There are a couple of Blue Fire restaurants but we went to the one in Melbourne Central. The restaurants looks very nice when you first step in with the modern twinkling ball lights to the big grill right at the front. The tables are wooden tables nicely laid with clean white table cloth. As opposed to our usual lateness, we were actually early, and since the table wasn't ready yet, we took a seat on their huge ottomans and browsed the drinks menu.
Upon being seated, we ordered drinks. The waitress took drinks orders and went away. In turn, another waitress comes over and starts to take away the wine glasses. We all look a bit confused as we just ordered a bottle of wine. So we waited to see what she would do, and the first waitress arrives back and says that we ordered wine. After taking a sip of our T'Gallant Pinot Grigio, we see the next tables having the “Churrascaria”, which looked very enticing. Churrascaria is like all you can eat meat buffet except the "passadors" bring the meat right to your table and cut a piece for you.
First a plate of dips, bread and bruschetta arrive. Oh and the olives that Jo absolutely loved and polished off in quick time. She went for a second serve of olives as well. The bread was nice and crispy, but the dips were ok. The tuna type dip was rather bland. The spicy salmon dip was very spicy which overpowered the other flavours. Finally, the potato mash type thing was creamy but bland.
After the dips, the vegetables are placed in the centre of the table. This plate also acts as a beacon to attract the passadors to come to your table and serve you. This saved us the effort of waving our green cards (meaning we wanted more food) constantly. Below is a photo of the vegetables plate sitting high above the table for the passadors to see. In the background is Trang doing her best model pose.
When the meats start to arrive, Kin and I dig into the lamb that is firstly offered. The lamb was good, with the classic flavours of lemon and rosemary covering the tender still red meat. However, it didn't get any better from that point onwards. The chorizo which I was so looking forward to was spicy but without the rich flavours normally associated with chorizo. It was just like a Thai pork sausage that you buy from Safeway supermarket. The chicken flavour was ok but the meat was too dry. Similarly the beef was overcooked and dry, with the pork exceptionally dry. The seafood fared better, with the calamari being my favourite as it was nice and soft with a hint of spice. The swordfish texture was also good, still firm.
Service wasn't exactly good. We were served drinks after quite some waiting. Then we were just left there wondering what was happening as we had already ordered and could see the passadors keep walking past our tables without stopping for us. Finally after about 20 minutes, a waitress comes over and says that the meats are a bit behind and that they would arrive soon. They could have served us the dips first but that didn't arrive till just before the meats.
The ambience is good, but I think the food, the Churascaria anyway, is not up to scratch. For $49 for the Churrascaria, the food does not live up to the theatre of it. Most of the meats were not tasty, and seeing as they specialise in meats, I don't think the rest of the normal menu items would be that good. This would be a good place for large group functions as its roomy and the theatre side of it is good. But for a serious meal, I think its too expensive for the quality of food.
Overall Rating: 12/20, Good atmosphere, good place for large group functions. Food is not so good and too expensive.
Scores: 1-9: Unacceptable, don't bother. 10-11: Just OK,some shortcomings. 12: Fair. 13: Getting there. 14: Recommended. 15: Good. 16: Really good. 17: Truly excellent. 18: An outstanding experience. 19-20: Approaching perfection, Victoria's best.