A Churrascaria is a Brazillian steak house where large chunks of meat, usually beef, is skewered on thick rods and roasted over coal or ember fire. This traditional style of cooking originated amongst the Gauchos, migratory horsemen adept at cattle work, and is popular across Latin America. Modern Churrascarias are known for offering diners unlimited portions of exquisite cuts of various meats slow-cooked in the traditional Brazilian way. Chama Gaucha boasts of the first Churrascaria in the city and promises diners a taste of South America.
Chama Gaucha is setup as an open-air lounge on the terrace of Radisson Hyderabad Hitec City. Overlooking the tranquil pool and several floors above the busy streets, Chama Gaucha offers a momentary escape from the hustle and bustle. Although the Churrascaria is the signature element of the restaurant, it also serves a fair bit of Mediterranean delicacies including Shawarma and Mezze platter. Assorted meats (Lamb, Chicken, and Fish), Haloumi Cheese, and Veggies are grilled Mediterranean spices and sauces.
I was invited to a tasting session featuring signature dishes pre-selected by the Chef. The opening course of salads turned out to be a mixed bag. I loved the Special House Salad that was a mix of musk melon, orange, and lettuce with a berry reduction dressing and a sprinkle of crunchy toasted melon seeds; however, the Caesar Salad was drab. The Mezze platter at Chama Gaucha is quite dependable, but the Shawarma might give you a sticker shock.
The drinks menu features single malts, wines and cocktails as well as the usual white spirits. I wanted a whisky based cocktail and was recommended the Grande Bastardo. This turned out to be a fantastic concoction of Bourbon and White Chocolate that paired beautifully with Camaroes – fried panko crusted prawns marinated in garlic white wine sauce and spiced with peri peri. The prawns were accompanied by a lovely orange aioli that was so good that I ended up wiping it clean with my fingers. In fact, all the appetisers served to us were impressive. The Acaraje, a traditional Brazillian street food, is another great pub grub. Black eyed peas are formed into balls, stuffed with shrimp, and deep-fried. The succulent Chicken Sheesh Touk from the Mediterranean grills was also delicious.
The Churrascos were eagerly awaited and we were served a couple of dishes – Coxa de Cordeiro and Coxa de Frango. The former is grilled Australian leg of lamb while the latter is grilled Chicken legs. A Churrasco is traditionally beef, so I was a bit disappointed to not see it being featured at Radisson. Nevertheless, the Chicken was grilled beautifully and I loved the simple rock salt and paprika rub. The lamb meat was evidently of very good quality, but it was woefully overcooked and also high on salt. The final dish of the evening, Tiramisu, was also a disappointment. The savoiardy barely had any flavour of coffee and this upset the poise of the dish.
Cosy, al fresco dining by the poolside, live music on weekends, comforting Mediterranean food, and exquisite cocktails. Chama Gaucha clearly has a lot of positives. However, Radisson is not pitching it as a Mediterranean lounge. The Brazillian grills are clearly meant to be the main draw. Unfortunately, even after two visits, I didn’t taste anything from the Churrascaria that made me go ‘Wow’. Go there for the ambience and the drinks that are ably complemented by the appetisers, but don’t expect too much from the Churrascaria. Chama Gaucha is priced as a premium fine dine; a meal for two is expected to cost around Rs. 4000.