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Samba Grill

On the last night of our holiday in Noosa we went out to dinner as a family.  Choosing a family-friendly restaurant isn’t as easy as you would think as most of the restaurants in Noosa are fine-dining and therefore expensive and even if you’re prepared to pay the high prices they are not always as welcoming with kids.

Samba Grill

Samba Grill

Earlier in the week I’d been walking along the beachfront and I bumped into one of my mother’s friends.  She said, ‘Have you been to Samba Grill yet?  It’s fabulous.  You have to take the kids’.  Samba Grill has only recently opened and is in Gympie Terrace, a few minutes away from Noosa on the riverfront.  The suburb has a more casual and relaxed feel and the restaurants are less expensive and more suited to families.

The green and red block on the table is stood vertically.  They'll keep bringing more food until you turn the block red-side up.

The green and red block on the table is stood vertically. They’ll keep bringing more food until you turn the block red-side up.

Samba Grill is a South American Churrasco restaurant where prime cuts of marinated meat is skewered and cooked over organic coals then brought to your table and carved in front of you.  A few months ago Arabella was a non-meat-eater but there is one of these restaurants close to where she works and she has been taken there for dinner by her boss and has become a convert.  These Churrasco restaurants are now her favourite (it’s probably all about the cocktails rather than the meat!)


Arabella's drink of choice!

Arabella’s drink of choice!

And Arabella isn’t alone because I’m starting to see these restaurants popping up all over the place and they are always packed and doing two sittings a night.  This is not only because of the good food but because we’re being given a refreshingly new dining experience.

This BBQ can hold up to 45 chickens

This BBQ can hold up to 45 chickens

We arrived at 6pm and found the restaurant to be totally empty of other diners but within minutes the fairly small space was packed to capacity with the outdoor tables being filled as well.

Chicken wings and chorizo

Chicken wings and chorizo

A waitress explained the menu saying there was a set price of $38.00 for adults and $15.00 for children and that there was a vegetarian option as well.  Freshly bar-be-cued meat would be continually brought to the table until we let them know we’d had enough.  You choose four sides to go with what comes from the BBQ and we chose the hot chips, potato salad, mixed green salad with pears and vinagrete, a mixture of onions, tomato and parsley in vinegar.

Marinated pork

Marinated beef

Marinated pork

Marinated pork

A chicken heart on my plate.  I started to cut it with the knife but its texture was somewhat rubbery so I went no further!

A chicken heart on my plate. I started to cut it with the knife but its texture was somewhat rubbery so I went no further!

When we’d had enough meat and sides, bar-be-cued and caramelised pineapple was brought to our table.  You could order desserts for an additional charge but we didn’t bother because by then we’d all had more than enough.

Plotting and scheming

Plotting and scheming

If you haven’t yet been to a Churrasco restaurant, do look one up and give it a try because these restaurants aren’t only about great food, they give you a fun, entertaining and interactive dining experience as well.

Samba Grill

251 Gympie Terrace, Noosaville, QLD.   Ph:  07 5449 9577

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  1. There’s a similar restaurant in town … has been around for about 3 yrs but I haven’t been able to convince anyone to go with me. I understand they had some issues at the beginning but you’d think by now they’d been straightened out.

  2. Looks delicious and like so much fun! I’ve never been to one but my husband has been several times on his “guys only” ski trips. He loved it.

  3. I was enjoying this restaurant until I got to the chicken heart. Yuck. Otherwise it looks pretty inviting and tasty.

  4. What a great night Charlie, and I bet all the boys had their fill of meat too. 6 is a little early for dining, but with Alfie you’d have to go a bit early! The food sounds great! Glad you had such a nice time on you family holiday.

  5. The Chicken heart, surprisingly was my favorite! It tasted like a strong mushroom with the texture of well cooked tender calamari.

  6. I love Churrasco restaurants! I love the grilled lobster and shrimp they bring around the most besides the filets.

  7. I’ve had mixed experiences with eating heart-usually not that great ones but it sounds like Carl enjoyed it! 🙂

  8. How fantastic that you are finding the places that suit you as a family. I can almost smell the barbecued chicken as I read.

  9. Just WOW!

  10. Now what are they up to in that last photo! Definitely plotting 🙂

  11. Mmm i love churras – such amazingly flavoured grilled meats but you have to go with a seriously empty stomach! A great idea for a family meal 🙂

  12. Churrasco restaurants are popping up all over the place here in California, too, Charlie. It’s a little heavy on the meat for me, but I have family members who can’t get enough! I do think they are great value, and the settings are always very fun. We did go to one once in Vegas and my son-in-law still talks about it! 🙂 Love the photos of your beautiful children, too.

