People across the world are getting wired up and making preparations to descend on the soils of probably the most colourful South American country for this year’s world cup scheduled to be held later this year in Brazil.
Some of us, for whom travelling to Rio de Janeiro is not an option , there is a little piece of Brazil tucked away in an intimate corner of the Riverwalk mall. Paulo Marques did us all a favour by opening the Rodizio restaurant in 2009 to bring the Brazilian culinary experience to Batswana.
Upon arrival we were meticulously handled by a breath taking beautiful woman who conveniently mans the front desk; talk about first impressions. After being given a choice of settling down in the cozy indoor or the breezy outside we opted for the balcony since we spend most of our everyday lives cooped up inside, we decided to treat our lungs to a rare treat of fresh air.
After settling down our eager waiter Nkosi guided us through the menu thoroughly going into extreme detail with every enquiry made regarding the dishes available. For starters we settled for the Chourico Assado, a rather dramatic flame grilled choice more so that it comes flaming to the table and one can only hope not to singe their forehead and eyebrows while making their way through this pork delicacy, only available from South Africa.
For the main course we are treated to the Santiago Platter comprised of a hake fillet, prawns and calamari and each bite is like a little bit of heaven in my mouth as in as much I love seafood I rarely eat it when I’m in a land locked country like ours.
It would not be a Rodizio experience if the Meat Lover’s Choice does not make an appearance to the table with all its glory and gadgets. Hospitality and Beverage Manager Gordon Moagi states that he has often been dared to bring all the meat he has to the table and has explained on a number of occasions that if that were possible they would have had to carry the person out of the restaurant with a wheel barrow.
The Meat Lover’s Choice is comprised of various chicken, beef, lamb and pork cuts which are literally bottom less for they keep on coming until you absolutely cannot stomach another bite. The dish also comes with a miniature wooden green and red traffic guide, green side up suggests that you want more and you will continue to be served, when you have had enough you have to put the red side up otherwise they will keep them coming.
With the meats constantly being rotated on the Rotisserie which interestingly directly translates to Rodizio it maintains its juicy nature. Paulo explained that in order to maintain the natural meaty flavor, they go easy with the spices and flavorings and primarily use bay leaves and salt and jokingly suggest that no one would want to tamper with the Botswana beef, “Botswana beef is the best,’ he adds with a smile.
Paulo also stated that they rarely use oil since they grill all their food and when they do use oil they only use olive oil.
Rodizio is a very cozy restaurant and quiet therefore ideal for family get togethers over the weekends more so that children under the age of six eat for free and children between 6 and 12 pay half price. During the week however it becomes extremely corporate and often hosts formal functions for organization.
One cannot leave this restaurant and not mention the portions served since they are very generous, their side dishes are also amazing and they might just have the best creamy spinach in town. Every meal comes with their ‘home made’ garlic, lemon and butter and peri-peri sauces.
Their deserts taste so good it’s almost sinful, having the opportunity taste the Cr├¿me Brule, Chocolate Mousse and the Malva pudding were amazing.
Though it was a lunch rendezvous, a little walk down the cocktail alley did not hurt, to start off the occasion, there was the fruity and exotic Sex in Rodizio, followed by the cool and minty Mojito, exclusively served in a unique pineapple glass was the Pina Colada and to close the curtains to the Brazilian experience was the Long Island Ice Tea which to my surprise was a weaker than most I had tasted.
The Riverwalk food court seems to have stood its ground despite the mushrooming of many malls and competitor up market eateries with the likes of restaurants like Rodizio.