Friday, April 20, 2012

Hunger No More @ Chimmichurri Bar & Grill

During Easter, I had the pleasure of travelling to Hokkaido with Mr M’s family. Unexpectedly, it is still snowing in April and it's not hard to guess what we ended up doing on our trip… eating, eating and more eating! Japan is a heaven for foodies and Hokkaido a heaven for seafood and dessert lovers. The wonderland boost of amazing ocean produce and dairy products. Pretty much every day, we woke up to breakfast buffet, assorts of Japanese snacks, Japanese set lunch or hot pot, extra milky soft serve ice cream, Hokkaido crab buffet dinners, and supper before going to bed. 

Crabs, crabs, crabs! Buffet dinner in Hokkaido every night :P

Massive scallops grilled to order

A range of incredibly addictive snacks from Hokkaido :)

After five days of overdosing on extremely good food, Mr M has been put on a diet executed by his brother, the talented chef and our new nutritionist Mr J. The diet consists of mostly lean meat, vegetables, nuts, multi-vitamins and fish oil. To make it sustainable, Mr M gets two cheat meals a week where he could eat anything he wants. And tonight is definitely a cheat meal well accomplished!

Chimmichurri Bar & Grill opened its door at the beginning of this year and already it has gained popularity with its impressive range of meat and seafood offerings and its vibrate atmosphere. It normally has two seatings per evening, but thanks to the horrific weather conditions, we get to stay as long as we want tonight.

The restaurant has ample seatings. To get to our table, we passed an open kitchen with displays of skewers and flames leaping out of the traditional Brazilian grill. A welcoming Kiwi waiting staff took care of our drink orders. Miss J felt adventurous and ordered a lychee cocktail. To our surprise, a bartender came along with a cocktail trolley, filled with fresh seasonal fruits, liquors and drinks, and prepared the cocktail right in front of us. Miss J confirmed her lychee cocktail is deliciously sweet.

Chimmichurri's unique cocktail trolley

We are then given a menu almost the size of Brazil. It’s definitely not an easy task choosing what to order here because there are too many tempting options – assorts of seafood including baked fish, prawns, calamari, octopus, an asado grill section just for ribs, steaks, chicken,  charrasco (or grilled meats) and there are burgers too! 

The extensive menu almost the size of Brazil

Our friendly Kiwi waiter suggested that we try their salt & pepper prawns, which are lightly battered with cornflour, fried, and seasoned with salt & pepper, coriander, garlic, chilli & lime. We’re delighted we followed his recommendation and got two generous 500g servings of these delectable prawns. They are just so juicy with a crunchy exterior and perfectly seasoned we all adored these prawns.

L Loves... Cabana Prawns 500g
Salt & pepper prawns w coriander, garlic, chilli & lime

L Loves... Cabana Prawn - even the tail is crisp and edible

Mr M ordered the $45 churrasco, and said he will help me out with my 1000g beef ribs. A waiter came with chimmi’s sauces & sides and a large empty plate for Mr M. Two more waiters with metal skewers of moist meat followed him and offered Mr M carvings of beef and pork. Mr M got a few slices of each and we joked that’s all he’s getting tonight. Little did we know it is an all you can eat option for Mr M and he can eat as much as he likes of the 24 different skewers going around. Mr M is treated like a King, with waiters continuously coming to him offering perfectly grilled beef, lamb, pork, chicken, seafood, mozzarella cheese, chorizo and the list goes on. This made Mr M burst into a loud deep laughter from the bottom of his belly :P

Chimmi's sauces & sides for the Churrasco

Churasco – all sorts of meat & seafood on a skewer
and carved at the table until you can’t eat any more

Mr M's Favourite... Churasco - the food just keeps coming!!

My 1000g beef ribs arrived on wooden boards, glorious glazed with sweet and sticky BBQ sauce on top of crunchy chips. There is so much meat on the bones it seemed to be larger than the 1.5kg ribs served at other restaurants. The beef ribs are tasty, and where the meats are lean they are delicious. However I came across some really fatty parts, which when combined with the sticky BBQ sauce is a bit of an overload. 

Ribs 1000 Americana 
1000g Succulent beef ribs basted in bbq sauce served w chips

Mr T confirmed the ribs & chicken combo is also a beauty, with the chicken being impeccably moist.

Machu Picchu Chicken & BBQ Ribs Americana

The burger Mr J ordered is the smallest burger they have on offer. Is it really small? No, it’s not small, it’s not big… it’s humungous! And with that being the modest 250g burger, I dare not imagine how the 750g triple decker burger will look like! Although size matters, this burger is not the best Mr J has encountered.

Burger 250
Toasted Bun w 250g pattie of grain fed angus beef, lettuce,
tomato, melted cheese, pickles, caramelised onion & bbq sauce

After a lengthy wait, we are convinced they have forgotten about Ms C scotch fillet. But when it arrived Miss C proclaimed it's worth the wait. The steak, again like everything else in Chimmichurri, is gigantic, and is cooked brilliantly. The caramelised onion wrapped in foil paper is cooked right through releasing every bit of sweetness from the onion. Although Ms C is normally a lover of potato chips, tonight her chips remained untouched as she struggled to finish her steak. 

Scotch Fillet
350g grass fed angus beef steak, served w caramelised onion & chips

Tonight's dinner is a satisfying feast, with Mr M declaring for the first time that he had been defeated by meat. Luckily for us the waiter had forgotten about the Caesar salad he ordered. Mr M joked that he would pay for it just as long as it doesn’t appear on the table. Our Kiwi waiter plus a few others frequently came to check up on how we’re going. All of them are pleasantly hospitable which added to the overall experience.

L's Verdict:

·     Taste: 7/10
·     Ambience: 3/5 (although the fit out is trendy and there is plenty of room, it is a bit too dark for my liking - I want to see what I'm eating please!)
·     Value: 4.5/5 (extremely good value for the portion size)
·     Service: 4.5/5 (our Kiwi waiting staff served us in such a delightful manner you almost mistaken him as a friend rather than a waiter)
·     Creativity and other WOW factors: 3/5 

Overall rating: 22/30

Chimmichurri Bar & Grill
23 Ward Avenue (Cnr. Kings Cross Road)
Darlinghurst, Sydney, NSW 2010
Ph: (02) 9331 1992
Mon to Sun: 6pm – late

Visited April 2012

Friendly advice: This is a fantastic place for groups to relax and enjoy a terrific evening of meat, Brazilian style. We suspect some sort of Brazilian scale is used to weigh the food here - all the dishes came out to be a lot bigger than we expected. I know everything on the menu looks enticing, but try not to get too excited and over-order. A good strategy would be to have everyone in the group order different items from the menu and share the love around :P

Chimmichurri Bar & Grill on Urbanspoon

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