Since 2013, RIO has been one of our favorite go-to spots for a deliciously indulgent, meat-filled meal. The concept is so unique in Kuwait, with its all-you-can-eat ethos served directly from a sword-like skewer of expertly grilled, USA imported, 100% choice, tender meat. Usually, a trip to the Churrascaria, (a traditional Brazilian grill restaurant that serves meat) entails a group of loud bachelorettes gorging the bride on grilled meat before her big day, but in Kuwait, the 250-year-old Brazilian tradition is suitable for any occasion – whether it be a birthday or holiday lunch, or just a hankering for endless protein after the gym.
When we learned that the beloved eatery had implemented a few tweaks and twists to their menu, we couldn’t resist a review. Thus, appetite in tow, and taste buds ready to submit, we decided to revisit RIO.
Nestled within the busy streets of Kuwait City at the bottom floor of Jawhara Tower, RIO’s décor and ambiance was immaculate as ever. Everything felt familiar until we were graced with the presence of a menu, laden with delicious additions. Needless to say, we were stumped when it was time to order, but had no problem taking our time as we sipped on fresh Caipirinha cocktails and noshed on their famous cassava flour cheese rolls.
After fighting temptation to order everything off the menu, we ended up with the Mushroom Bruschetta. Have you ever had one? Neither had we, but let us tell you that this is the only way anyone should be eating bruschetta from now on! A pile of melt-in-your-mouth, perfectly seasoned mushrooms bursting with flavor atop a beautifully toasted piece of fresh bread. Coupled with a rocket salad drizzled with homemade balsamic and crumbly shaved parmesan, tones of sweet and savory make up this amazing appetizer.
At RIO, you have the choice to order from their a la carte menu, or to opt for the ultimate experience, the Rodizio RIO, which features a color coded card to control your food intake. For our main course, we looked to their a la carte menu and went for the sampler size of the classic Rodizio RIO – the Espetinhos, which is a delightful alternative to those who feel that they can’t handle the all-you-can-eat aspect of the Churrascaria and would undoubtedly flip their cards to red way too soon. The Espetinhos contains an offering of 6 skewers of your choice, from the cuts offered in the Rodizio RIO, and a skewer of their signature pineapple. Along with a choice of two sides, it’s the perfect little meal for those who don’t want to commit. Our platter consisted of a skewer of a mélange of each cut of meat: grilled prawns, a beautifully tender grilled chicken breast, tenderloin, strip loin, sirloin and a lamb chop– all served with an array of tantalizing dips from homemade barbecue sauce, picante sauce, sweet mustard sauce and aioli.
While browsing RIO’s a la carte menu, we couldn’t pass up their burger. Made with a deliciously grilled, in-house grinded patty sandwiched between two soft-as-pillow buns and topped with cheese and playful fresh veggies, the RIO Burger, along with the sliders, is the only burger item on the menu – and it’s so good that it deserves to be.
Though we had our own lovely meals to tuck into, we couldn’t help but sample bits of our fellow diner’s decadent Rodizio RIO service. The Rodizio, Portuguese for rotation, is as entertaining to watch as it is to eat. Based around the overall concept of the Churrascaria, the Rodizio RIO includes a hot or cold starter, your choice of two amazing sides, and endless amounts of meat including seven beef cuts, four chicken cuts, chicken sausages, grilled prawns and lamb rib chops. The server appears with a skewer piled high with freshly grilled meat, of which he expertly carves onto your plate, and you simply dig in and enjoy! Want to take a break but aren’t full yet? Simple solution – flip your card over to red if you need a breather, then back over to green when you feel like you’re ready to indulge some more. With both the Rodizio and Espetinhos, we were able to pick from a selection of the eleven sides that are on offer in RIO’s menu: sautéed mushrooms, roasted potato, veggies, sweet potatoes, and the true showstoppers of the sides, breaded polenta chips and cassava chips.
The whole experience ends with a taste bud exploding grilled pineapple spiced with cinnamon. Warm pineapple coupled with the taste of cinnamon and brown sugar, you’re given the pleasant illusion of eating a guilt free cinnamon bun! But if you want to further satisfy your sweet tooth order dessert! We just had to order a round of rose and French vanilla-infused black teas to go with our traditional “let’s share!” Tiramasu pudding and chocolate fondant cake. The perfect way to end a perfect meal.
RIO is truly a great experience. From the moment you walk into the ambient restaurant and are embraced by the welcoming Brazilian Bossa Nova music playing in the background, you know that you’re in for something special. And what’s even more special about RIO is that their menu offers variety! Where one may assume that they wouldn’t have much choice at a Churrascaria, RIO would prove them wrong. The a la carte menu includes a range of salads, both of vegetarian and protein infused varieties, wraps, and even pastas! So if your fellow diner isn’t one to feast on copious amounts of meat, you can be rest assured that even they will leave satisfied.
So if you haven’t been to RIO yet, we highly recommend that you pay them a visit. With the all-inclusive price of KD 15.500 for a full course Rodizio meal, don’t forget that this price contains a whole lot of value guaranteeing you a decadent experience. If you’ve already been to RIO and frequent the place, then we think you should pay them a revisit.