Taking a stroll along the High Street of Melrose Arch, one has a number of options to choose from when selecting a venue to enjoy a warm drink of choice with a light meal. As one approaches the intersection marked by the world-renowned Starbucks coffee shop, and looks just opposite the street, they are greeted by the outside café seating area of, Café Rio, rubbing shoulders with the iconic French bakery, Paul...
It seems like the typical coffee shop with a delicious selection of baked treats to entice the casual passer-by at a cake counter near the storefront. This quaint space is deceptive, at first glance, when the façade that forms the back wall of Café Rio is closed for the morning breakfast trade.
However, if you are curious enough to venture inside and step beyond the façade made up of fabric-covered sliding doors or better yet, slide them back completely, you’d be greeted with a beautiful burst of the tropical-inspired colours of the Amazon rainforest as you enter Rodizio Brazilian Grill and Tapas restaurant. These are two distinct sections of the same premises and can also melt seamlessly into each other to form an open area which is decorated with cleanly finished wooden tables and chairs. When commenting on the décor, José Da Costa, one of the partners of the new Brazilian café and restaurant, shared, “This space has very little exposure to natural light and when we first visited the property, the stark darkness made an impression on us. It was during the day and yet it seemed like evening. Our vision was to transform the space into something that represented who we are and creates an atmosphere that was fun, friendly, inviting and a real pleasure to be in. We decided to use bright and funky colours on the walls and on the furniture and then to complement them with additional lighting and lighting effects. We are happy with the result so far and are looking forward to welcoming our guests to our new venue.”
Although the Brazilian-themed restaurant is new to the Melrose Precinct, the Rodizio concept has been successfully implemented since 1996 by a strong partnership forged on the basis of family bonds and good friendships. The outfit has also won numerous awards over the years, such as the Leisure Options Best Dinner-Dinner Venue for a number of consecutive years. Over the 12 years that Rodizio Fourways operated in their location, on the corner of the William Nicol Drive and Lonehill Boulevard, it had become a landmark in the Fourways area as a destination for great food and a lively weekend atmosphere conducive to celebrations of all kinds. Sadly, it closed its doors at the end of April 2019 as the lease on the property had come to end and two of the founding partners, brothers, José and Tony da Costa, felt like it was time for a new adventure. They teamed up with successful property entrepreneur, Tony Raciti, to form the exciting new South American- influenced Café Rio and Rodizio Brazilian Grill and Tapas restaurant, replacing Roast Café and The Comedy Club at 10a High Street in Melrose Arch.
“A warm friendly, family culture that is respectful and creative and makes guests feel at home and welcome as they share their love for providing great tasting meals, interactive service, and a good vibe”
The café idea is a new addition to the previous Rodizio concept. The café will continue in the footsteps of the successful actions of Roast Café by offering a delicious selection of coffees, teas and smoothies as drinks and serving a variety of hearty breakfast dishes – both as sit down meals, in-store and as takeaways for those who prefer to have their most important meal of the day on the go. The selection of cakes made with care and love for the indulgent is a must try, while the traditional pasteis de nata (Portuguese custard cakes) are not as sweet, but just as enjoyable.
The restaurant will offer an appetizing and varied lunch and dinner menu which will include a range of tapas that have a spicy carnival flair; as well as burgers and traditional prego rolls and vegetarian dishes. All meals will be prepared fresh daily, directly on the premises with respect to the customers’ preferences and at an excellent price.
The signature dish of Rodizio is, of course, the Meat Rodizio, which is a meat connoisseurs dream come true. One has the opportunity to feast on as much meat as they like. There are various cuts of slow roasted prime beef, tender chicken, succulent pork and sensational lamb chops. The selections of flame-grilled meats are served on large skewers which are brought to the plate of each guest (who opts to order the Meat Rodizio), in a rotisserie fashion by trained gauchos (carvers) from the Rodizio grill (rotisserie machine).
Guests are welcome to visit or make a booking to celebrate their next corporate function or birthday party on any Friday or Saturday evening from the 5th of July onwards, where they would be able to experience the melodic beats from the resident live band. The incredibly talented two-man band play a variety of favourites from Latino music to popular hits that typically stir the soul and get feet tapping to the rhythmic harmony of their music. For those who had grown accustomed to being able to strut their stuff on the Rodizio dance floor, that opportunity still exists with a cozy dance floor provided in the new venue.
When a more mellow dining experience is desired that will keep you feasting, dropping in on a Sunday afternoon between 12:00 and 16:00 for the delectable Sunday buffet would be a great idea. Guests would be able to help themselves to the first part of the buffet which is the starter portion of the buffet. It consists of a variety of mouth-watering dishes such as deep fried banana – a Brazilian favourite; traditional creamy chicken trinchado; grilled prawns topped with a tasty carioca, beer, butter and bay leaf, sauce; an oxtail potjie, vegetarian curry and a selection of salad ingredients for one to create their own salad with. For the main course of the buffet enjoy the Meat Rodizio and bask in the flavourful cuts of meat and complimentary seasonal vegetable that forms the signature dish.
On any day of the week, there is a selection of desserts on the creatively displayed dessert tray. One can view them all and make their selection. There is no shortage of sweet treats either, as tasty cakes and churros – a tasty Spanish snack made of fried dough and dusted with sugar and cinnamon – are readily available and as tempting as ever served from the café.
In your comments, please refrain from using offensive language and unnecessary criticism. If you have to be critical, remember – it must be constructive.