Review: Olympe

20 July 2017

I woke up a little sore…that knee. But I headed out to explore the centre this morning, still being fuelled by that wonderful dinner at Lasai. It was rather warm and sunny, so I was a bit sweaty walking around… I wandered around Campo de Santana Park quite a bit, though there were too many unsavoury folks there to really enjoy all the birds, capybaras, cats and other happy animals there. Love seeing them tho!

Then I checked out the unique Cathedral, which had a rather interesting interior too. And after a bit more wandering I headed to lunch to a popular DT spot called Benedito. A nice bobó de camarão, but pretty small. But with all the tasting menus it’s probably good to have a light lunch…plus, knowing my next two destinations…my aorta thanks this kitchen!

I wandered a bit more before I headed back towards the south on the Metro. Didn’t want to push my knee much more so I headed back and did some packing as this was my last day in Rio and Brazil. Later I headed out and made the long, long, half-hour walk (including running thru traffic) to the Lagoa district for my final dinner in Brazil, Olympe.

Now of all 3 of my 1-Michelin dinners here, this one has me most worried. I’ve read some shockingly bad reviews about this place but it’s hard to believe a place could be so bad. Well, it’s been booked, so I went with it.

I got there and was sweating thanks to the long walk. I had to fan myself with the menu… But soon I cooled down and enjoyed a drink. I looked over the menu and went with the full tasting and pairing. It’ll be my last tasting menu for a few days…

I chilled out and finished my caipirinha before they poured a local sparkling and brought the first item — which was called a “mushroom cappuccino” by the linguistically-challenged server…

01-mushroom soup

It’s deep in flavour but was crazy salty. I needed to gulp down a lot of water just to be able to drink this. Too bad because the mushroom essence is good, but what’s with the crazy seasoning? Oh well, let’s hope things move upwards.

They topped off the bubbly and I sense my evening is not going upward from the next course…

02-ricotta pickled vegetables

Ricotta and pickled vegetables, though they couldn’t really describe it in English. I got a description in Portuguese and when I asked them to repeat it, they just said it LOUDER and FASTER. Great… Not really sure about this “ricotta” but it was no better than some store-bought “cheese spread” thing… At first I thought it looked like sick, but… The pickled vegetables were actually pretty sad. Honestly this is something you’d see in a wannabe place in the middle of nowhere, not a Michelin-starred restaurant in one of the world’s great (supposedly) cities…

My worries are starting to come true, though still nowhere as bad as those reviews I read. Then with a pour of an Argentinian white the next dish arrived based on shrimp…

03-shrimp

Not of very good quality, but still not as bad as that horrible died-of-old-age one at D.O.M. a few days ago… But this was now extremely bland — or has that soup destroyed my taste buds? These were really sad. I’ve seen better quality in a Chinese delivery place back home…

Now it’s starting to really worry me. The service has been slow, and it seems the kitchen is just bringing things out when some other tables are ready for their next dish. I asked them to move things faster for me since I am by myself. Not sure if they understood, but I tried saying it in English, Portuguese, and also Spanish just hoping to get the point across…

Then oddly a beer was poured and the next item arrived…

04-something weird

…and they described it and I have no idea what the hell they said. I asked to repeat but still couldn’t get it. And they made no effort to try to explain it further, just walking away. After tasting it I remained puzzled. All I could get out of it is that it is ridiculously acidic, there some bad pickled vegetables in this sour foam (or is it the acid bubbling up?), with a terrible poached egg that was under-cooked.

I’ve seen high school home economics cooking done better than this…

This is now as bad as some of the reviews I’ve read. Utterly shocked so far by all this, and contemplating abandoning this thing. Though things moved wee faster now, the quality is just shite…pure shite…

A pour of a pink grenache and we get a fish dish, a local whitefish from what I gathered…

05-white fish

If ever a plate was to be nicknamed DEEPWATER HORIZON this is it… Boring, the fish had almost no flavour. On the other hand, the palm heart was PICKLED TO DEATH and was inedible. I’m a guy who eats lemons fresh, and I couldn’t eat this thing… I had to abandon one of my favourite things to eat, that was how bad.

This now is just a comedy of errors, a joke upon a joke. I’ve never seen such rubbish at any restaurant in my life, not to mention one that supposed to have earned a Michelin star. This makes D.O.M. look like a treat… I’m sorry, there must be graft involved in the Brazil Michelin assessment, or the assessor(s) have had their tongues removed. This is now beyond stupid…

After a bit a Chilean red was poured, and a single raviolo was presented…

06-raviolo

Again, what is with the ridiculous acid? The filling, which I think is sweet potato, is just again ridiculously acidic for NO REASON. Drizzled with honey and drief beef, this is one of the most incongruent dishes I’ve seen. It’s one thing to challenge someone’s palate with conflicting flavours, but this is like asking John Lennon to run the hurdles while clipping his nails while wearing Henry Kissinger’s glasses…

That’s it, meal abandoned. I told them that’s enough. They came with the bill and offered to drum it down to a smaller menu price, so that’s fine. I paid and just got the hell out of there.

