Chamas (Portuguese) = Flames (English)
That might be true everywhere else in the world, but not at Chamas Churrascaria & Bar, located at the Intercontinental Hotel Abu Dhabi.
The flames at the so-called Brazilian ‘churrascaria’ are definitely not burning. In fact, I believe they have been put off for good!
I headed down there yesterday with a couple of friends and couldn’t have left more frustrated.
Ok. The concept is there. I give them that. For a fixed price, you have unlimited access to a salad bar and different types of meat served in skewers and carved right at your table.
But that’s where the similarities end.
Here are a few reasons why…
The popular Brazilian good humor and hospitality are undeniably missing. During the almost two hours we spent at the restaurant, we did not see a single smile and questions were unenthusiastically answered by the grumpy waiters.
In addition, it seems to me that the staff urgently needs to undergo some basic training since they do not seem to grasp the meaning of the green and red cards at the table (green side = more meat / red side = no meat).
‘Samba’ (a Brazilian dance/musical genre with roots in Africa) and 'Bossa Nova' (another style of Brazilian music) are recognized everywhere as a symbol of
. In addition, since Brazil was discovered by the Portuguese on April, 1500, the official language of the country is Portuguese, not Spanish. Brazil
So can someone please explain to me why in the hell does Chamas have a latin/salsa band?
The ‘caipirinha’ (alcoholic beverage traditionally made with ‘cachaca’, sugar and lime) is there. But where is the ‘Guarana’ (delicious soda made from a plant found in the Amazon region) that we Brazilians miss so much? What about the juices made from tropical fruits like ‘caju' or ‘maracuja’?
When we go to a ‘churrascaria’ in
we enjoy delicious entrees before we head to the salad bar or release the carnivorous beasts inside us. We get: ‘pastel de queijo’ (cheese pastry somewhat similar to the Arabic sambousek), fried ‘polenta’ (made from cornmeal), ‘aipim’ (manioc)… At Chamas? A crummy-looking plate of fried bananas and fries – and only because we kept asking for it! Brazil
While at Chamas we have to settle for basic salad and Arabic dips like moutabel and hummus, in
we satisfy out taste buds by savoring not only the green leaves, but also all sorts of seafood, cheeses, carpaccios (meat, salmon, tuna) and even Japanese food! Oh what a difference! Brazil
I don’t even know where to start. This is the most exasperating part of the experience. I mean, when you go to a ‘churrascaria’ you might enjoy the entrees and the salad bar, but what you really look forward to at the end of the day is the meat and the meat and more meat. Right?
you have to beg the waiters for a bigger interval between the skewers they bring to your table in order to allow you more time to eat the enormous amounts of meat you have on your plate. Brazil
At Chamas things happen slightly different. You have to supplicate the waiters to bring the meat to you - over and over and over again.
We were told they serve 14 different types of meat. Well, maybe on paper. Or perhaps the meat was devoured by a lion on the way from the kitchen. Truth is only five or six kinds of meat reached our table. And no sign of chicken, or lamb, or chicken heart, or sausage (it could even be a halal one!)…
The reality presented by Chamas couldn’t be further from the truth and it really bothers me because people do believe this is the typical Brazilian ‘churrascaria’. NO IT’S NOT!
First thing I’ll do when I get to
next time? Go to a real ‘churrascaria’ and try to cure the trauma caused by Chamas. Brazil