LET’S be honest. Life in Brexit Britain isn’t much fun.

But, for 90 minutes at least, there’s a corner of Selby where you can swap sombre for samba with a visit to Brook Street’s Caramba Brazilian Steakhouse.

The South American country’s traditional method of cooking – where cuts of meat are slowly barbecued on skewers using an open grill before being served fresh to tables – is becoming one of the fastest-growing, all-you-can-eat phenomena on these shores.

So much so, chains of restaurants are already popping up which, as is the way when cuisine trends seep into popular culture, could soon compromise authenticity and strangle independent competition.

Encouragingly, therefore, Caramba is a family-owned and run establishment with Brazilian chefs.

The décor has also been carefully constructed to complement the food’s Latin America roots.

On walking inside Caramba, whose closest English translation is ‘wow’, the vibrant bar area welcomes customers with alternate yellow and green bar stools in the cheerful colours of the carnival country’s flag.

Entry to the toilets, meanwhile, is via saloon doors, with wooden floors and panelled walls adding a rustic charm, along with the old-fashioned cash till and patches of exposed brick work.

There are also giant-sized panoramic pictures of the Brazilian coastline.

Shown to our table in the spacious, double-levelled eating area, our friendly waitress explained the gaucho-style experience, which basically amounts to each visitor being issued with a card that can be flipped from red to green or green to red depending on whether you want the latest round of cooked meat served to your plate or you’re in need of a little break.

It’s a great system that is popular with kids, as is using your pincer tongs to grab the meat off the skewer.

The drinks menu catered fully for all adult tastes, including 16 cocktails although, in reality, the choice was infinite with an added option to “make your own”.

Mocktails and milkshakes, meanwhile, make sure children are equally well catered for.

Directed to the salad bar, we discovered an excellent range of hot and cold offerings that would have been sufficient for a meal in their own rights.

Included were a traditional Feijoada Beef and Black Bean Stew with bacon and sausage, as well as chicken lasagne and chicken stroganoff and all were replenished regularly, along with the cheesy mashed and sliced potatoes.

The freshly-prepared cold food included homemade sauces, mustards, cold meats and imported cheeses, along with a variety of familiar buffet favourites, while bowls of chips and cheese balls are also brought to tables.

The highlight, unsurprisingly, was the meat though.

Visit from Monday to Thursday and you’ll be given a choice of eight different options for a charge of £17.95 but, should you dine on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday, there are six more meats on the menu for just £2 more.

Children prices are £8.99 (nine to 13-year-olds) and £6.49 (five to eight-year-olds) for any day of the week, whilst under-fives are free.

Vegetarian (£10.95 and £12.95) and fish (£14.95 and £17.95) alternatives are available on request too.

Our table managed to sample 12 of the 14 offerings before permanently brandishing the red card to leave a little room for dessert.

But we will certainly return for the garlic parmesan steak and chicken hearts, as the quality of every morsel was virtually flawless.

My personal highlight – and that of my nine-year-old daughter – was the melt-in-the-mouth pork belly infused with a sticky honey sauce.

Choosing a favourite, though, was akin to selecting your best-ever Brazilian footballer – the standard was just so high.

The lamb was succulent and perfectly marinated in mint, while the chicken thigh had that fall-off-the-bone quality that everybody craves, with just the right level of charring.

Small Brazilian sausages, meanwhile, were nice and fat, with a little spice and a delicious smokiness, which was repeated with the chicken wrapped in crispy, well-done bacon.

The juicy gammon was quickly followed by a tangy slice of pineapple that expertly countered its saltiness.

For steak lovers, the rump steak was cooked medium rare and sensationally seasoned.

That tenderness was emulated in the cap of rump, while the beef skirt boasted a strong flavour and the sirloin was a thicker cut, but just as deliciously soft to chew.

Perhaps the single disappointment was the house special choice, which was steak in soy sauce for our meal, but it was the only piece of meat we tasted that was tough – almost as if it had been thrown together from leftover cuts.

There is always the offer, meanwhile, to request more of any meat you particularly enjoyed.

Given that many appetites are sated by the “main event”, there can be a tendency for UK gaucho-style restaurants to neglect the dessert menu.

Refreshingly, that is not the case at Caramba, where 14 puddings, mostly served using traditional recipes, are listed, although the last of the Baileys and toffee cheesecake had just sold out when we were ordering.

Instead, I went for crème caramel and it was much better than what I would normally recognise as the dish.

Condensed milk is a favourite ingredient in Brazil and its use made the crème satisfyingly dense, while the caramel was thicker and sweeter than I expected.

The other pudding we ordered was the Brazilian sweetness, which consisted of three mini desserts.

Along with crème caramel again, my daughter loved the chocolate brigaderio fudge ball which are as popular as cookies in Brazil, while my wife was a fan of the beijinho - its coconut and condensed milk equivalent.

All tables are reserved for one-and-a-half hour sittings, but we stayed for two and never felt like we were going to be shoved out of the door during an early-evening Sunday slot.

We also left feeling that Caramba, as its name had promised, had delivered on the wow factor front.

Caramba Brazilian Steakhouse, 73 Brook Street, Selby YO8 4AT

T: 01757 705277

W: carambasteakhouse.co.uk

Food: Wow 4.5/5

Ambience: Friendly 4/5

Service: Attentively efficient 4/5

Value: Excellent 4.5/5

All reviews are independent and meals paid for by The Press