The food is Brazil-iant, the same can’t be said for the outside

Brad Barnes dines at Samba Brazil in Broadway Peterborough city centre
Brad Barnes dines at Samba Brazil in Broadway Peterborough city centre

First impressions count for a lot, which is where my only criticism of Samba Brazil begins and ends.

The outside is dull, uninspiring (its only sign must be 10 feet in the air), uninviting and pretty anonymous..... in complete contrast to the bright interior, and for that matter the food.

Brad Barnes dines at Samba Brazil in Broadway Peterborough city centre

Brad Barnes dines at Samba Brazil in Broadway Peterborough city centre

It opened five weeks ago and is a steak house with a difference, a Brazilian churrascaria where the meat is cooked on skewers over hot coals.

And it is served rodizio-style - so the skewered meat is brought to your table and carved straight onto your plate. It all adds to the atmosphere and occasion - especially on a miserable bank holiday lunchtime.

For those with a larger appetite the full rodizio offering has 12 cuts of meat, but the four that make up the lunchtime special were ample for me at that time of day.

So, after ordering our drinks, and making sure we knew what we were doing, we took our plates to the buffet bars.

Brad Barnes dines at Samba Brazil in Broadway Peterborough city centre

Brad Barnes dines at Samba Brazil in Broadway Peterborough city centre

There was a good choice of both hot and cold, and we all helped ourselves from both, before settling back down at the table and waiting for the star of the show.... the meat.

The plain rice was perfectly fine, and a good accompaniment for the black beans, which I quite enjoyed. The sauteed potatoes had a nice flavour, but a bit soft, and the cabbage and bacon was just lovely.

But, it was the salad that really caught my attention. Light and fresh tasting the finely chopped collection of carrots, onions, potato, and cucumber was a delight and I had no reservations about going back for more.

The potato salad, very popular in south America apparently - with peas and sweetcorn, was also very tasty and quite moreish.

Brad Barnes dines at Samba Brazil in Broadway Peterborough city centre

Brad Barnes dines at Samba Brazil in Broadway Peterborough city centre

Donna and the girls were also very impressed with- the baked cod - bacalhau com natras - with cheese and potato.

As for the meat in the order it arrived: a not-too spicy sausage; chicken wings that were suprsingly meaty and had a great barbecue flavour; beef neck that was delicious although a little fatty; and my favourite the beef rump - cooked daringly rare so it absolutely melted in the mouth.

A pint of Brahma - a Brazilian lager - went down very well too, though if the weather from the weekend had kept up I could have been tempted by sangria.

You should never judge a book by its cover, but Samba Brazil needs to address its identity issue - sort out the drab exterior and let people passing by know it is a restaurant.

The food speaks for itself. It is early days but Samba Brazil deserves to do well, and I am already looking forward to a return visit.

There is an evening of food (full rodizio), music and professional samba dancers on June 24. Tickets cost £27 from the restaurant.

Brad Barnes dines at Samba Brazil in Broadway, Peterborough city centre. Tel 01733 686446, www.sambabrazil.co.uk

Brad’s rating: 8