Atmosphere: Casual, outdoors and humming. The restaurant’s covered garden under the giant, hundred-year-old Bengal fig tree is vast. There is also an indoor seating but most guests want to sit under the spreading fig tree, after all it’s the namesake of Figueira Rubaiyat. The chairs are comfortable, service is friendly and the energy vibrant. Figueira Rubaiyat is not a tourist trap since the restaurant enjoys good reputation between the local Paulistas. Wear anything comfortable, just not shorts with flip flops like on the beach.Food: BBQ and typical Brazilian dishes from Amazon fish to tropical forest fruits. The quality of the ingredients and unpretentious cooking are the major strengths of Figueira Rubaiyat. Getting meat from their own farm, also called Rubaiyat, means that the restaurant keeps high quality control over its star ingredients. Many diners come here mainly for the steak. I must say that the rest is also very tasty.
The Figueira’s appetizer platter is an opportunity to try – like tapas – a couple of things at once. It is an ideal plate to share. Ham, fish, grilled and marinated vegetables as well as cheese usually feature on this great-value-for-money starter.
Brazil has plenty of palm trees and the palm heart is a popular “vegetable” for the locals. Usually, it is sold preserved in a salted water, but it can also be cooked in endless recipes. I enjoyed the warm Crumbled palm heart salad of the oven baked palm hearts (twice as thick as white asparagus), sprinkled with bread crumbs and served with green rucola, lemon and mayonnaise. A very tasty vegetarian starter.
For my main course, as I am an adventurer, so when I spotted a fish from Amazon that looked (at least in writing) similar to piranha on the menu I had to try it. Its name was Amazon Pirarucu. To my slight disappointment I have not received a plate full of these killing little fishies with teeth sharp as a guillotine, but two huge fish steaks. My sadness was relieved by the later pleasure from eating it. Not as tender as sea bass, rather closer to turbot firmness but since it was grilled it had a rich and almost chicken-like taste. Try it if you visit Brazil.
As I mentioned many people come here just for the meat from the restaurant’s own Rubaiyat farm. The steaks here are exquisite. Tender, juicy and tasting so good that some turn in bed for a couple of nights after eating it dreaming about its sumptuous flavours. You can choose a side of American style potatoes or potato wedges that go well with it.
The dessert buffet is irresistible. If you go for local fruits from guava, pineapple, maracuja to mango, you can cut out some calories. But, the chocolate desserts, cakes, pies, custards, dulce de leche and many other delicacies look too interesting that you might end up like me (picture below) with a plate full of lots of mixed sweets tasting so great, that one does not need to regret any indulgent behaviour on this occasion. Just go inside and peak at the sweet-feast-table of seduction.
Drinks: The wine list is good and has many local options starting with the increasingly popular Brazilian sparkling wines and finishing with dry international varietals such as Chardonnay with a local take. We went for a bottle of the latter – Chardonnay from Villa Francioni. This dry white wine bursts with exotic aromas of pineapple.
Cuisine: Brazilian ingredients cooked or grilled simply
Last visit: December 2012
Value: Medium (generous portions, service super fast so the price is justified considering the restaurant’s upscale location).
Open from lunch through dinner: Mon-Sat 12noon-00:30am (01:00am on Saturday). Sunday only dinner until midnight.
Rua Haddock Lobo, 1.738, Jd.Paulista, Sao Paulo, Brazil.
+( 55) 11 30 87 13 99