Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Guest Blog from the Hubby - Munchies

Ok so to begin with I think it’s only polite to introduce myself… Hello I am afore mentioned hubby!!! Ok introduction over.

Monica has allowed me to do a blog on restaurants. Food by the way is my thing. I laaark the foody!!! I’m pretty open to try most foods and enjoy the whole eating experience not just the putting in my face bit. Leeds is one of the best places to sample the foody stuff. It’s a mixture of city slick restaurants, expensive highbrow foodies and one off amazing gems tucked away where you go only if you’re a man in the know ooooh yeh.

My first review then, I’ve decided is going to be on Fazenda.  It’s one of the most famous buffet restaurants of its kind in the UK due to its “unique dining experience” (yeh I know I’ll get onto that later)

The name I hear you say… yes let’s begin with that! WTF? They’ve named a meat selling buffet restaurant after a coffee farm that was notorious for spreading slavery in the 1800… good one! Plus I find it impossible to say it without sounding like I’ve just sneezed! The logo looks like a fat unicorn sat on a bunch of letters and its plain boring look is in stark contrast to the “uniqueness” they are trying to convey.

Next the website, it’s black, white, grey yaaaaaaaaawn… Sorry! Fell asleep - this website is so boring!!! It’s more like an obituary than a website promoting a “unique” restaurant. You have to go to the gallery section before you see a single picture of the restaurant or the food or anything other than grey fields… nice!!!

Location - This is something I actually like. As Monica would say eeeeeeermerrrrrrgeeerd!!! It’s located in the granary wharf area of Leeds city centre. A great location close to doubletree restaurant and hotel by Hilton, a short swagger away from Leeds buzzing bars and clubs, and a strut away from Leeds train station and all other major transport links in and around Leeds. Overlooking the canal, tall skyscraper apartments and offices, you’re met by a large clean glass fronted building with flames either side of the entrance greeting you with all the pomp and occasion you would expect from this famous restaurant. That’s when the nice stuff ends! A spotty teenager stands with a black pinny and what looks like a school scrap book leafing through the pages trying to find your booking…

"It's spelt T-H-A-L-U-K-D-H-E-R!” By the time he’s found it I’m already feeling like roasting him on the flames outside!!! Crispy!!! Then the interior… oooooh dear!!! There’s a fine line between rustic charm and stuffy and dilapidated. Let me give you an example… Werthers Original… WINNING!!! My old sock… BADTIMES!!! You catch my monkey? There’s wood everywhere… I mean everywhere!!! I wouldn’t be surprised if they had squirrels chilling in the lampshades, which might I add where the size of massive wind tunnels. Poor Monica looked like a Mini me next to those things about to get sucked into some kind of trekky vortex.  Thankfully, she didn’t and we managed to get through the night.  The service… horrific!!! I called a week in advanced and advised them I will be ordering from the halal menu which they advise on their website they cater fully for. Yet the first thing to arrive on our table… roast chips in pork batter oil!!! Good start!!! After pointing this out they removed it but amazingly we was still billed for it… I just read that bit to Monica and she simply said… DICKHEADS!!! This is why I love her so much!!!  

So , the unique dining experience what exactly is it… basically you’re given a tab to put on your table. One side green and the other is red. Leave it green side up “Gaucho” chefs come to your table with skewers of meat and ask you if you want it, red side up and they walk past and leave you alone.  Here’s my problem. Gaucho is also translated as a person with ill manners and is uncouth.  Oh does it show. Chefs are chefs for a reason don’t bring them front of house!!! They have the people skills of a cactus in a bubble wrap party!!! They constantly stomp round the restaurant with skewers of meat and a huge carving knife staring down at the tab on your table like some kind of trippy scene from saw.  As soon as they see green they pounce. Carving knife in hand glaring down at you with their meat cleavers… You want??? Yes! Yes! Ok, just leave us alone!!! After hacking away at the meat and shoving it on your plate with all the grace and elegance on Monica sleeping (it’s so funny she has her mouth wide open and dribbles hahahaaa)  they stomp away one after another in a pointless circle finding their next victim.  The side waiters were just as irritating.  I lost count how many times they approached our table and asked if we were ready for the bill!!! Rushed is not the word!!! After spending a three figure sum at this restaurant I will leave when I’m good and ready!!! And for that price I’m taking something with me… (Monica just interrupted me to say "hey look she has fat eye lids” - she’s watching a programme about obese people!!!).

So the food - It’s ok!!! Best way to describe it. Ok. I liked it. It was… ready I’m going to say it…Nice!!! The meat tasted of… meat! No real flavour or anything it was just grilled or flame grilled, or roasted, but in essence just meat made hot in different ways!!! The salad bar… was amazing. Yes I really did just say that.  It wasn’t just a bit of complimentary green stuff on a plate but a whole array of different tastes, flavours, colours and ingredients.  I personally recommend the chick pea, really light and fresh taste and a really good starter, light and not too filling.
The drinks menu - really good! If you like your wines they have an extensive collection to match every pallet and the non-alcoholic drinks are just as good, something for everyone. 
In conclusion then - 6/10.
Overpriced, over hyped, food is average, at best good.  Service was horrific on every level! Restaurant was exceptional. Fantastic location, excellent layout, but the d├ęcor really lets it all down.  Salad bar is worth every penny and the drinks menu really is amazing.  The main menu is unimaginative and boring but I guess it reflects the rest of the restaurant!!! Pricing… yeh bring our wallet to this place.  It’s just a shame the price doesn’t match the food or service.  My advice avoid like the plague.  If it’s amazing meat feast you’re after and you’re looking for something a bit more upmarket than your local Frankie and Bennys, try Reds Bar or the Cattle Grid near the corn exchange in Leeds city centre. Ok all you fazenda snobs come at me yeh… lol
The Hubby

So that was my hubby’s guest blog. FYI I do not sleep in a remotely inelegant way, I look like a freaking swan. V.proud!

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