The first time I hit up a Brazilian Churrasco restaurant, I was blown away by the new concept. Freshly grilled meat, top-notch accompaniments and fantastic service to boot. So when I heard the Tomahawk Steakhouse team were opening Rio Steakhouse in our very own Jesmond, I hoped, nay, prayed that it would live up to my expectations. Well…you better believe it did!
Rio Steakhouse has just opened its doors on Osborn Road and this is one restaurant foodies across the North East can’t afford to miss.
We visited on a Sunday evening and paid £29.50 per person, which included the salad bar, freshly carved meats, and a cocktail. The menu does differ depending on when you visit so check their website before booking.
November 2019 prices at the time of review:
Mon – Fri £16.95
Sat – Sun £18.95
Sun- Thur £27.95
Fri – Sat £29.50
Children Under 5 yrs Free | 5 – 8 yrs £6.70 | 9 – 12 yrs £10.30
Lunch 12PM to 3PM | Dinner 5PM – 10PM | RIO Cocktail Bar until LATE
Rio Steakhouse has taken the place of Scalini’s restaurant in the Northumbria Hotel. It’s impossible to miss the towering red bull heads hanging from the exterior walls and window.
The interior is the definition of class. The stunning tiled bar, luxurious drapes and bare wood make for quite the elegant entrance to the restaurant.
The restaurant itself is furnished with wooden furnishing and faux foliage throughout. It really is a beautiful, relaxing space to enjoy some great food in.
The concept of a Rodízio restaurant is different from a usual steakhouse. Here, Gaucho Chefs will bring fresh cuts of meat straight from the grill to your table and shave off as much as you like with impressive butcher type knives.
Rio Steakhouse offers 16 different types of meat, with steak, chicken, pork and lamb all on the cards. If there’s something in particular you want to try, or liked so much you want to try again, you can simply ask a member of staff and they’ll make it so.
For the £29.50 cost, you also get a classic cocktail included. So when you take the £7.50 price off, you’re only really paying £22 for all-you-can-eat bbq…Not bad at all!
From my experience, the cocktails are next level too. I ended up trying their ‘signature’ cocktail, the ‘Old Duarte’. It had Lagavulin Whisky, Drambuie, Mozart chocolate, orange bitter and garnished with orange zest. There’s nothing in the glass not to like, it’s just pure perfection.
Our only pet peeve was the plastic staw with my wife’s soft drinks. As I didn’t specify without, it’s also on me, but always good to see biodegrable or paper straws instead ✌️
To begin with, you head to the salad bar which is packed full of delicious treats for you to enjoy with your meats.
There’s a great selection of cold dishes including the usual salad options, tomato and mozzarella, cured meats, cream cheese stuffed peppers, deviled eggs, salmon, sushi and more.
The hot selection includes garlic mushrooms, potatoes, rice and gravy!
I decided to keep it modest on the sides as I wanted to try as many of the meats as possible. We were also served some complimentary Brazilian cheese bread and chicken croquettes. Naturally, a nice glass on red went down a treat too!
Then comes the fun part! You get a double-sided meat mat to let the chefs know when you are green lit for more meat or red for okay for now. You get a small pair of metal tongs to grab the slices of freshly carved meat.
We tried a good selection of the meats, but the one which always stands out for me is the Brazilian style Picanha, AKA Top Rump. This is the quintessential Brazilian BBQ cut and just about as good as meat gets.
As expected the meat was incredibly tender, straight from the grill hot and perfectly seared and seasoned on the outside. If you prefer your meat on the well-done side you can let the team know and they’ll make sure it’s cooked to your preference.
It seemed like nothing was too much trouble here!
We spent the rest of the evening working our way through the menu, with my personal favourites including the filet mignon, the honey belly pork, lamb chops and minted lamb. It’s fair to say I don’t think there was one thing on the menu that I didn’t love.
Needless to say at this point, Rio Steakhouse was everything I hoped it would be and more. The salad bar (hardly a worthy descriptor), freshly cooked and carved meats and killer cocktail menu offers a dining experience Osborn Road never seen before.
In total, our bill came to around £75 with gratuity (which I was assured goes straight to the team) which for the quality and quantity of the meal, seemed about right and which I was more than happy to pay.
The team were incredibly welcoming and nothing was too much trouble. I really cannot recommend the restaurant enough to any meat lovers out there and will no doubt be taking the first chance I get to head back myself.