Having recently visited Viva Brasil for lunch my first impression was pleasant enough surroundings but why we were we waiting at the bar for a seat when there were clearly empty, non reserved tables available.
Eventually seated and asked if we knew how the concept works, we've been to Texas de Brazil in US (by far superior - the Americans know how to do it), so knew how it worked and helped ourselves to the buffet. The meat on offer was nice but sometimes a bit too much fat and very well seasoned to the point of being slightly too salty at times. You'll notice there is no salt or pepper on the tables - it's not needed here.
I must mention that in the window of the restaurant it gives a synopisis of what to expect for the price and this specifically specifies garlic mash, bananas and bread served to your table but this didn't happen or look as if it ever happened as these were sort of provided at the salad bar. I say sort of as the mash wasn't garlic and the beautiful brasilian cheese bread was hard as a rock small cheese bread balls (only way i can describe them).
The service was appalling except for the waiters with the meat who tried to make sure everyone had some if their card was green. As for the waitresses, I had to follow one round the restaurant in order to catch her atention to order desparately needed drinks, due to the over seasoned meats, and a dessert (choice of 4 only). The only fish/seafood offering was at the buffet and was smoked fish in a cream sauce. It was nice but again as it was smoked, more salty food. Do they do this to encourage more spending on drinks I wonder?
Again, attempts to catch the attention of a waitress for the bill was impossible and we ended up going to pay directly at the till.
I did enjoy my meal here but they have a long way to go to be able to match even in a small way the original concept and the customer service training needs of the staff are very apparent. Would I go back, probably not as there are other restaurants with the same concept around the area so would likely try one of them first.
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