A 'festa' for the tastebuds



Growing up in a household of big, burly men, the standard meat-and-three-veg was often on the menu. 

The result is that while I may be a meat-eater, I’d in no way describe myself as a meat-lover. 

While I’m a fan of meat-based dishes, like roasts or stews in the slow-cooker, a hunk of meat on my plate doesn’t really tickle my fancy. 

But when one such burly brother decided to host his moving away function at a Brazilian barbeque restaurant, I warily obliged.

On a cold Sydney winter’s night, it’s a lovely surprise walking through the unassuming glass doors and into the warm glow of BahBQ’s spacious dining room.

There’s a buzz in the air as large groups chatter away and waiters zip about the room, presenting an array of sizzling meats and topping up the glasses of eager patrons. 

No sooner have we sat down, and I have begun physically and mentally preparing myself for the feast, than a cornucopia of side dishes arrives. 

It takes an iron will not to fill up on the delicacies of cassava chips, fried polenta, creamy potato salad, cheese bread and warm black bean and streaky bacon stew.

Luckily, the waiters save us from ourselves as they come streaming out, one-by-one, to offer us a raft of mouth-watering meats presented strikingly on enormous sword-like skewers. 

The nose went into overdrive as succulent cuts of pork, chicken, lamb, beef and prawn were all presented, and on that first taste this meat-agnostic was converted.

The tender meats dissolve in the mouth, different elements of their flavours brought out by the mixing and matching of condiments such as chimichurri, tomato and red pepper salsa, chilli jam, roasted cassava flour and hot chilli.

Next comes the grilled halloumi, chewy and salty just as it should be, followed by chicken hearts for the adventurous among us. 

Slowly, each of us begin to have had our fill, one by one choosing our heads over our hearts and refusing the ever-attentive waiters.

We end the evening with slices of a spiced grilled pineapple, cleansing the palate with a light, tart sweetness.

So much more than simply a barbeque restaurant, BahBQ is an experience that delights all the senses. This is meat as meat should be made and served.

Stephanie Aikins, News Editor, North Shore Living Magazine

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