We decided to take the opportunity of ‘Dine Out Vancouver’ to visit a restaurant that we would otherwise not likely try – the Samba Brazilian Steakhouse. The room was not what I had expected but instantly reminded me of our experiences in Mexico. It was set up with mostly long tables and would definitely be a fun place to hold a group event. The live Latin music was surprisingly good and the Brazilian dance trio was enjoyable even if a bit out of step.
Being a weekend, our two menu options were either the ‘Dine Out’ price fix menu or the signature All You Can Eat Rodizio Experience. I opted for the three course ‘Dine Out’ menu and started with the spinach and cheese cannelloni which was quite tasty but a bit overcooked. For my main course I opted for the baked Sablefish which was as tender and buttery as Sablefish should be. This was also my first taste of white asparagus which I think I would have enjoyed more had it been more stir fried as opposed to almost raw. Desert was a cheesecake that while good, was clearly not made on site. The wine list though limited did offer some great values (and not the three times mark up that has become more common in Vancouver restaurants).
Jeff opted for the Rodizio which was what attracted me to the restaurant in the first place, even though I new that I was not going to eat it. The idea is intriguing. The buffet is laid out with a selection of salads, sides (roasted potatoes, rice and pasta) white fish and shrimp. Once you have loaded your plate and return to the table, a ‘carver’ stops by at frequent intervals with various options of meat that is carved off of a rotisserie including pork loin, lamb, bison, top sirloin, flank steak and chicken. Each person is given a card that is placed green side up to indicate ‘go’ and once you have had your fill, you flip the card to the other red side to indicate ‘stop’. This is definitely an all you can eat restaurant as the ‘craver’ came by at least every three or four minutes until the card was flipped.
The experience was definitely unique and the service from the carver was excellent, but the overall service from the waiter was average. While we would try Samba again with a large group we will likely not include it in our regular restaurant rotation.
Food – GOOD, Service – AVERAGE, Atmosphere – GOOD