Meat on a stabbing weapon of some kind? Sign me up. Any semblance of warmth or summer in the dead of this Godforsaken Korean winter would be welcoming, so Jill and I decided to hit up an old favourite; the Copacabana Grill in Itaewon. We’ve both been to the Copa on countless occasions and have never been disappointed. Needless to say, the streak continues.
How to get there: The easiest way to get to the Copacabana Grill is to take the subway to Itaewon Station (Line 6) and depart from Exit 1. Take the first right and go behind the Hamilton Hotel. Now, make an immediate left and walk about 200 meters. Copacabana will be on your left beside Baby Guinness.
Service and Atmosphere: In a single word: festive. There is samba music playing from the speakers, the smells of the roasting meat tantalizes your senses as you walk in the door and the plethora of Brazilian football (soccer) memorabilia hangs on the walls like shrines. The only thing missing is the voluptuous and colourful Carnival dancers. Servers race up and down the aisles with their large swords piercing through the grilled red flesh of some delicious animal adds to the exciting atmosphere. One of the few places in Itaewon where I hate to relax. It was Saturday night and Copacabana was humming. Service is always solid. Sit down, get your plate, order a drink and hit the buffet. The servers come around with the meat fairly frequently and will not stop until you’ve thrown in the towel. After they serve your final piece of meat and dutifully ask if you want a slice of pineapple, which really translates into, “Are you done fat boy?” and you slowly nod yes, a knowing smile spreads across their face. Another bites the dust baby.
Food and Drink: A moderate selection of beer and wine is available to compliment the carnivorous feast which awaits. Today, we only had soda. Is there a la carte menu? I don’t know. If you don’t get the all-you-can eat buffet, just stand up and politely leave. The buffet consists of salad, hot and cold pastas and rice. Obviously, don’t try to fill up too much on this stuff. Save your A-game for the big show.
The Meat: Sirloin steak, sausage, chicken, tenderloin and pork, all grilled masterfully by real Brazilian chefs. Here is what you came for. If you have a heart condition, seriously, stay away or pop an extra Lipitor.
Value: The whole bill came to approximately 65,000KRW which included two buffets and a couple of sodas. We were absolutely stuffed. It really is a good deal considering the amount of food can potentially consume. In this case, I would suggest knowing one’s limit. It’s a lot of money to spend if you aren’t going to go up to bat at least a couple of times. That said, even if you do eat like a bird, there are some quality meats happening here and would still be better than more places around Itaewon to get a steak.
Who Should Visit Copacabana Grill: A great place to get away for some Brazilian BBQ and have a good time. It gets busy on the weekends, so you might want to make a reservation.
Who Should Avoid Copacabana Grill: Vegans and Vegetarians will find no refuge here. Check out good old Plant nearby.