It’s on the other end of the globe, but Brazil fascinates us to no end. We are sold on their football, the Samba and now, Rio is fast becoming a coveted vacation destination. But ask anyone about Brazilian cuisine, and a blank ‘huh’ is the reply you get.
But we can’t blame them much, can we? No restaurant serves Brazilian food. In the last two years, I can only remember Crowne Plaza Today in Okhla doing a Brazilian food promotion. But there’s solace, the Gurgaon branch of the hotel has a Brazilian restaurant (aptly called Wildfire).
Wildfire exudes a sense of warmth the moment you step in. While it wasn’t exactly choc-a-block when I went, it had a fair share of visitors enjoying the bubbly and the meats.
Cut to the cuisine. It’s meat heavy and red meats, chicken and seafood are very popular. Seafood is generally grilled or baked and meats are grilled and ungarnished and served as à milanesa (fried); à cubana (with fried bananas and pork ends); à francesa (with ham, peas, and matchstick potatoes); à grega (with Greek rice, vegetables and ham); à paulista (with sausage, fried eggs, and kale); à piemontesa (with cheesy rice).
The cuisines of different parts of Brazil are influenced by various countries including Portugal and India. Brazil consumes a whopping 1.5 billion litres (according to 2007 figures) of Chacacha (a type of rum made from fermented sugarcane juice), but Caiprenha (a cocktail made using the Chacacha) is what can be termed as their ‘national drink’.
The menu at Wildfire is vast. But you can choose between a Whisky dinner menu or go for the Nove Increvel (a set of nine different grilled meats and fishes that the chef serves at the table. Pair them with various dips) or the Famous Five (five meats and fishes).
I went for the Nove Increvel which the chef (who is straight from Rio de Janeiro). Chicken, New Zealand lamb leg, Dutch pork sausage, Cochin rock lobster, Dutch pork loin, French duck and salmon were paired with red and white wine. These were grills and therefore healthy, but there was no compromise on the taste and the juiciness. Desserts arrived on a hot stone with chunks of pineapple cut on the. Interesting, we say!
At: Crowne Plaza Today Gurgaon, Sector 29, NH 8
call: 0124 4534000
Meal for Two: Rs 1,950 + taxes
Timings: 7.30-11.30 pm (dinner only)