Brasilia Is Meaty, Hearty, Heavy - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Brasilia Is Meaty, Hearty, Heavy

Brasilia Is Meaty, Hearty, Heavy

Published May 21, 2010

If you’ve walked past Brasilia (Skólavörðustíg 14) then you know it’s not shy about its ethnicity. Proudly engulfed inside and out in the green and yellow of Brazil’s flag, the place is screaming “I’M A BRAZILIAN RESTAURANT, GODDAMNIT!” And a huge Brazilian restaurant at that. The place is sprawling, so it’s a real shame that the tables were largely vacant when my date and I went for a bite of lunch.
That sentiment persisted upon ordering the mixed croquette’s (1200 ISK) to start with and were presented with an assortment of breaded and fried nibblies that would be perfect to share over a few beers in a more well attended bar. Included in the mix were a chilli and cheese blend, breaded and fried; shredded chicken, corn and spices, breaded and fried; spiced beef in a lighter baked envelope that reminded my date of her mama’s home cookin’; and segments of hot-dog in a fried batter that immediately made my date and I exclaim “Pogo’s!” (that’s brand-whore for ‘corn dogs’). The shredded chicken was our favourite, though all together it was just too much fried bar food with which to start a meal; perhaps if it was shared among a larger group the story would be different.
Moving on to the main courses, I initially chose a fish dish but was informed upon ordering that the fish is delivered fresh every afternoon, so I would have to return during the dinner hours for my first choice. On the recommendation of the waitress I settled on the chicken and rice (1890 ISK). My date was helplessly drawn to a mysterious dish called Meat House (1870 ISK). I don’t blame her. Really, how could anybody of sane mind turn down the promise of a house of meat?
Well, the meat house was a bit of a dud. After such a heavy starter it turns out that a layer of spiced oxtail topped with a hefty portion of melted mozzarella is a bad idea. Starters aside the dish was just slightly off. Sure it tasted like cheese and meat, but there was nothing really marrying those two components into a cohesive dish. The meat house was sided with a nice fresh salad, though, and the parsley dressing drizzled on it was a hit.
My chicken and rice was more of a success than my date’s meal. The chicken pieces were very tender and flavourful, as was the rice upon which it sat. Strewn with soft strips of bell pepper and other veggies, it really was a nice and filling meal. Strangely the food on one side of my plate contained more spices and juices from cooking than the other half and was, therefore, better than the minimally seasoned portion. Points off for lop-sidedness.
Still, it was all nice enough. The entire dining experience could benefit from the infusion of some more customers; eating alone in such a large space is lonely however friendly and hospitable the wait-staff. Being able to order my first choice of dishes would have been nice too, and I’m not sure why fish can’t be delivered before lunch.  

  • Brasilia Skólavörðustígur 14
  • What we think: Mixed bag.
  • Flavour: BRAZIL!
  • Ambiance: Casual, clean
  • Service: Super friendly and hospitable
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