Review: Lasai

19 July 2017

The next day I got up after a pretty good rest and headed out, with umbrella in hand. The weather was actually far worse and was raining and misting on and off. I headed to the nearby Cemitério de São João Batista, which was a pretty good reflection of the city. Parts of the cemetery had a favela-like feel, and it was just way overcrowded. Amazing some illustrious individuals had such plain tombs, though many had more interesting ones. But this is one of the less visually interesting cemeteries in the region to be honest…

Afterwards I headed to have lunch at the venerable 143-year-old Café Lamas, which wasn’t bad. Old school in the extreme, and a nice plate of tongue — tho nowhere as good (or voluminous) as Santiago. I wandered around a bit before I headed back to the hotel, my knee bothering me quite a bit again…

After taking some meds and staying off it for a few hours while trying to sort out some stuff for my next destination, I headed back out to wander around. Eventually I also headed out to dinner. Tonight’s destination is Lasai.

Lasai is on the other side of Botafogo, so a nice 15min walk. Botafogo is an up-and-coming area and I enjoy being here far more than the beach. I got to Lasai and was led to the rooftop bar as they offered me a drink. And now I see why they do that…

A brilliant view of the Cristo Redentor, tonight shouded by the fog. After a little bit they were ready, so brought me down and sat me at the kitchen counter. This should be far more fun! And the hostess/sommelier was originally from the US, so certainly no language issues! But I heard some of the staff staging, so I think everyone functions well here in English.

A nice pour of a rare local wine as we started off with a quartet of vegetables…

01a-vegetables

The tempura bean was nice, the okra tasty, the squash crips nice, and the frisee sandwich solid — didn’t flake, made very well. Nice showcase of vegetables. In fact that’s a central core of the food here, showcasing the surprisingly good produce here in the Rio region. Next up more snacks.

02a-carrot bread daikon

On the right side was first a really tasty piece of daikon cooked in dashi, flanked by an interesting “carrot bread”. On the left side a tasty langostine and a nice broccolini.

02b-broccolini langostine

Good snacks! Again, I like the use of vegetables. Not the most exotic things, but it shows off good, clean produce. A good start! Then next up was something that’s more unique…

03-papaya cauliflower

A snack based on papaya and cauliflower, which surprisingly worked. Nice stuff. This is followed by a bit of a piss-take on eggs and toast…

04a-eggs beans

A nice poached egg with beans and some bread to nicely mop up the yolk as the egg was done perfectly.

Really nice so far! Now a nice light Chilean red and we move into larger items. This first one is a local sole in marrow sauce…

05-sole

Mmm, a lovely sauce, liking the sea parsley and chicory too. That small-batch Chilean pipeño was an excellent pair. In fact, the wine service has been amazingly good. If anything tonight’s service has been at a level consistent with Michelin places in Europe. And Chef Rafael Costa e Silva has also been good at describing the dishes with a detail that only the Chef would know, and that is much appreciated after that D.O.M. disaster!

Then a nice red is poured and we move into the next dish, pork belly…

06a-belly

Excellent, lovely and rich. The sauce was made from the head and is one of the most intense things I’ve had all trip. Lovely, pushes the limits. Wow… Fabulous!

I was a bit sad that this was the last savoury course, as it’s been an excellent evening — solid cooking, top service, friendly chatty folks. First up in this last segment is the cheese course.

07a-cheese

A nice combination of locals, including an excellent goat. Then to the first dessert, a kumquat sorbet. Tasty.

08-kumquat sorbet

Then the main dessert…

09a-chocolate

Mmm, a choco-tastic finish. From 70% cocoa stuff, with fennel sorbet and banana. This may be the best dessert of the year…just delicious!

Then some fabulous coffee and nibbles and I ended the wonderful evening tasting various infused cachaça that Chef Costa e Silva brought out. We had a great time chatting too, which is such a nice thing to do at the counter with a chef — the way these counters are designed to create interaction.

Wow, this was excellent. Fabulous service, solid kitchen, good ingredients, and a wonderful view upstairs! This is exactly what I wanted to get in a restaurant experience when I travel! And a tasting menu that’s not overwhelming, a perfect one for this evening. After a meal like this you have to ask… WTF is wrong with D.O.M.?

Very, very recommended!

Lasai
Rua Conde de Irajá 191, Botafogo
Rio de Janeiro, Brasil

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One thought on “Review: Lasai

  1. Pingback: Review: Olympe | melhuang1972

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