I have been to Ipanema several times, and I have enjoyed every experience. If you have never been to a rodizio, they usually provide something like a stone or a card with red on one side and green on the other. Green means “bring it on!,” and red means “I need a moment to catch my breath,” haha.
The rodizio experience here is comparable to any of the places I have been to in the U.S. Fifteen cuts of meat, constantly coming around to your table. Granted, it was substantially more expensive, but that is to be expected since: (a) you are in Doha; and (b) it is in a hotel.
As such, there is really no hope that you will “get your money’s worth.” You just won’t be able to eat USD 90 worth of meat, no matter how hungry you are. Not unless you stick exclusively to filet and you eat SEVERAL POUNDS. And if you can do that, then I am concerned about you for other reasons, haha.
The meats themselves are pretty good, although every time I have been here I have commented that the larger cuts of meat tend to be overly salted on the outside. This is disappointing to me, because I love the “bark” on roasted meat. SOME salt truly enhances the flavor. But TOO MUCH salt, and that is all you taste. It overpowers everything else.
That being said, the smaller cuts (chicken, short ribs, sausages, etc.) are not as heavily salted. Unfortunately, those are not what draw me to a Brazilian steakhouse. I am after thin, caramelized slices of the big cuts.
The salad bar SOUNDS extensive (they advertise like 30 options). But in reality, it always seems a little small. To be fair, I am not at a place like Ipanema for the salad bar, so this is not a huge issue for me. But the problem is that there are not really enough offerings to be able to persuade your vegetarian friends to come and eat there with you, especially at QR170. Probably half of those options involve seafood or cold cuts. It’s like “hey pal, you should totally pay USD 50 for some cheese and lettuce,” haha.
The grilled cinnamon pineapple is always a crowd pleaser, and it provides a perfect sweet-acidic complement between the salty-fatty mouth feel of the meat offerings.
The dessert bar is a bit of a disappointment. I usually go for a fruit plate, and opt against having it grilled (or stir-fried or whatever). There are definitely some exotic fruit choices that I enjoy (I am a sucker for passion fruit and dragon fruit). And as with the salad bar, I do not come here for desserts (I am here for MEAT). But in the end, there isn’t much exciting about the dessert here.
I have tried the fresh juices and enjoyed them, but they definitely add sugar to the juices (something I have found to be common in Doha). Personally, I do not appreciate sugar in my juice. I am looking for fresh, unadulterated juice. Not tooth-rotting fruit juice soda pop, haha.
I have not tried the “special beverages,” but I hear they are tasty and it appears they make mojitos at the table.
Overall, this is a fun place to eat. The food is good, the atmosphere is lively, and I always enjoy myself. I never leave Ipanema feeling like I got my money’s worth, but I never leave disappointed. Yes, I may leave hating myself a bit. Yes, I may leave feeling a bit like an Oompaloompa, haha. But that is just because I am trying to get that “money’s worth.” It is the same feeling I get after one of those hotel Friday brunches, haha. You should check this place out.