Xenia Latin Lounge, Crawley
Xenia Latin Lounge is a new and unique dining experience. The restaurant is based around the Brazilian Rodizio style of dining. Rodizio means to return…which is exactly what your waiter will do until you tell him to stop! Xenia is proud to be the only Brazilian Steakhouse in West Sussex. Earlier this week I visited Xenia with my meat loving husband to try it out, and as you’ll find out we loved the whole experience!
Xenia is located at the entrance of the Crawley Lesiure Park. The Lesiure Park is filled with familiar brands of chain restaurants making Xenia stand out as a refreshing alternative. We visited on a Thursday lunchtime and were able to park right outside the restaurant.
Inside the restaurant we were greeted by friendly waiting staff. The restaurant was laid up ready for diners. The table, cutlery and glasses were all clean. The decor, a mix of Brazilian themed graffiti and clean industrial lines. We were shown to a generously sized table by a window and across from the open plan kitchen.
Our drinks orders were taken almost straight away and we were presented with our menus and a brief run down on how Rodizio style dining works. Basically you help yourselves to your side dishes in the buffet area, then your Passador (server) will come around with freshly cooked meats that he will slice and deliver to you at the table…literally until you tell him to stop coming. Our drinks were delivered very quickly, even Matt’s Mojito, which was made with fresh mint. We both ordered the Half Rodizio which in addition to the food available on the buffet includes a selection of 8 cuts of meat including lamb, beef, pork and chicken for £12.99 (£14.99 at the weekend).
The buffet area is more than substantial. In the hot plate area there are delicious Brazilian style pancakes stuffed with beef, chicken and cheese. Fresh colourful salads on ice. Cold meats, coleslaws and salad toppings. Then an endless row of warm dishes such a rices, beef stews and chicken dishes. The buffet surpassed my expectations and I was really impressed by the level of freshness in all areas but particularly the salad bar.
Plated up and with our green yes please (flip to no thanks when you’re full…or need a break) signs at the ready we wait for our hot meat selections to be delivered. After a very brief wait we are served hot Brazilian sausage. Straight from the grill these were deliciously warm and crisp. The sausages were followed by fillet steak, chilli chicken wings, lamb, steak and cheese, sirloin steak, chilli beef…a seriously impressive meat selection. Each dish served was delivered by our friendly Passodor who was able to explain the dish. The steaks in-particular were melt in your mouth perfection. We decided this must be what it feels like to eat like a King!
After 5 portions of meat I was stuffed. I flipped my sign over to no thanks and was not offered any more meat. My husband was in food heaven and kept going another 5 or 6 rounds…each dish just too tempting to turn down. Eventually even Matt was defeated. We had now been eating nearly an entire hour!
Our plates were cleared swiftly and we were offered a dessert menu. We needed a breather after that feast! How were we did order coffee’s and we were served Cinnamon Glazed Grilled Pineapple…a traditional Brazilian palette cleanser and very refreshing.
We were absolutely blown away by our visit to Xenia. I have low expectations of many buffet style diners but this was fresh, clean and offered a fantastic range of choice. Staff were welcoming, friendly and knowledgable about the food. The Brazilian theme made the experience not only gastronomically enjoyable, but also a cultural experience. A truly unique and fun place to dine..with great cocktails to top it off!