely the style whereby the use raw garlic and rub onto the bread before baking / grilled. Honestly, one round of each item was more than enough for my stomach!! My stomach has failed me, failed the elasticity test! (... hummm ... maybe such failure can be a positive thing actually, right?)

(3) Side Dishes
There were grilled egg plants, pot of Brazilian beans stew, marinated artichokes and braised cabbage as the side dishes. Most of the items were slightly vinegar-y which were great matches with all the various grilled meats. The stew was the only item we did not finish because it was very filling indeed.

(4) Grilled pineapple dusted with cinnamon powder
One of the highlights of the night, at least my own highlight, was the grilled pineapple!! I have been waiting for this to be served from the start! I am not a big fan of cinnamon, but when being served this way, I have no complaints! It was warm, sweet and juicy (literally!)!

The service was great and very attentive throughout the meal but apparently, the restaurant management is very serious in protecting the privacy of the guests, which is wonderful & thoughtful indeed in my opinion, but they are quite sensitive with picture taking activities within the dining area especially if your pictures would capture other guests. One better asks / informs them in advance just in case. Anyhow, it is just a friendly reminder to those wishing to come here. Overall, this place is a very nice and lovely place for two. I would definitely come back again and try their normal lunch offerings. Also, I hope they would come up with more joint promotions or special offerings in the near future.

  • Decor / Environment
  • Beef Ribs !
  • Grilled Pineapple !!
  • Slightly salty for most meats
  • The various items came too quickly, one soon after another. Of course we can use the Red chip to slow down the serving but I found myself checking out the skewers anyhow because I was afraid I was going to miss out something special!!
Avg Spending: Above HKD 500 per person

1/F, W Hotel (Elements),
1 Austin Road West,
Tel: 3717 2848

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