Au Lac Do Brazil Review

food - Saigon/HCMC: July 12, 2016

Au Lac Do Brazil began with a Swedish husband and Vietnamese wife. On a trip to Portugal, the wife became intrigued with the Brazilian churrasco (grilled meat) buffet scene, and upon their return to Vietnam, built Au Lac Do Brazil’s first branch.

Au Lac Do Brazil focuses on never-frozen, only-chilled imports. High quality beef, lamb and cheese from New Zealand. Everything is cooked on wood and charcoal to bring out the meat’s smokey flavours. You have 12 types of meat to choose from, and 12 types of salads and complements.

Au lac do Brazil

A crucial part of churrasco restaurants is continuous service: in Brazilian eateries you get a token with a green front and red back - wait staff continue to serve you as long as you have the green side up on your table.

Ambiance

The restaurant is located upstairs, cosy, warm and inviting with paintings and decorations reminiscent of Latin American life. An alfresco area on the terrace provides ample space for those who prefer eating outside, although it might be a bit hot out when there is no breeze. The space is fitting for helping yourself to large portions of grilled meat - not too fancy, and laid back enough so you won’t have to worry about making a bit of a mess, but still pleasant to dine in.

Service

You have the green and red token that tells wait staff to either continue or stop serving you. It’s simple to use and the staff are polite and are more than happy to provide you with further portions of meat. There’s a decent command of English and the staff are able to explain the meats and sauces they serve. Had enough? Just flip your token over to the red side.

Food & Drinks

The meat at a churrasco buffet is the vital element that makes or breaks everything. Luckily the quality is nearly consistent with every piece given, and the cooks are quite skilled in the art of grilling - so it never feels like quality is diluted due to quantity. Here’s what you can expect:

The sauces: You get four sauces from the start: chimichurri for beef, thousand island for salad, dijon mustard for meat, and Italian dressing. You also get some mushroom sauce and pepper along the way.

Caipirinha: It’s optional but you can also get a Caipirinha, Brazil’s national cocktail made from a sugarcane-based spirit. It’s refreshing to sip with your meats and comes in two versions - “Au Lac” and “Forte”, with the latter containing a higher quality spirit.

Au lac do Brazil

The meats: Smokey, wood-and-charcoal grilled meat is the star of the show and it will hardly leave you disappointed. The crispy bacon wrapped shrimp were great starters, and the bacon crispy, fatty and not the usual flat-flavoured affair common with buffets around Vietnam (yes, good bacon is hard to find here). Sausage and dijon were tasty, as well as the small BBQ chicken drumsticks. The beef shoulder was some of the softest beef we had for a long time and one of our personal favourites here - it goes well with the mushroom sauce and is close to melt-in-your mouth as you can get when it comes to mid-range beef in Saigon.

Grilled corn and bacon-wrapped asparagus came as a nice break from all the meat, as was the traditional butter rice with black bean sauce and the tomatoes and onions.

The pork ribs were excellently grilled and the meat noticeably less chewy than at other typical eateries. The slice of lamb was nice, although not as flavourful as the rest of the offerings.

Smoked ham and grilled pineapple was a welcome surprise, with a great smokey flavour on the meat, crispy skin and sweet slices of grilled pineapple creating a nice balance.

The dessert: Grilled banana and passionfruit mousse - cannot go wrong with these.

What Can Be Improved

The lamb slices were somewhat below the standard of the rest of the meat.

What People Say

Four solid bubbles with over 150 reviews on TripAdvisor. Many four bubble reviews praise the quality meat, the great service and nice atmosphere. A few odd reviews describe mixed feelings and a very small percentage of reviews dip into low bubbles.

Local Insight

Au Lac Do Brazil has a 1 Goal 1 Caipirinha deal until 10 July - score a goal at the restaurant (of course, they have a goalie) and get a free drink.

Contact information:

Address: 238 Pasteur, D3

Phone: +84 28 3820 7157

Opening hours: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., 5 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.

Website: www.aulacdobrazil.com