Monday, January 14, 2008

foodblog: recent trip to Brasilia

Here's a quick series of photos from a recent trip to Brasilia, a chain restaurant in (and around?) Seoul that offers the ravenous carnivore unlimited steak and salad for W25,000 per person, not including the price of drinks.

I had originally thought that Brasilia was a buffet resto. Not so. The customer sits at table and the food is simply brought to him at more or less regular intervals. I got pretty much the same cut of steak almost every time. The steaks were good, to be sure, but I somehow had it in my head that Brasilia was going to be a Brazilian-themed version of Carne Station-- which, when all is said and done, I prefer to Brasilia. But Brasilia's price is still hard to beat, especially considering how expensive beef can be in South Korea.

I ended up eating six steaks; I photographed only four of them. Service was friendly; most of the staffers are Korean, but the foreign guy serving me my steaks (a Brazilian?) also spoke Korean.

Before the first steak arrives, you get the table setting, which includes a mess of vegetables in various forms-- a slaw-style salad, a bowl of chunky-style salsa ingredients (chopped onions, tomatoes, peppers, etc.), a bowl of rice mixed with vegetables, a bowl of chopped cucumbers, and another bowl filled with Korean-style potato salad. Along with this, you get a bowl of red sauce, which is only mildly spicy, but quite good on the steak.

The steaks arrived in a well-timed manner, usually as I was just finishing up the previous steak. In case you're wondering how I managed to wolf down six of these bad boys, keep in mind that each steak isn't very big.



Meatocardial infarction.

Upon exiting the resto, which sits underground, I snapped a few exterior shots:

Was it worth the trip? I suppose so. The quality of steak is quite good though not stellar; the quantity, however, leaves you with nothing to complain about. Unlike Carne Station, there's no time limit to your meal; you simply have to finish before closing time. Two problems for me were that (1) I'm not really much of a steak man (said he after eating six slabs of meat), and (2) it would have been nice to have some variety. But neither of these problems is really an indictment of Brasilia; if you're into steak and you've been looking for a place that offers a lot of red meat for a very reasonable price (by Korean standards, anyway), Brasilia's the place to go. Otherwise, if you're like me and you prefer a wide selection of meats to grill, Carne Station is by far the better bet.




ZenKimchi said...

We have a great mom and pop Brazilian place in Anyang that serves a good variety of meats, depending on the price you pay, including lamb.

Oh, and when I lived next door to a Brazilian family in Atlanta, I learned that they call the salsa stuff "vinaigrette."

Anonymous said...

Ah, so Brasilia isn't actually a Brazilian meat buffet! That is an important thing to know. Hyunjin and I went to Ceia last year, which you might enjoy more--it's a more traditional Brazilian-style barbecue buffet, where the "meat boys" bring skewers of various meats to your table and slice off portions for you. There were ten skewers total at Ceia (although they weren't all beef--there was chicken, sausage, and roasted pineapple with cinnamon that was very good).

Another thing I wanted to tell you is that there was no time limit when we went to Carne Station. We arrived at five (I was a bit late) and left at 10:30 when they closed. That being said, we didn't eat all that much meat and spent the last few hours drinking beer and whiskey. To be honest, I wasn't really that impressed with the meat at Carne Station. The cuts weren't that great, and a lot of the steak was cut wrong (with the grain rather than across it) and too tough. It wasn't bad, but it wasn't great. Ceia was definitely much better quality meat.

Maybe we should organize a field trip to Ceia at some point? Just grab a whole bunch of people and get together for some meat--maybe this can be a farewell to the Big Hominid, one last bash before you walk across the States.

Kevin Kim said...

"Meat boys." Kinky.

Ceia sounds as though it might be a worth a try. All these meat buffets must be, in the aggregate, something of a dirty little secret here on the peninsula: everyone (myself included) is generally convinced that cheap meat just can't be found.


Manuel Lara said...

CEIA closed and will reopen somewhere near Gangnam station in about a month, but it was my favorite place when I did my brazillian buffet reviews in Seoul. Note: the brasilia you visited seemed to have lower quality meats by the pics. Go to the one in Gangnam near Kyobo tower and I'm sure you'll be more impressed with the quality, and the three steaks they offer have three distinctly different charachteristics.
for anyone wanting more tips see:

Carol Nina said...

Que saudades de CHURRASCO!!!
Does anybody know where I can have Churrasco in Busan?