Vegetarians should avert their eyes when passing this new Brazilian steakhouse lest they glimpse the meat fest in this large, attractive restaurant – more continental brasserie in character, in fact, than South American churrascaria. Viva Brazil offers the rodizio style of service whereby neckerchiefed waiters appear tableside – sometimes as if by magic – with skewers laden with 15 meat cuts from the huge open grill at the back of the restaurant. Meats, ranging from bacon-wrapped chicken and lamb to parmesan pork and various beef cuts, are the main event and are generally good, some more impressive than others, and they won’t stop coming until you flip your disc to red – leave it green and you'll be hounded till bursting. The varying quality seems as much to do with the slow turnover due to just-opened numbers dining as inconsistent grill work, with a few meats seemingly past their optimum delivery window. An all-in price gives the ‘full rodizio’ including a help-yourself 'salad island' offering hot and cold dishes, such as the salty whack of the Brazilian national dish feijoada, an unsuccessful fish stew and various salads somewhat suffering the buffet blues. It’s a fun – if filling – experience, particularly after a couple of excellent caipirinhas, though likely to appeal most to large groups and parties – helped by the open bar area and generous booths. Nearby competition in the rodizio arena should see Viva Brazil steadily improve, especially as diner numbers increase.
The famed Brazilian rodizio encourages jovial chat since diners are continually interacting with waiters, so expect a bit of buzz at this busy city centre outlet. The room is spacious with tall walls and wooden floors loaded with a myriad of tables spreading out to the distance. After filling up on beetroot, olives, new potatoes and more from the salad bar a waiter appears at your table every few minutes with a new sample of meat fresh from the barbecue. Pork ribs, gammon, leg of lamb and chicken hearts are all represented. As is picanha com alho – a garlicky cap of rump with smoky skin – and peseco de porco, a crispy-skinned pork joint with moist centre encrusted with salty parmesan cheese. The small Brazilian sausages are noteworthy, too. Full set-price dinner costs just £24.95, which includes unlimited meat selection (there’s 17 choices on offer) and as many visits to the salad island as you like. Waiting staff are pleasant and efficient, and a large bar caters to the undiminished Glaswegian affection for cocktails.
- High point: Fun and filling
- Low point: Salads are a bit limp
- Notable dish: Brazilian sausage
- Private dining: Up to 50 covers
- Provides: Vegetarian options (at least ¼ main courses), Halal options, Children's portions, Children's high chairs, Wheelchair access, Free wi-fi
- Music on stereo: Brazilian pop
- Live entertainment: Singers every Friday
- Capacity: 250
- Largest group: 250
- Open since: 2011
- Number of wines sold by the glass: 19
- House wine: £15.95 per bottle