CHAR & CO by Meat & Veg Reviews
Dane and Renae (#MeatandVegReviews) were invited to the gorgeous suburb of Double Bay to dine at Char & Co, an authentic south American dining experience with a focus on friendly service, sustainable produce and of course, lots of barbeque!
Meat by Dane Elleveson:
When we were asked to dine at Char & Co, my first question was “Where is the meat sourced from and is it ethically raised?” It was refreshing to find out that all the meat is sourced from reputable suppliers. The farms include Cape Grim, Rangers Valley and Great Southern Farms – great Australian beef farms.
First up were the sides to try a few different flavours:
Polenta, cassava, cheese bread and spiced crumbed banana.
Renae hates banana so I ate Renae’s share (how unfortunate for me!), The polenta had a good crunch and the huge wedges of cassava reminded me of my childhood.
Grilled corn on the cob, parmesan & chipotle.
Cheap, simple - but always my favourite dish!
Warm sourdough & extra virgin olive oil and balsamic.
Delicious! Renae agreed by continually muttering “More olive oil please, gorgeous Brazillian man with the sexy lisp!”
Salted cod fritters, lime, fish crackling & wasabi aioli.
When I see deep fried food come to the table, I am always wary of it being incredibly heavy and putting me to sleep. I’m also wary of fish cakes of sorts, as I’ve had bad experiences in the past. These golden fritters were far from heavy, they had a lightness to them that surprised me. The cod was a good choice as it’s not “too fishy”. The lime gave enough acid to balance out the richness of aioli and deep fryer.
Then came the mains:
Grilled wagyu beef patty, caramelised onion, pickles, bourbon barbecue sauce, house smoked bacon & melted cheese served with shoestring fries & smoked ketchup.
I love a juicy burger that drips everywhere. My new moustache and beard caught most of the stray drips, which were swiftly collected again. The bun wasn’t too thick; this was great as the burger was jam packed with fillings! It came with a side of chips and a smokey barbecue sauce which was delicious - but I wanted to save room for dessert.
Northern brazil curry with salt water barramundi, tiger prawns, mussels, coconut, coriander & chili broth, served with pickled lime & roasted shrimp farofa.
When I think of curries, I think of Indian and Thai. This was up there with the best and was absolutely delicious. The flavours were bursting at the seams. I loved hearing the background about this dish from our very bubbly waiter. The barramundi had nice big flakes that pulled apart with ease and twas accompanied well by the prawns and mussels. I tried the roasted shrimp farofa by itself and I can safely say I’ll never do that again. Once it was added to the dish, it gave a well-rounded and earthy flavour.
Then the desserts:
Peanut and honey parfait, dulce de leche, peanut brittle, crispy plantain & vanilla bean ice cream.
Peanut brittle is one of those decadent treats that is incredibly moorish. Unfortunately, sharing between 3 people I was out of luck on seconds… plus Renae inhaled this one.
Churros with a chocolate & a caramel dipping sauce
The chocolate was the business but I had to stop at one churros as it was incredibly rich.
For my next visit to Char & Co I’ll be trying the ‘Churrasco’. Its a variety of meats, poultry, sausages, seafood, served from their barbecue. They are spit roasted over natural charcoal and iron bark wood then walked around on skewers and sliced at the table.
It’s easy to say, there is nothing bland about this place!
Veg by Renae Smith:
The whole concept of Brazillian barbeque isn’t really something that works with the whole vegetarian diet. Kilos of meat are brought around and shared amongst the tables whilst us vegetarians stare at the ceiling and think of a happy place.
In saying that, when you live in Sydney (and not a commune); there are going to be times when you have to dine out with your carnivorous friends – and this is why we created #MeatandVegReviews. The vegetarian options at Char & Co sound delicious and I was definitely willing to give it a shot.
The only main that was really vegetarian friendly was the pumpkin risotto. The risotto was cooked perfectly, the individual rice grains still held a little bite and were topped with cubes of roasted pumpkin, toasted pine-nuts and crispy sage. For me, it was a little cheesy – but that’s the vegan coming out – I don't eat dairy at home and I sometimes do find it overwhelming.
The sides though – next time I dine at Char & Co I will be eating only sides. The corn on the cob with a zing fresh lime was next level – my dish of the day. I also loved the stuffed jalapenos, mixed ‘chips’ (including cassava and polenta (I left the banana as I’m not a fan) and cheesy bread with a spiced butter.
All in all, the venue has a great vibe, the staff are BRILLIANT and the food is nice. It’s not the ideal vegetarian venue, but if you’re invited along and you’re unsure if you’ll have anything decent to eat – go along. Get all of the vegetarian sides – literally, all of them.
Owner Bruno Da Motta grew up immersed in the old Gaucho culture, learning from his father and relatives how to grill meats the Guacho way. Char & Co brings the Gaucho culture to Double Bay in a friendly and enticing atmosphere. Worth a visit – wear elastic pants!
Meat & Veg x