At Karon Beach Square, at the beach side entrance of Mövenpick Karon
Open time: Daily 6pm-11pm
Resevation: Tel: 0 7639 6139www.movenpick.com
Choose from one of Phuket’s best selections of prime Australian steaks, grilled meats and seafood – or enjoy authentic Brazilian Churrasco.
Well, this was my first experience of Brazilian Churrasco style cooking – and I wasn’t disappointed. When they say “off the sword” they really mean a sword. I was expecting a skewer but no! As far as I could see, they were serving the meat off a real double-edged, stainless steel sword. And talk about tantalizing and fresh: the complimentary salad bar had plentiful selection of salads and sauces, all set on a bed of banana leaves sitting on ice with a set of fans blowing across the buffet to keep everything crisp and fresh.
Rather than go à la carte, we chose the Churrasco option for the experience, even though what the à la carte menu offered was really appealing. It was great – no big decisions to make! All we had to do was decide which meats too accept from the sword and whether to go for more helpings.
Succulent tenderloin had to be the pick of the night and it ended up doing an encore performance as we liked it so much. The other meats we tried were crocodile, chicken, rib-eye, T-bone, pork fillet and pork spare ribs, the latter demanding that dining etiquette to be tossed out the window to enjoy them properly.
Sauces were Brazilian pepper, mushroom and bitter Chimichurri sauce, which is originally an Argentinian concoction.
We opted for wine by the glass for the flexibility, choosing a Venezuelan red and a Chilean white to stay in the South American theme.
To accompany our meal, we had cuts of wonderfully fresh bread and bread sticks with a variety of dipping sauces and spreads, including herb and garlic butter. The sword was wielded over our table a number of times until we raised the white ‘surrender’ flag – we could take no more!
Well not quite… we did leave room for desert and coffees. I tried the Movenpick ice-cream varieties Expresso Croquant and Passion Fruit Mango. My partner went for the Movenpick Double Cream Meringues. After topping that off with a hot Latte coffee and a Tres Magueyes Kahlua coffee we were a totally contented pair of diners.
Dimmed lights softened the atmosphere, and light background music combinations that I had not heard for years, such as the German pioneer electronic band ‘Kraftwork’ from the 70s with some of their famous songs including ‘The Model’ and ‘Robots’, added to the experience.
The décor is dark wood with red upholstery along with big wooden wine crates as a feature mid restaurant. Large blackboards on one wall entertain with some interesting quotes, such as “Give me a coffee to change the things I can and wine to accept the things I cannot” and “I drink coffee because I need it and wine because I deserve it.”
It’s amazing how El Gaucho has struck yet another note in Phuket dining experience. El Gaucho ticked all my boxes – cuisine, ambiance, service, difference. Highly recommended!