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Stick to the meats

Pamela Cortez

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Chateaubriand has been open for a few months now, and the reviews have been pretty mixed. Others say the meat is delicious, and the price worth it. But the rest are on the opposite side of the spectrum, claiming that the fare they offer is less than stellar.

I had to see it for myself just because the whole concept is mind-boggling. It’s a mammoth restaurant–three floors with a huge outdoor patio that makes it look like it’s closer to Pool Club than a steakhouse.

While it touts itself as high-end, the decor is a little questionable, and seems sort-of-gaudy, hiding behind plush velvet chairs with giant diamantes in its tufts. It all feels weird, like you’re dining in a knock-off of a fine dining establishment, in someone’s impression of an expensive restaurant rather than actually being in one.

The size of the place is certainly impressive, but one can’t help but wonder how they might actually sustain the huge business.

If you’re not familiar with churrasco, the attentive servers at Chateaubriand will brief you on the breadth of their concept. It’s a Brazilian-style steakhouse that serves unlimited premium meats, that are carved tableside.

Fill yourself up and get your money’s worth with their churrasco.

Weekday lunches here are supposedly a steal then, at P900 per head, while the prices can go up to P1,950 for a weekend dinner.

When you’re at your table, you’re presented with a little badge that is green on one side, and red on the other, efficiently indicating whether you’d like to be served more grub or not. It also comes with an unlimited buffet of sorts, which is mostly random, hobbled-together sides.

Premium meats carved at tableside.

There were soups that didn’t feel particularly luxurious, a salad bar with ordinary ingredients, and appetizers and desserts that were passable, if not odd. Nothing was particularly good or memorable, which set a precedent that dinner was bound to be weird.

I’d totally skip the buffet, and concentrate on the meats. Maybe get some greens to balance things out, but don’t waste your time on the questionable poached seafood.

Fill yourself up and get your money’s worth with their churrasco, which made the price worth it. Everything was cooked perfectly, always medium rare, with charred options also available.
I’d skip the pork, which was dry and tasteless, but every cut of beef was excellent. Lamb was on the right side of gamey, and seriously tender. The chateaubriand was rosy, and so, so soft, it seemed impossible.

EVEN if churassco runs out easily at Chateaubriand, guests can still choose between plenty of garlic steak, sirloin and other cuts.

The best was their signature picanha, a cut for which Brazilian churrasco is known. It’s basically the rump cap, but it’s cooked in such a way that the fat flavors even the center of the piece.

This ran out easily, but it didn’t matter because there was plenty of garlic steak, sirloin and other cuts still left. If you’re a fan of pineapple like I am, they also have some on the spit, and the fruit gets caramelized at the edges, and is pretty fantastic.

Yes, Chateaubriand is a weird place. I don’t know what it’s trying to be. I don’t know what chefs they have there, or who owns it. I don’t even know if the quality of the beef I’m eating is as great as they tell me. But does that matter when you’re just looking for great steak at a price that is far from the steakhouses in Manila, with plates that are upwards of P1,500 and can barely feed two? No. Just forget everything else and stick to the meat.

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