Shanghaiist are unabashed meat-lovers. We are also big fans of all-you-can-eat places, since blogging is, how shall we say, not
a paying gig the most lucrative of professions. So we were delighted to come across a Brazilian churrascaria that doesn’t a) rip a new one for drinks and b) actually has a nice, relaxing ambiance to it.
Samba Brazilian Steakhouse was one of the places in the New Factories that we peeked into on our way to Moon River but never really summoned up the drive to go visit. Unlike the more well-known Brasil Steak House churrascaria chain, Samba is dressed up in comfortable, modern decor. We tend to get stressed out at the other places, which are usually louder and have cramped seating. This place was spacious (heard there was a 2nd floor only after we left) and inviting, big enough for a restaurant full of engorged bellies.
We don’t typically expect the highest and most delectable offerings of meat at churrascaria, so we measure our Brazilian BBQ experience on the frequency of the visits by our servers, the ability of the dishes in the side buffet to offset the meat onslaught, and the overall friendliness of the staff and their ability to facilitate gluttony. Samba had high marks across the board, with the beef rump, skirt steak, and pork ribs particularly juicy and tasty (not so much the strips of fatty lamb and the especially salty sausages). The sides were also quiet decent, with some creamy pasta and salads that took a bit of the edge off the meat fest. And we can’t have a full review without mentioning the flan, which was perfectly composed and delicious (though one of our favorite movie quotes of all time is from William H. Macy in Wag the Dog: “There are two things I know to be true. There’s no difference between good flan and bad flan, and there is no war.” Sorry, had to get that in there, we just watched it.)
If Samba misses anywhere it’s on the drinks, which they know you need after all that salt and for which they do charge a premium: 25 RMB for a can of soda, which is less criminal than restaurant “A” above but still noticeable (beers are in the 40-50 RMB range). Still, with their new pricing (78 RMB, down from 118 RMB when it first opened), Samba is now our destination of choice for our next meaty free-for-all.
Samba Brazilian Steakhouse – 60 Yuyao Lu (in the New Factories), close to Xi Kang Lu (余姚路60 – 同乐坊), Tel: 5213-5335, Lunch: 11:30am-2:30pm Dinner: 5:30 -10:30pm.
Eric Hu is Shanghaiist’s Food Editor. Email tips, recommendations, and news and gossip about Shanghai’s food scene to food at shanghaiist.com.