Viva Brazil is a chain of four ‘churrascaria’ restaurants in the UK. That is a Brazilian barbecue, it seems. We went to the Birmingham branch for fiancée to have all you can eat meat, and me to pray the veggie option was OK. I seem to have lost the pics of the very gaily coloured interior, unfortunately. Anyway, it is quite lively both in decor and atmosphere – oddly we noticed what seemed to be quite a few first (or early) dates…brave to go to a buffet for that!
It is relatively straightforward to order (though differential pricing might make you consider when to visit): pick full meat, meat selection, fish, vegetarian, or salad only, go up and help yourself to the buffet, and wait for your main to arrive.
When it does, for the full meat option, skewers of barbecued meat are brought to your table and carved onto your plate. You can have as much as you want, and eventually seconds come round.
I didn’t take pictures of all the meat, but pictured is the list of different types they brought round, and here is fiancée’s take on those she tried in the order they arrived:
Sirloin was good with a spicy chilli coating; but not as good as the chilli chicken; smoked gammon was delicious; lamb isn’t really her thing but the well done bits of her portion were OK; cap of rump was very good; flank steak was too raw; the beef ribs were good; the strangest option and biggest surprise was the chicken heart which she enjoyed; garlic steak was a bit lean but nicely seasoned; while parmesan pork had strongly flavoured burnt bits around the edge which she was keen on; chicken and bacon was ordinary, but the bacon made a little bit of an impression; Brazilian pork sausage was marginally better than a supermarket one, but not amazing; finally, and the one she had waited increasingly impatiently for, the pork belly was fatty and flavourful, and the bits with crackling were really impressive. Phew.
The vegetarian option was three dishes, starting with vegetable sausages and sweet potato mash. The sausages were the mixed veg with mashed potato type, and the dish was fine, but a bit of a big portion given the buffet options.
Another lost photo seems to be of the halloumi and roasted vegetables, which were standard though only had a couple of bits of cheese. Instead, you can look at some unexciting onion rings, with an OK salsa.
The buffet was pretty impressive, with a range of salads, vegetables, pasta, cuts of meat and cheese, and hot options like potatoes, polenta, and – weirdly, but appealing to someone who likes Malaysian food – banana fritters.
To be honest, I could easily have stuck to the buffet, rather than adding the vegetarian dishes, which weren’t as good as the selection available. I enjoyed nearly all of the stuff I had, and I could have saved some money!
The staff are good and don’t rush you, plus they seem genuinely eager to make sure you get the chance to try all of the meat they prepare. We both had a really good time, and left with the rare feeling that we had had a different experience from normal. Highly recommended.
If you fancy it, the full meat option costs £26 after 17.00 all week, £16 before 17.00 on weekdays or £19 on weekends. Alternatively, you can get a set menu of four meats for £11 before 17.00 on weekdays, or seven meats for £18 after 17.00 Monday to Thursday! The fish option is £20 and the vegetarian £17. All of these include as much buffet as you like. If you just want the buffet without a main option, it is £10 before 17.00 and £12.50 after. Cocktails were very good, especially during happy hour. Open from noon until ‘late’.
Address: 7 Bennett’s Hill, Birmingham, B25ST