Osteria Rodizio Rico, The Cube

The award for the most smiley, enthusiastic waiter and possibly person we’ve ever met goes to *drum roll* Alfonso at Osteria Rodizio Rico. No contest.

A happier man we could not imagine. From the minute he said hello we knew we were in safe hands. Welcoming diners to a restaurant sounds simple. Not so. Alfonso is king. He didn’t even flinch when I declined a Bellini as I’m allergic to peach. “No problem,” he said and promptly returned with a strawberry version.

If you’ve dined at sister restaurant just next door Rodizio Rico you’ll be used to the concept. It’s basically a souped up buffet scenario with its roots in Brazil. There’s no menu as such. Freshly prepared dishes, in this case with an Italian vibe, are served at the table as they’re cooked. All the ingredients where possible are sourced from Italy including flour for the top notch pizza and handmade pasta.

We feasted on a tasty risotto with asparagus, a garlicky flat bread, gnocchi in a rich cheese sauce, a punchy pesto and tomato rigatoni, bresaola pizza with a good hit of chilli, an unusual, but lip smacking pasta dish with vodka and pork cheek, pizza with roasted vegetables and veggie pasta with a sort of crumb which was delicious. We say feast because it really did feel like that. The food just kept on coming. For instance, we declined a dessert, but got one anyway! Alfonso is very persuasive as well as happy. It was a really lovely tiramisu with no booze in order to cater for everyone.

The relaxed vibe of the place means it would suit a big crowd particularly and £11.90 per head for great tasting unlimited food seemed like a steal to us. After a fond farewell with Alfonso we waddled off and didn’t eat another morsel for a good 15 hours. There’s no getting away from the fact that it’s a carbfest, so leave your calorie counting ways at the door and embrace the joy.

OSTERIA RODIZIO RICO, COMMERCIAL ST, THE CUBE, BIRMINGHAM B1 1RS tel: 0121 285 2856