24 September 2011

Brazilian Box: Gourmet Pizza & Ribs, Darlinghurst (19 Aug 2011)

24 Flinders Street, Darlinghurst NSW 2010
CLOSED - 23 Jan 2012

All you can eat pizza available

Thanks to Badi Mahabat from Brazilian Box for inviting me to sample their pizzas with four other guests‏. I remember this corner spot next to the bus stop formerly being an unsuccessful bain-marie style Indian eatery and something similar before then. It’s an awkward spot for seating due to the limited dining space which made me think Brazilian Box might have just been a take away pizza shop. My expectations were actually fairly low even with its promising above 90% liked on Urbanspoon. Arriving on a windy and cold night the dining area was heated although if you sat next to the door you’d have to put up with any cold breezes as the door was opened. Seating was simple yet clean although I wasn’t too sure about the Brazilian pop star concert video playing in the background but I'm sure the Brazilians would appreciate. I discovered the pizzas were made to order with decent quality ingredients and the food was above average so I thought the pokey dining area didn't really do the food justice. The back of house courtyard and dining area definitely needed a bit of a face lift though — it's not a good look finding tree leaves in the hand sink for the toilet and the stairs leading down were a little precarious when wet due to the rain.

Badi was keen for us to try the Rodizio ($35 per person, min 2) menu which is possibly the only place in Sydney offering such a thing for pizza. Continuous service of different pizza flavours are brought out to try as much as you can eat for about 2 hours. You also get the simple Salada de Palmito ($9), unlimited bite-sized Coxinha ($6 - 4 pack) and unlimited soft drinks — so go crazy. Quite a convenient way to try lots of different pizzas with a group and saves you having to decide what to order. We managed to try 13 flavours out of the possible 25 on the menu including 3 dessert ones. My favourite was the No. 2 Calabresa topped with Chorizo, Sliced Onions, Crushed Peppers & Olives. It had good flavour and I really liked the abundance of thinly sliced chorizo. I thought the No. 6 Baiana with Prawns, Sliced Onions, Shallots, Kalamata Olives & Olive Oil was good too which actually included a nice kick of chilli. Prawns were quite small though and wished it had more olives and prawns to make it better. For lovers of cheese you probably can’t go past the Garlic Crust ($6 medium, $10 large) of Mozzarella, Crushed Garlic on a folded pizza base. For something a bit different there’s the No. 5 Portuguesa (pictured above) which includes peas. I think this will fall into pineapple pizza topping scenario of too weird for some but enjoyable for others.

We also managed to try the Pork Short Ribs ($15 half rack) and Beef Short Ribs ($15 half rack). The pork ribs seemed to be more flavoursome than the beef and both came with lots of sauce, although unnecessarily too much I thought. Meat was tender but I would have preferred a more barbecued char factor to add some richer smoky flavour that good ribs are known for. To finish off with a sugar hit the three dessert pizzas were all worth fitting in to our already very full stomachs. It was hard to pick a favourite out of the No. 13 Prestigo with Dairy Milk Chocolate, Coconut & Sweetened Condensed Milk, No. 15 Banana com Canela with Custard, Banana, Sugar & Cinnamon and No. 14 Chocolate com Morango with Dairy Milk Chocolate, Sweetened Condensed Milk & Fresh Strawberries. Adding a scoop of vanilla ice cream would have made them even more decadently better and I'm sure an apple crumble version would be nice too. For those who simply can’t get enough sugar the caramel tasting Brigadeiro ($3 each, $10 - 4 pack) made of condensed milk, chocolate & butter will surely satisfy those cravings.

