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PREVIEW: Fazenda By Gordo

Gordo on the Leeds 'Churrascaria' heading for Spinningfields this November

Published on October 24th 2014.

PREVIEW: Fazenda By Gordo


GORDO doesn’t normally like Brazilians.

But he isn’t going on about the weird hairy stuff that happens in City Spa Escapes, or those extremely healthy looking ladies on Copacabana beach.

The Churrascaria lot in Manchester need a bit of competition and this is arriving like an express train in the form of Fazenda

It’s those ‘Churrascarias’ which, for the uninitiated, are the ultimate barbecue restaurants. Your waiter or ‘passador’ brings different cuts of meat to the table and will serve until you instruct them to ‘stop’ by turning over a small coloured disc.

Flipping your disc from green to red indicates that you are either finished or resting; you eat what suits your appetite rather than what suits the owner’s bottom line.


The problem with most of the barbecues here in the UK is poor attention to detail; the cocktails are loaded with pre-made syrups, the beer is weak and the interior décor tends to look like stuff pulled out of a warehouse in Hulme. They process people and it’s an ‘in-and-out’ thing, looking to churn over quickly.

The wine lists are packed with soon to be ‘bin-ended’ stuff which hasn’t been picked up by the more professional buyers in the premium chains - it’s there to be quaffed up fast.

The quality of the meat leaves a lot to be desired, along with questionable cuts disguised by a shed load of salt.

The salad bars are just bland, uninspiring and, well, stale.

However the idea is a good one. The Churrascaria lot in Manchester need a bit of competition and, dear reader, this is arriving like an express train in the coming couple of weeks in the form of Fazenda.

Already established in Liverpool and Leeds, Fazenda is a Churrascaria restaurant truly on fire.

Gordo got on the chuffer to Leeds a few weeks ago to get a look at the operation and decide whether to tell the sales folks in Confidential Towers to promote the place or not. Take a look at the Fazenda website. The meat is as good as it looks in those promo pictures.

Even the fillet steak is the real deal; they serve the tail end, which are the tender strips used in classic Beef Stroganoff because they are too slim at that end to produce a decent sized steak portion.

The top rump is historic. Gordo wasn’t sure where this cut came from, but he does know it’s called Picanha. It’s that part of a rump steak which carries the fat (Gordo has Frosty the Butcher to thank for clearing that up), and is very, very good.

Several different cuts arrive at the table, including a leg of lamb and chicken hearts (terrific).

Another thing which impressed Gordo was the salad bar. It’s a meal in itself and includes great sushi, cured salmon and numerous cuts of ham along with hot Brazilian stews.

Fazenda bartender doing the businessFazenda bartender doing the business

This is a real step up in the quality of the food.

The interior design is sumptuous and you can tell these guys don’t want you in and out. You can make a whole evening of it; take your time and soak up the clubby atmosphere.

The wine list is well selected. Gnarly Old Head Vine Zinfandel 2011 (£30.10) is a good choice for a red wine and the others range from £19.60 for a business-like Chilean Carménère, up to £58.70 for an Argentinian Finca Decero Amano 2010 (Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot).

Gordo especially likes the monthly wine deals, which allow us mere mortals to try the more expensive bottles. In October, for example, the Spanish Vivanco Reserva 2007 (mainly tempranillo, delivering classic notes) is £29.10 (it's normally £46.80).

Much thought has gone into the wine list and it’s indicative of the whole experience. That’s the main thing at Fazenda and the place is simply a must-visit.

It ain’t no ordinary Brazilian.

It’s a Gordo Go.

Fazenda Manchester opens in Spinningfields on 7 November.

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