Since we first visited the marvellous Fazenda in 2013, Brazilian Rodizio style dining has really taken off, with York counting Vaquerios and Latinos amongst recent additions to the restaurant scene. There’s an undeniable appeal to having meat carved at your table and the novelty of controlling the flow of said meat with a colour-coded card doesn’t get old quickly, so when an invite from Restaurants of Leeds to check out Bossa Grill over in Leeds landed, we primed our appetite and got ready to turn our cards to green for meat.
After a short walk from the station, we had the pleasure of getting to know some other guests at the event to which we’d been invited and enjoy the company of http://theminimillionaire.com & http://louiseroserailton.com amongst others. The space was clean and colourful without being overblown, with some outside picnic tables painted in bright colours that will make a lovely place to sit in the summer. As we were seated, we were treated to the sight of some cocktails being made at our table that squeezed improbable quantities of sugar and lime into caipirinhas that my sweet-toothed cohorts proclaimed marvellously refreshing while I got into the spirit with a Brazilian beer.
By this point a room full of sugar-stoked bloggers were ready for hefty quantities of meat and, fortunately, were not disappointed. Bossa counts Fazenda as a stablemate, so it was no surprise that quality of the meat making the rounds was extremely high. The rump cap that came out first was well cooked, with a lovely rare centre, but would have benefited from a touch more resting before its journey to the table to prevent some blood ending up on the plate. Chicken thighs marched succulently to the table and pork came as belly and sausage to give more variety to proceedings. By the time spicy pulled beef was on offer, our stomachs were starting to give up the fight, but we made sure to push on through and taste the grilled pineapple that had been given a good char to caramelise it.
One of the joys of Fazenda is the superb salad bar with such a diverse range of accompaniments on offer that it could almost justify the price of admission by itself. With Bossa being a more casual dining experience that comes with a more accessible price, it’s no great surprise that those extravagances aren’t replicated here though the more basic offering is perfectly adequate and breaks up the meat well. Sides on offer included some dough balls that thankfully didn’t overpower with garlic, chips with generous amounts of paprika, ‘slaw and juicy corn on the cob.
Bossa is avowedly not a high end dining experience, placing the focus on socialising in a relaxed environment where the standard of food is still high. A notable change to the ordering process from other rodizio style restaurants is the use of a small cow to control the meat flow (standing proud to request more, prone and defeated to pause the experience) that speaks for the whole table rather than individuals controlling their own fate. While a small change, it reflects that the table experience their meal together and reinforces the social aspect of the offering. We had a fantastic evening, proving that the social element works by meeting some lovely people, and left with full stomachs and a spring in our step. Bossa is a great fun experience that’s fantastic value.
Disclaimer: While the event was free to attend, opinions remain impartial as ever.