PROS: Pizzas made to order with interesting toppings available, Ingredients were better quality than expected, All you can eat Rodizio would be good for group bookings, Friendly service
CONS: Some pizzas seemed to be missing an ingredient like the fresh basil on the No. 4 Margherita and other pizzas had an ingredient I wasn't expecting like chilli on the No. 6 Baiana, Seating can feel a little squashed and awkward, Clothes smelt like pizza the next day, Toilet and back courtyard needs a makeover, Plastic plates are light and move around when cutting, Acoustics a little noisy
MUST TRY: No. 2 Calabresa, Any of the dessert pizzas

Table condiments and cutlery

Coxinha - Shredded chicken, spices, potato, batter and deep fried ($6 - 4 pack, $10 - 8 pack) —bite sized which would be good as an entertaining canapé

Salada de Palmito - Diced palmetto and quartered artichole marinated, mixed leaf, sliced onions with tomatoes ($9)

No. 3 Frango Catupiry - Premium Chicken Breast, Sliced Onions, Catupiry, Olives & Oregano —more olives make it better

No. 2 Calabresa - Home Made Chorizo, Sliced Onions, Crushed Peppers & Olives — good flavour and nicely thinned chorizo

Garlic Crust - Mozzarella, Crushed Garlic on a folded pizza base ($6 medium, $10 large) ‚ definitely one for the cheese lover

No. 6 Baiana - Prawns, Sliced Onions, Shallots, Kalamata Olives & Olive Oil — actually has a bit of a chilli kick, more olives and prawns would make even better and firmer base

No. 5 Portuguesa - Smoked Ham, Peas, Sliced Onions, Oregano, Olives, Egg & Avocado Oil — has a fair amount of cheese

No. 1 Quatro Queijos - Provolone, Gorgonzola, Parmesan, Kalamata Olives & Oregano — for the cheese lover, not sure where the olives were though

No. 4 Margherita - Sliced tomato, Kalamata Olives & Fresh Basil — no sign of fresh basil and more olives would be good

Poster shows fresh basil on the Margherita which seemed to be missing

No. 17 Phenomeno - Shredded Chicken Breast, Bacon, Sliced Onions, Peppers, Olives & Oregano — chicken crumbles off a bit too easy and there's perhaps too much of it

No. 9 A Modo Gaücho - Premium Sirloin, Provolone, Olives & garnished with Rocket — I'm not a huge fan of rocket on pizzas but sirloin was quite nice found underneath

No. 10 Peruana - Smoked Turkey Breast, Diced Bacon, Catpupiry & Olives — has quite a bit of cheese, actually tastes nicer than it looks

No. 21 Toscana - Home Made Chorizo Minced, Crushed Egg, Sliced Onions, Olives & Oregano

Pork Short Ribs ($15 half rack) — had more flavour than the beef ribs

Beef Short Ribs ($15 half rack)

Tender meat although would be nice with some more BBQ grill char for a smokey taste

Lots of sauce with the ribs

No. 13 Prestigo - Dairy Milk Chocolate, Coconut & Sweetened Condensed Milk — reminds me of a Ferrero Raffaello

No. 15 Banana com Canela - Custard, Banana, Sugar & Cinnamon — would be great with some vanilla ice cream

No. 14 Chocolate com Morango - Dairy Milk Chocolate, Sweetened Condensed Milk & Fresh Strawberries — would be great with some vanilla ice cream

Brigadeiro - Brazilian chocolate 'truffle' made of condensed milk, chocolate & butter ($3 each, $10 - 4 pack) — quite rich and decadent, tastes like a light caramel

Coca-Cola Zero, Sprite, Coca-Cola ($2 each)

Su Fresh Juice Nectar of Cashew Nut drink ($3), Guarana Antartica ($4), Feel Good white tea drink

Su Fresh drinks Guava, Strawberry, Passionfruit, Coconut Water ($3 each)

Video clips of a Brazilian pop star

First time I've seen a toilet seat holder, Washing sink and toilet needs a bit of a clean and freshening up. Located through the kitchen and downstairs.

Rear seating area although needs some freshening up as it's very plain and boring

Located between Bodyline Mens Spa & Sauna and the dodgy looking convenience store next to ARQ — perhaps not the nicest corner in Darlinghurst

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Brazilian Box - Gourmet pizza and ribs on Urbanspoon


Unknown said...

wow.. that's quite a lot of pizza you went through, but the Phenomeno looks really good!

Tina@foodboozeshoes said...

Some interesting looking ones - and a LOT there! I do dislike shallots on pizza though... :P

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