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Nosso Casa, review

Simon Binns finds a restaurant that's pleased to meat you

Written by . Published on May 16th 2011.


Nosso Casa, review

IN THESE austere times, people have become less ashamed of the ‘all you can eat’ option. Look at a recent opening in the city, Red Hot World Buffet, a concept hung fairly and squarely on cramming as much down your gullet as possible for a fixed price.

There’s no shame in it. The Brazilian 'churrascaria' concept has been kicking around a while, through Pau Brasil (renamed Bem Brasil).

These are restaurants for red-blooded carnivores. Yes, you’ve got some cursory salad but it’s all about the meat. Skewers laden with protein and guilt.

Without us even noticing him, Skewer Man was back again, waving an impaled lamb shoulder around like a prehistoric wizard's wand. Salad was losing the war.

Maybe the Canal Street area is full of vegetarians because when I walked into Nosso Casa, on Sackville Street, it was empty. Totally empty. A shame really, as this is the same team behind its former guise, Tropiero, people who obviously care about the place and want to make it work.

Maybe, I thought, the food is just not that good.

There are no starters or mains here. Just a flat price (£14.50 at lunch) , that salad bar (cucumber, onions and chillies were good, as were marinated chillies and the rice with soy) and lots of meat.

IMG_2841.JPGFirst to arrive was the pork sausage, which was very nice indeed and a little bit spicy. Short and fat and not too overwhelming, like a friendly introduction to the man with skewers, who would sporadically emerge from downstairs.

Next time we saw him, he was wielding pork ribs. These were a little fatty but pleasant enough. At this stage, salad was still winning the territorial war on my plate, even managing to hold firm when a juicy nugget of chicken arrived wrapped in bacon. Nice idea.

The balance was struck once a piece of spicy chicken arrived. "A bit greasy," said Jen, who'd come along for the ride. "Not for me." I quite liked it though. The skin was crispy and the fat was full of chicken flavour, like picking off the bits that fall from the bird and onto the chopping board when you're carving the Sunday roast.

IMG_2838.JPGWithout us even noticing him, Skewer Man was back again, waving an impaled lamb shoulder around like a prehistoric wizard's wand. Yes please. Onto the plate it goes. Salad was losing the war. 

The lamb was moist, tender, honest. I did wonder what would happen to the rest of it though. Does Skewer Man devour what's left? Does it sit under the lights to dry out? I felt sad this much meat was being prepared for just the two of us.

Before I could revisit the salad bar, a hunk of fillet steak had arrived, cooked to medium and dark and smoky in flavour. It would have been easy to say everything tasted of chilli sauce, given that it was all over the plate, but it worked. Ditto the sirloin that came next - pink, tender and juicy.

We were getting full. We made a cursory trip to the salad station, as much for the exercise as anything else.

IMG_2843.JPGWhen we got back, Skewer Man wasn't far behind. He had rump steak.

"We might be too full I'm afraid."

"But it's the best of the lot," he winced. 

Not wanting to see a grown man cry, we let him carve a strip off. Just as well really. He was right. Perfectly pink in the middle, this was a wonderful bit of meat. 

"Then we just repeat again if you want?" said Skewer Man, with fire in his eyes.

No chance, Time to tap out. A decent lemon pie (£4.50) and a refreshing sorbet (£3.50) covered off the need for a sweet fix, as we tried to fight off the meat sweats and the overwhelming desire for an afternoon nap.

And this is the underlying sadness about Nosso Casa. It's good, but it seems to have been forgotten, because it might just be a little too fringe for some people.

The enthusiasm of the owner and the meat-wielding basement dweller are a good enough reason to pay a visit and the food is definitely value. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to have to go for a lie down...

 

Rating 13/20

8/10 food

4/5 service

1/5 ambience

Venues are rated against the best examples of their kind: fine dining against the best fine dining, cafes against the best cafes. Following on from this the scores represent: 1-5 saw your leg off and eat it, 6-9 get a DVD, 10-11 if you must, 12-13 if you’re passing,14-15 worth a trip,16-17 very good, 17-18 exceptional, 19 pure quality, 20 perfect. More than 20: Gordo gets carried away

 

Nossa Casa
46 Sackville Street 
Manchester 
M1 3WF
0161 923 6846

 

 

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12 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

paulMay 16th 2011.

"Canal Street must be full of vegetarians" Ye make I laugh my stomach will be aching for months

OmnivoreanMay 16th 2011.

It's full of vegetarians and pescatarians and lotharios and charlatans and leviathians. Tis well known.

GravymouthMay 16th 2011.

That girl looks a bit frightened of your meat, Mr Binns

GravystainMay 16th 2011.

She doesn't like chewing the fat

paulMay 17th 2011.

"Maybe the Canal Street area is full of vegetarians" Restaurant address:-46 Sackville Street ....More Meat Munchers.

Alan WharrierMay 17th 2011.

Let the meat related innuendo begin!!!!

AnonymousMay 17th 2011.

The steaks are simply too high for a punfest

AnonymousMay 17th 2011.

I've heard they love a bit of sausage around there.....

Graham KingMay 17th 2011.

I know this place and it's definitely a big step up from Bem Brasil. More personal. Potentially bags more atmosphere ... provided more people learn about it and go there.

Tony SpencerMay 17th 2011.

Having eating in Churrascaria's in Brasil, this is about as close as it gets to being there.

The quality of the meats is first class, as is the extensive range of salads. The ambience score would have been a lot higher had the visit been in the evening, as every time I have been there, the restaurant has been quite busy and had a very relaxed atmosphere.

One item not mentioned is one of the great subsistence foods of Brasil - Feijoada (black beans and rice) and the Nosso Casa version of this is up there with the best. Go easy with it though and save room for all the meats that follow.

Sue WelchMay 25th 2011.

Having eaten in both bem brazil and here, before and after the change of name, i can honestly say there is no comparison. Nossa casa has a much better quality of food, and a much more personal and higher level of service. When not too busy, it still oozes atmosphere due to the pure passion the management and staff have for the restaurant, not to mention the lovely decor and great music choice.

I can not wait to go back to Nossa Casa. 9.5/10 for me!

AnonymousJuly 17th 2011.

Love that place. Nossa Casa is much better than Bem Brazil. Staff is very friendly and pleasant. Meat is great. I am surprised everytime I went it was quite empty, it´s really good value for money!

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