We peer at the cocktail menu and pass it over to Nick. "We think you should have this one" we tell him pointing at "Sex at the North End", a variation of Sex on the Beach. "It might bring you luck!" we reason but in the presence of ten year old Mia and five year old Ruby we call it "Friendship on the beach". Ruby tell us "Kissing is GROSS!" shaking her head.
We make the short trek to Maroubra after a leisurely day. It seemed just right to end it at the chilled cafe just a short walk from Maroubra Beach at the North End of Maroubra Beach. I didn't realise that when I booked a table here that on Saturday nights, they do a Brazilian Churrasco night and the idea of a feast appeals to Mr NQN and Nick as well as meat loving Mia. Everyone at the table has to order the churrasco and it's $35 per person with an extra $5 for dessert.
The decor is smartly retro, reminiscent of a family beach house. There's an area towards the back that has chairs and a bookshelf with plenty of books for adults and children to read or relax with.
The food comes out quickly and out the back you can watch the Brazilian chef cooking the meats to order. First to arrive are the sides and there are lots of them including rice, a moreish pico de gallo, tiny cubes of crispy roast potato, delicious Brazilian cheese bread, black beans, grilled eggplant, zucchini and capsicum and farofa.
The last item is a fascinating item that is common in Brazilian cuisine made up of toasted manioc flour that resembles sawdust with slices of bacon. The Brazilian waitress tells us that it is best eaten with the rice and beans and it's delicious. It's soft with a toasted texture and flavoursome thin strips of bacon.
They start bringing around the barbecued items. They start with broccoli and they offer us a few florets of this. The only issue with the churrasco and what meat-loving Mia expressed, was that if you really loved something, you could only have a very small portion of it until they came around again.
For me it was broccoli and even four pieces wasn't enough. For others it was the meat and you had to wait around for more to come along which may not have been for a while. It's probably better for digestion but Mia didn't like eating in this way at all.
After this comes the chicken hearts which are seasoned well and actually very tasty and not tough at all. The two chorizo sausages come out next - one is a pork chorizo and the other a chicken chorizo. Both are good but I do love pork chorizo although neither are spicy.
Cobs of juicy char grilled corn arrive next drizzled with spicy mayonnaise and cheese. They're succulent and a crowd favourite. The chicken wings never ended up coming out and instead we got some crispy edged deep fried polenta which was soft on the inside and crunchy on the outside.
The pork belly was another crowd pleaser even for Mr NQN who doesn't like this cut. It is sliced into small rectangles and jellied soft on the inside. It's worth saving some of this for the grilled pineapple that comes around.
More meat follows including fall-apart soft, meat beef ribs and tender rump cap steak cooked medium. The chicken thighs were beautifully charred. Again I really would have liked more of this but the plates that they bring around are quite small and there's often there was just enough for our table of six to have a small serve.
The only meat that wasn't a hit was the eye fillet which was extremely salty, even too salty for the salt loving Mia.
The girls go outside and play and find themselves bags of popcorn from the shop next door so we order dessert. For an extra $5 per person you get two desserts. The first is the grilled cinnamon topped banana served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. It's grilled until soft and sweet, the skin blackened.
The churros come out straight as a ladder with a pot of dulce de leche. Both the churros and the dulce de leche are salty, extremely so and it's a bit too strong for me.
"Can we go for a walk on the beach?" both girls echo in unison and we figure that it is time to go. The value is very good with Ruby eating for free and kids Mia's age paying half price. We figure that a walk on the beach is the least we can do after a feast.
So tell me Dear Reader, do you enjoy eating churrasco style? And are you a fast eater or a slow eater?
This meal was independently paid for.
The North End Cafe
24 Mckeon Street, Maroubra Beach, NSW
Tel: +61 (02) 8065 8036
Open Wednesday to Sunday from 7am