Newest Review: ... I noticed when we sat down that next to my cutlery there was a small green sign saying "yes please" in Portugese, and on ... more
A Brazilian Rodizio dining experience in the centre of Nottingham
Member Name: zombieflesh
Advantages: beautifully cooked food that's full of flavour, good service and excellent value for money
Disadvantages: limited options for vegetarians & vegans
I'm becoming a frequent visitor to Nottingham these days as it's where my boyfriend lives. On my latest stay we went for lunch at Tropeiro, which I had been warned would be an interesting experience! It's located in the centre of town on King Street and is open from 12pm-3pm and 5pm-10pm weekdays, 12pm-10pm weekends. I was really impressed by the setting inside a grade 2 listed building - it's set at a corner point where the street rises up a slight hillside and looks stunning from the outside. It's just as beautiful on the inside, with mosaic tiled floors and ornate decorations on the ceiling. There are cushy booths around the outside of the room which comfortably seat four people, and this is where our group (me, my boyfriend, and 2 friends) were seated.
Tropeiro is a Brazilian Restaurant based on a "Rodizio" concept. There is one option only when you go for lunch, but this is very generous and not as restrictive as you might first imagine. I am very particular when it comes to meat, and normally eat a mainly vegetarian diet, along with fish and some white meat. I had heard that this menu was very meat-heavy, but my friends reassured me that there was also an excellent salad bar so I would have plenty to eat. The lunch menu is a set price at £9.95 per person. For this amount you have unlimited access to the salad bar, and also unlimited servings of freshly cooked meats. This is excellent if you have a large appetite or like to try a variety of foods. Drinks are ordered through table service, the meat is provided directly to the table, and you help yourself to the salad bar as and when you please.
I noticed when we sat down that next to my cutlery there was a small green sign saying "yes please" in Portugese, and on the other side it said "no thank you" with a red background. I soon learned that these were part of the process of the meal, and by having the green side up this means that you would like to be served the meat courses, and these are provided directly to the table in various stages by a number of waiters with oversized skewers and deadly-sharp looking knives that were as big as machetes! (Ok, maybe a bit of exaggeration there, but it looked incredible and was all part of the experience.) If you like meat then this makes the meal incredibly good value for money, as you can literally eat your fill and they will keep serving you until you turn your sign over to the red side. Each person on the table has their own sign, so if some want to continue eating after others have already stopped, then this is not a problem.
I was very happy when I saw the salad bar, and pleased to note that I would certainly not be going hungry even if I didn't like the look of the meat part of the meal! There was green salad, pasta salad, herbed tomatoes, rice, cous cous, beetroot, sauces, dressings, mashed potato, meat balls in sauce, bread rolls, and much more that I can't even remember now! The options were varied and interesting, and you could easily fill a few plates with these choices alone. Everything seemed fresh and well prepared, and the counter was spotlessly clean with no spills or mess, which is something that can put me off when I'm selecting food from a self-service type salad bar like this was. My favourite bits of the salad were the beetroot - succulent and flavoursome, along with the rice - perfectly fluffy, and the cous cous -lots of sweet and savoury morsels mixed in with it, absolutely delicious!
The range of meat on offer was mainly a fair mix of red and white, and included one "exotic" option. If there is a particular meat that you don't like, you can simply pass when it is offered to you, and then wait for the next person to come round with a different type of meat. I did decline a couple of times but didn't feel too awkward in doing so, as the waiter will always ask each person if they would like that particular meat, and how much you would like, as well as your preference towards rare, medium or well done. I thought the service was very good, all of the waiters were polite, fun and helpful, and they did an excellent job of serving us and made the whole experience very enjoyable for me as this was my first time visiting anywhere that serves food in this style. The types of meat that we got to choose from on this particular visit included: chicken, sausage, ribs, beef steak, gammon and - wait for it! - chicken hearts!!! I stuck to the more familiar types of meat that I enjoy and only ate the chicken and beef. I did try the chicken hearts but I didn't think they were tasty and I was a bit put off to be eating an organ. The little hearts were tiny, very dark, and very tough. I chewed my way through one and then offloaded the remainder onto my boyfriend's plate for him to finish it off. My chicken (actual flesh meat rather than hearts) was really well prepared, with a spicy marinade coating the skin, and a lovely juicy texture to the meat itself. The beef was beyond excellent and was cooked beautifully. I prefer really well done meat so I was allowed to select the outside sections of the meat, leaving the rarer inner pieces for my friends and boyfriend who all like their meat still pink and dripping in blood! The well done pieces were absolutely my idea of perfection, char-grilled and oozing with flavour. The texture was chewy but light and the meat still retained a moist feeling even though it was fully cooked through. I didn't have any of the pork meats (sausage, ribs, gammon) as I don't like the taste of them normally, and instead I had a couple of rounds of the chicken and beef as they will circle around offering each meat in turn until you've had as much as you want and flip your sign over. This meant that I didn't feel like I was missing out, and still got to eat my fill even though I didn't eat everything that was available to choose from.
There is also a selection of desserts on offer but we chose not to have an extra course as it would have been too much after all that food from the main course! At the end of the meal our bill came to almost exactly £50.00, for four set lunches and four soft drinks. I thought this was excellent value for money and we got top quality service and top quality food at a very reasonable price. I enjoyed everything about this restaurant, from the helpful staff, to the luxurious surroundings, to the delicious fresh food and the unique style and variety that is on offer here. I would definitely recommend visiting Tropeiro if you're looking for an interesting place to go for lunch in Nottingham. Of course, it's not so good for vegans or strict vegetarians, but meat lovers will be in their element! Even a fussy eater like me was well catered for, and I plan on going back there again.
Summary: An interesting and enjoyable experience