Please do not continue if you are a vegetarian.
There is meat a plenty at Samba Brazilian Churrascaria, definitely a great place for those that crave meat. Carnivores will be pleased to know that grilled meats are served by a passador (meat waiter) who carves the meat off a long skewer right onto your plate. The meat will keep on coming as it's unlimited servings.
Located at the complex of the former Big Splash at East Coast, Samba is a Brazilian themed restaurant that specializes in Churrascaria (specialty grill). It is said that cowboys or gauchos during those days simply patted coarse sea salt on large cuts of meat and seafood before grilling, basting them from time to time with oil and lemon juice. When cooked, excess salt would be brushed off or washed off with light brine.
While waiting for the passador to arrive at my table, I decided to help myself to the starter buffet spread. I wasn't impressed by the fried potato wedges, over-cooked tagliatelle, boiled carrots and corn, and the out-of-placed Taiwanese Xiao Bai Cai. I would also have preferred the red and green peppers to have been grilled instead of boiled or stir-fried. On the other hand, the salad section offered cucumbers, iceberg lettuce, heart of palm, cherry tomatoes among other vegetables. Quite a number of dressings were available.
But sad side dishes aside, the main star of any churrascaria should be the meats. There is a whole range of meats served by the passadors. One can expect pork sausages, pork ribs, beef topside, beef rump, black pepper beef, chicken, bacon-wrapped chicken breast, chicken heart, ham, lamb, fish, and even char siew! While I found the black pepper beef a tad salty, the chicken, ham and beef topside were grilled perfectly tender.
The chicken heart tasted earthy and almost like mushrooms but I would still prefer regular cuts of meat. I feel that the dory that they used should have been substituted with salmon. The oilier fish with its smooth yet firm flesh would have been delightful. No complains about the char siew though. It's a great incorporation of a local flavour. To help refresh the palate, ask for the grilled pineapples.
To accompany the tasty grilled meats, I ordered a lime caipirinha ($11.90). It's quite similar to vodka lime but has a stronger taste. Made essentially from cachaca, a distilled sugarcane liquor. The juice of a large lime and brown sugar are mashed before mixing with cachaca and ice.
Personally, I feel that the pace of the passadors here is too slow. I had to wait a fair bit before the next meat arrived. On the whole, a good place to meat up.
Samba Brazilian Churrascaria
Big Splash Aquatic Complex
902 East Coast Parkway
Chew On This: Settle the bill with American Express and get a One-for-One offer. Normal price per adult dinner is $35.