"She. Is. Stunning.” I may as well have been talking about the maître d (not that I was looking closely but Lapa’s staff are noticeably, very good looking…) but the beauty is actually the metal behemoth in the kitchen. It’s a huge barbeque on which impaled morsels of meat are cooked over gas flame. We observe the spits being constantly turned, ensuring well charred crusts and tender pink centres to all sixteen types of meat.
Yes – sixteen. That’s a challenge if I’ve ever seen one.
(By the way, this is not a place to bring your vegetarian friends.)
Left: Beef kebab. Right: Chicken fillets.
Why hello, beautiful.
Lapa’s a churrascaria, an all-you-can-eat Brazilian barbeque where they feed you as much as you can handle. There’s no shortage of food here, with side dishes of rice, stewed beans and potato salad to fill in the gaps. The starter of cheese balls is especially good – tiny little bread rolls stuffed with piping hot cheese. (Seriously more-ish if you get them hot.)
Initial serving of garden salad, potato salad and three sauces – farofa, chimmichurri and vingrete.
Straight off the grill, the meats are succulent and hot. The staff come around with it still attached to the rotisserie spit. Setting it down on a paddle that doubles as a catch-all, a deadly looking sabre is whipped out and as much as you want is carved or wriggled off. (Be as greedy as you like. I know I was.)
First came the little sausages, which were great with some chimmichurri sauce. This was continued by chicken medallions wrapped in bacon, beef steak wrapped in bacon (again) and then – a beef rib so large, it was being wheeled around on a trolley. The rib was fabulous, its layers of moist fat interlaced with tender prime rib.
There are three sauces to dab on the meat – a green chimmichurri, molho vinagrete (like a salsa) and farofa, a powder of cassava and bacon that adds a gritty, breadcrumb coating. I think the chimmichurri was so good it was refilled at least three times.
Muscly little chicken hearts!
With a TV showing a titillating, live feed of the barbeque, us gluttons are already anticipating what’s coming out of the kitchen. It’s another round of chicken – chicken parmesan fillets melted in oozy cheese, more-ish chicken wings and for the adventurous, tiny little chicken hearts! I got six of those hearts down before the excellent beef rump cap distracted me.
It went on and on, a never ending carousel of meat. We quickly ticked off the pork belly and pork scotch fillet with gusto. After that, we had more chicken wings, kebab and sausages!
While waiting for the next spit to make an appearance, a plate of deep fried banana pieces appeared on our table. It sounds odds to have banana fritters right in the middle of dinner, however they were a delectable break from the savoury food. For the carb inclined, there were also cheese lasagnes and fries doing the rounds.
Left: Beef scotch fillet (I think). Right: Roasted pineapple.
We found the service to be really accommodating, they even asked what we were waiting for in particular and our very last, sixteenth meat – lamb chop loins – were specially delivered to our table.
One thing definitely worth asking for – and make sure you ask for it because it disappears very, very quickly – is the roasted pineapple. Coated in cinnamon and sugar, it’s roasted until the outside is caramelised and slightly crunchy. Chunks are carved right on the table, exposing its juicy, ripe centre. The smell is irresistible – you must try it.
If you’ve noticed the distinct lack of photos it’s because I was so excited I put down the camera and stuffed my face. All sixteen meats were surprisingly good quality for an all-you-can-eat. There’s also an a la carte menu and feijoada (Brazil’s national dish of stewed black beans, beef and pork) on Sundays.
Book your table, rock up early (this place gets busy and service can drop when it’s full house) and wear your eating pants.
Lapa Brazilian Barbecue
375 Hay St, Subiaco
T: (08) 9381 1323
Open lunch Thu – Sun; dinner 7 days
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