This casual South American steakhouse is just what we’ve been waiting for – and it has hit Teesside. Caracu is an ambitious new concept and it’s quite literally raising the ‘steaks’ in the vibrant North East foodie scene. Think high quality meats served rodizio style – with every side, salad and sauce you could imagine and more. This place is changing the way meat-lovers eat – with plenty on offer for pescatarians and vegetarians too. Whether you just want to sit at the bar and make your way through the colourful cocktail menu, tuck in for a meat feasting tour of South America, or indulge in the fish or vegetarian options, there’s something for everyone at this new Yarm venture, and we love it. The dining experience is different here – but it’s oh-so refreshing and a real talking point. And with Valentine’s Day just around the corner, it’s the perfect spot for sociable dining with a date or a loved one.
A low-lit, contemporary dining space looking over Yarm High Street, Caracu has a stylish, city-chic, shack-like vibe. The room has been vamped up with wooden decor, festooned greenery, fairy lights and floral decorations. There’s something very enchanting about the place – a place where you can kick back, relax and let the team do the hard work. It’s perfect for an early evening bite to eat or if you fancy filling up for an evening of fine feasting with friends and family.
This one is for the wine people out there. The cocktail sippers, beer drinkers and gin-lovers too. Whatever your tipple, the team have you covered. The bar area is a bustling, sociable space to unwind on a weekend, with a wide range of spirits, soft drinks, wines and bottled beers. For us, a refreshing G&T goes down wonderfully pre-meal – the perfect palate pleaser for what follows. As the mouth-watering meats are brought out, we move on to a smoky red wine from the vast wine list. If you prefer to enjoy a glass of the good stuff with each dish, the smiley bar staff are happy to help you with the perfect companion for your next meat course.
The brains behind many of Yarm’s foodie hotspots over the years (including Lost Property), are once again showing their creative flair with a brand new concept – luxing up all-you-can-eat dining with a tapas bar and high quality meat carving – rodizio style. The Caracu journey starts at the tapas bar in the centre of the room. Here, diners can find traditional South American dishes, seasonal salads, fresh vegetables and cured meats. Once you’ve stocked up on sides, the restaurant’s cocineros will arrive at your table, ready to fill your plates with speciality meats – from fillet, rump and sirloin steaks to chorizo sausage, belly pork and chicken hearts. Caracu’s ethically sourced meat will the be brought to your table and carved straight onto your plate. So how does the menu work? For £18.95 (before 6pm) diners can tuck into the all-you-can-eat, tapas-style salad and side bar, followed by a sensational selection of rodizio steak and meats brought out as often as you like. The meat experience can be enjoyed for £22.95 after 6pm. Non meat-eaters can look forward to the fish of the day (£18.95) and the veggie matador dish of the day (£14.95). Little people can join the party with the kids banditto plate (£12.95).
What we ate
Our taste tour starts with a trip to the tapas bar where we tuck into dressed salads, Mediterranean vegetables, olives, hummus and carby sides. We’re conscious of over-facing ourselves with a plate full of food before the main event arrives, but this isn’t so much of a problem here. The buffet isn’t going anywhere and there’s no crazy rush to get the best of the fresh stuff – as the chefs and waiting staff are very on the ball, replenishing the salad and side bowls regularly. In fact, so much so that we see new dishes popping up every now and then, and we just can’t help but get back up for more. The sides are fairly light – meaning there’s plenty of room for the meat to follow. We’re both big meat-eaters, so can’t wait to see what’s on offer. And we’re not disappointed when the cocineros arrive at our table with a succulent cut of picanha. A perfectly pink rump cap, seasoned with garlic and perfectly paired with the zippy side salads on offer. The team make us feel right at home, namely the manager, Nick, dropping by regularly to check on each meat course, asking for our opinion and preferences, making sure we get the most out of our meat feast. Next up is the alcatra – a tail end rump dressed in spicy tomato salsa. A prime cut oozing with flavour with a spicy kick for good measure. There’s no expense spared on the quality and the cuts of meat here – the chefs dive right in with the good stuff, and we can’t help but dig in for more. Next up is the contra sirloin fillet, followed by the coração de frango chicken hearts to mix things up in the meat department. We’re well on our way to full tummies, so drop our forks for a little break before tucking into other meat courses including the cordeiro lamb leg with garlic and thyme, the fillet-mignon, garlic chicken thighs, belly pork with plum and chorizo sausages. A meat journey with no expense spared. We’re full, content and fully converted with a newfound love for the Caracu concept. But before we go, we sweeten the deal with a trio of desserts – because why have one when you can have them all?