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Review: Pau Brasil - an experience to remember

An authentic slice of Brazil


When you walk into Pau Brasil you will see brightly painted walls reminiscent of the streets of Brazil - you might forget for almost one second that you are actually on Ibiza. One of the key ideas behind this new restaurant is to show that there is another side to Brazil. How that manifests itself is in a cool lounge-style restaurant with a gaucho style grilled meat churrasco, and one of the biggest and fresh looking buffets we have ever seen. Whilst meat is big, vegetarians would be happy to eat from the buffet. There are fish dishes too, so really, there is something for everyone.

Live music performed by Brazilian musicians that live on the island is a big part of what's on offer, so expect some cool bossa nova and a bit of samba. As the project develops, there are plans to invite bands from Brazil, but for now, you'll still be getting top rate music every night. This place is very big on offering a more authentic side of that country and from what we have seen, the owners have gone all out to make sure that that is what you get.

Cool cachaça cocktails

We went on a Saturday night eager to try out this new restaurant and let you know why you should go. First, the cocktails emerged from the chiringuito style bar and are phenomenal. The dominant spirit used is cachaça, which you will know from the classic caipirinha. You will get variations of that and other cocktail mixes that showcase the spirit. They are all designed by one of Ibiza's best mixologists and it shows. Whilst they are almost too pretty to drink, we made the exception and all agreed that these were some very cool cocktails.

Churrasco is very popular in Brazil. Essentially this consists of different cuts of meat or sausages cooked on skewers and all is high quality and as full of flavour as possible. A churrasco grill is all about the meat, so it needs to be good and here without question is some of the tastiest meat you will find on the island.

Buffet bonanza

Your meal is a one off cost that gives you the buffet and the meat. The former is all about salads, grilled vegetables of all mixes and varieties, with things like fresh asparagus, mixed grilled peppers, egg and potato salad and a Lebanese salad with grains and much much more – we'd almost need to do another review to write about each dish here. There are also cold cuts like Iberico hams and cured sausages and a big wheel of parmesan to dig into.

When you start to see the meat coming out, it's like a bit of live theatre. Smiling and very friendly waiters come around the tables offering different large skewers of meat, of which there are 12 different cuts and varieties. It's very tempting to keep on saying yes, but here's the thing – you don't have to. You can request a pause and then carry on when you want. This means you might just get to sample all of them – my rookie mistake was having eyes bigger than my belly and tucking in fast. I'll learn.

Meat feast

Of the meats, you'll get the very traditional picanha as well as other cuts of beef, some more finely sliced, some in bigger pieces. All are delicious there's so much flavouring everything that you really will wonder why you haven't been to a place like this before. We had some of the most amazing pork sausages with a really gamey flavour that just begged to be eaten. Then some skewered chicken came along and although we were starting to feel full, these were worth it: we had tender pieces of chicken slowly cooked to retain its juiciness and show off just how good it can be. Salt is added and that's about it. Brazil is not a country of salsas as they prefer to let the meat speak for itself – it does.

We left late, the air still balmy with a feeling that we had just literally stepped out of Brazil. Pau Brasil is an experience as well as a restaurant and if you want a relaxed atmosphere enlivened with live performance and terrific food, this is the place to be.

Quick Facts

What? Pau Brasil

Where? Carretera de Santa Gertrudis

When? Every day from 7.30pm to 3am

Why? It's a unique experience on the island and you'll taste some of the most succulent grilled meats around

Average spend per head? €39 for the buffet, grilled meats and a drink (€20 for children under 13, kids under 7 free)

Veggie Options? The buffet has oodles of vegetarian options

Disabled Facilities? Yes

Top tips? Take your time and don't let your eyes rule your stomach – even though it's hard not to

Room for Improvement? An important improvement already is the introduction of a traffic light system on the tables so you can let the waiters know easily if you need to pass on the meat for a moment

WORDS | Julian Heathcote PHOTOGRAPHY | Peter Young

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