Navala Churrascaria is Brisbane city’s go-to for authentic Brazilian BBQ, located in a bright, colourful and breezy prime waterfront spot at Brisbane’s Riverside Centre.
The massive indoor space with outdoor terrace seats up to 300 people but there’s nothing en masse about the delicious food or the attentive service from the mostly Brazilian staff.
The main attraction at Navala (which means ‘trench’ and signifies the way meat was cooked before evolving into the legendary BBQ method) is the Churrasco – a traditional BBQ degustation buffet, which, unlike Western buffets, comes to customers via a constant loop of waiters bearing skewers and platters of succulent meat (& some seafood) in all forms.
For the one price, diners can take or pass by whatever comes their way from the copious selection, which gets its distinctive flavour from the rock salt that is rubbed in before the slow cooking process.
From the rotisserie skewers (carved at the table) come 3 types of beef including popular Picanha (grain fed rump), Codeiro (lamb leg or rump) Porco (ribs or leg), Chicken thigh, drumette or heart, or Linguica, (traditional Brazilian sausage) as well as Peixe (coconut fish), garlic bread or haloumi.
From the charcoal and wood ground fire pit come 3 or 4 cuts per day, chosen from divine aged Rib or Sirloin on the Bone, Whole Brisket, Lamb Leg or Short Ribs and Whole Suckling Pig, Pork Belly or Leg on the Bone.
As accompaniments on the table, diners can select as many as they like from traditional Sides and Condiments such as Chimmi Churri, Potato Salad, Coconut Rice, Carioca Beans, Malagueta and House Made Chipotle BBQ sauces, Farofa, Tomato Salsa, Polenta and Brazilian Chilli.
Then, those who manage to leave room for dessert can enjoy traditional sweets like coconut mousse and Nega Maluca (Brazilian chocolate brownie).
While the chief attraction is carnivorous, vegetarians are not forgotten, with the opportunity to choose one vegetarian entrée and one main (like vegetarian pasta) from the lunch menu, at no additional cost.
Meanwhile, from Monday to Friday, the a la carte Brazilian lunch menu kicks in, making a perfect alternative to the standard lunch in the city. Diners can choose from a Share Plate like the Carne Curada (cured meats), Brazilian chicken croquettes or the divine Acaraje style black eyed bean and prawn fritters. Or go for an entrée such as Flash Fried Chili Squid with lime aoli followed by a light main like the delicious Linguine de Caranguejo (Alaskan King Crab meat with tomato, garlic and white wine).
The lunchtime Brazilian mains are about the best value you’ll find in this area of the city, with at least half of the hearty dishes at under $20 - try the Roast beef Sandwich from the fire pit or the highly recommended classic Brazilian Cowboys Lunch (Carreteiro) – Pulled meats with carioca beans, farofa and coconut rice. There’s also a daily special where customers can build their own dish – choosing one BBQ meat, one condiment and one side for a set price.
While the white wine list hails from regions of Australia, the red wine list is a mix of Australian, Chilean, Argentinian and Spanish, with a couple from Brazil. And if having a cocktail, a must-try is the country’s national cocktail - Caipirinha – lime, sugar and Cachaca on the rocks or infused with other fruit like strawberry, kiwi or pineapple.
Need to know - Navala Churrascaria is a great family-friendly venue too, where kids have their own mini menu including bacon and tomato pasta or panko crumbed fish and chips, or that can partake in the BBQ for a price of their age x2. (Up to and including 12 years old).
Good to know - In the evenings on weekends, there is often live Brazilian music and entertainment.
See our full curated list of restaurants in Brisbane CBD HERE
123 Eagle St