  13. I’ve been to several in South Florda and so do love them! The meat is the best! But I can not eat enough to barely cover the cost!! I’ve seen the look in one too many dates so I now declined offers to go! You are right, there is no need for dessert!

  14. I wonder if they intend coming to New Zealand. I would certainly give them a try. Sounds like a belly-filling meal.

  15. We have a Brazilian restaurant here that has similar food, but I’ve never been there. It looks like a fun place for a family for sure!

  16. This restaurant sounds delicious, with everything being made fresh and the salads you picked sound perfect. What a fun meal!

  17. We are definitely a family of carnivores, so I NEED to track down one of these restaurants near us 🙂 It certainly looks like a fun night out, but I would be concerned about the plotting going on…if that was my daughter I know I’d be in for mischief! Protein just makes them stronger Charlie, gruel works better at keeping their spirits down! 🙂

  18. Okay, I’m going up there. 🙂

    I’m SO glad to hear you took some time for yourself and let someone else wait on you at least once while you were in Noosa. I miss you already.

  19. You beat me to it on this one Charlie I haven’t even heard of it! I went to a similar style of restaurant in Brisbane. I got up to go to the toilet and told my friends to get me a little of whatever came to the table (I didn’t want to miss out). I ended up with a chicken heart too and I had a little bite before they let on 🙁

  20. I love my meat from time to time, even that i eat vegan 5x:week! This restaurant sounds like fun!
    Everything looks mighty tasty too! 🙂

    Yum Yum Yum!

  21. I’ve friends who’ve just returned from separate vacations in S. America, both groups having spent time in Argentina. Their dining experiences mirror yours at this restaurant. I would love to experience this but doubt that we’ve a restaurant like it in town — yet, that is.

  22. I’ve only been to the one churrasco type restaurant which is on William St. Boy is it a meat feast, but you’re right, there’s more to it than the food, its the way in which the food is served and the company and the experince of it all.

  23. Just found your blog and was taken by this great restaurant! What fun (not the chicken heart part, though)! Look forward to reading more.

  24. Churrasco-style restaurants are very popular here in Mexico, as Mexicans, in general, are big meat-eaters. I always love it as well (especially the swords of tiny chicken hearts!), but my vegetarian husband just sticks to the salad bar…

  25. I had Brazilian neighbours once, and at one of their epic parties I ate something delicious that turned out t me a chicken heart. I still preferred the Brigadeiros, though 😉

  26. Wow this place looks awesome! The meat looks so delicious.

  27. We have one here and Ben’s been, but I never have. Thanks for the well-wishes on Bitty– I’m sorry about your dauchsie.

  28. Being a complete carnivore I will keep my eye open for this one. Never had chicken heart but sheeps heart are not too bad cooked properly, remember this was on the menu at least once a week in the winter when I was a child! Nothing was wasted in our house!

  29. chicken heart… hmmm. could be coaxed. the restaurant looks awesome. happy new year x

  30. Hehehe. I completely understand Arabella’s conversion. It’s too easy to eat meat when it tastes so good!

  31. Ooh, sounds delicious!
    🙂 Mandy xo

  32. To start with, I love Chicken Heart and liver too. That they could turn it into something so delish……yummmmm!! I wish I lived in your neighborhood!

  33. We have one similar here in Albuquerque but we don’t go there much even though I do love it. The meats are perfectly cooked, but it’s very pricey and I can’t even begin to eat enough to make it worth it. Also the vegetable/salad bar is mediocre so we end up eating meat, meat and more meat. The atmosphere of the Samba grills look better than the one here. Looks like y’all all had fun!

  34. There is this great Churrasco restaurant in SF too. Sounds like you all had a great meal there and I need to visit one in my area. Japanese has dish called Yakitori, and we eat char-grilled chicken hearts too.

  35. We have one of these places near our home and my boys love it. I have to admit, I’d rather just stick to Arabella’s drink!

  36. Sounds like you had a great night with the family and as a bonus it was a tasty dinner. It is hard to find somewhere in Noosa at a price you can take the whole family.

  37. Hi and Happy New Year! Funny to read this as we went to a churrascaria and had rodizio on Saturday night. And lots of passion fruit caipirinha to go with it!

  38. Ahha!

    Looks delicious, and like a really fun evening. All that marinated meat has my mouth watering!

    Who are the two people at the end? They are both very beautiful!

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