My goodness, how in the world could they have a restaurant that have such ridiculous service? Even if no one spoke any English, why do they think if they talk louder and faster in Portuguese that I would understand the local ingredients? Just shambolic. Not even in Japan would they contemplate being so unyielding even without language ability. Poor food, crap service. Sadly, all those scary reviews I mentioned? They were dead on. I saw so many “never been to a place so bad in my life” reviews, as well as “Michelin is a joke” pieces. I won’t mention which South American chef I mentioned my experience to later on, but this person laughed…like it’s a well-known regional joke…

Oh, this is such a crappy way to end my Brazil stay. Something tells me I will not be returning here… As much as Lasai and Tuju (and Eleven Rio and especially A Casa do Porco) were excellent, there’s too many other places to go to deal with so much BS. I can’t wait to get out of here…

WORST DINNER EVER.

Olympe
Rua Custódio Serrão 62, Lagoa
Rio de Janeiro, Brasil

PS: I actually ended up in a beer bar drinking off this awful dinner later on, enjoying a plate of grilled sausages.

sausage

Frankly this was the best food I had all evening…

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

Review: Eleven Rio

18 July 2017

The next day, still ticked off at that ridiculously crappy evening at D.O.M., I was counting the hours to getting out of São Paulo. Don’t need this BS. Thank goodness my flight out was at CGH Airport instead, so the traffic was nowhere as stupid.

Got there and thank goodness not much drama on the short flight to Rio de Janeiro. But once again ripped off by the taxi cartel because they don’t allow Cabify to pick up there. Ugh…total rip-off… But it got me to my hotel in the Botafogo area and I checked in. Chilled out and ran a few errands, like getting a Metro card and buying water. The weather was turning quite awful…

I just relaxed the afternoon before heading to dinner down in Ipanema. I fought the rush-hour commute on the Metro, which was extremely unpleasant…and got down to a stormy Ipanema. Walked along the beach and it was…well, there was no girl from Ipanema walking around there that’s for sure.

I got to my dinner destination, Eleven Rio, at 7pm. They were not ready…seems they got the time mixed up and was opening at 7.30pm…but they quickly got their act together after some idiocy, so I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt. But after the service hell last night at D.O.M., it’s making me worried already…another Michelin (1*) mess here?

As I was enjoying my martini they said I can go to my table, so I did. Finished my drink there as I looked over the menu. Things started to move well now, so I was happy to go with a full tasting and wine pairing. Let’s hope this goes better than last night’s clusterf**k

Service is already moving better than last night, done with care and courtesy. A nice pink bubbly is poured and with some bread the snacks begin to appear.

01a-snacks

A nice selection of items focused on seafood, from the ceviche to the spring roll-like cone. A nice start. Then some jamon…

02-jamon_edited

Not bad, with some goat cheese and pumpkin jam. The server also mentioned that it’s the chef’s trademark to have a wee piece of tomato on each dish, and I appropriately finished each dish from this point on with that tomato. Then we started into the larger courses once a nice Argentinian pinot grigio was poured…

03-langostine_edited

Oh, this langostine was divine. Such beautiful flavours of quality ingredient. Compared to that horribly stringy thing at D.O.M. last night, this was perfection. Wow… The crayfish salad was also fantastic. An excellent dish to say the least, blew away last night already!

I breathed a sigh of relief sensing tonight was going to go well, from the solid service to the excellent food. I was starting to smile. I had worried that Rio was going to be worse than SP, but it’s not proving to be the case at all so far. Then the next dish was tuna.

04-tuna

In various preparations, but the seared pieces were excellent. Avocado was nice addition. Another good dish! Another good pour of a Portuguese alvarinho and we shifted to the next item.

05-seafood stew

This was another excellent dish, a seafood stew with another good prawn. But the base of the stew was foie gras! Fabulous aroma and flavour. The cabbage tho got stuck together, but another excellent dish!

I was really enjoying this dinner so far, and it’s helping me block out last night’s nightmare — which I will likely revisit when I see my credit card statement. But nevertheless, another white is poured and we moved into a fish dish.

06-mullet-squid_edited

A local red mullet, very tasty. The mushroom sauce was fabulous, and so was the baby squid on top. An excellent dish overall! I’m saying that quite a lot tonight! Then another floral white from Portugal is poured and I assume we’re still with seafoods — and that’s perfectly awesome as it’s been excellent tonight! They need to give D.O.M. a lesson in sourcing!

07-rock lobster

Next up was rock lobster, which was fabulous. Full of rich natural flavour that was extremely intense. Unfortunately the risotto was a bit mixed, parts were good but parts weren’t…a bit of a cooking blunder here. But still that rock lobster was just stunning…

Then a pour of a shiraz signals a change, and I chuckled to myself when this dish was presented and described…

08-chicken

Free-range chicken. Lovely taste here, but I couldn’t help myself but laugh as I had a flashback to the film Cidade de Deus (City of God) and the chasing of that poor “free-range” chicken in the favela… But it did taste good! Tonight is a masterclass of good cooking and good service that D.O.M. ought to learn, if they get off their high horse… A pour of a Portuguese red and we have the last savoury course.

09-filet mignon_edited

Filet mignon. Not my favourite cut, and was probably the weakest dish of the night, sadly. In any case, the seafood procession has been fantastic, one of the best series of seafood dishes I’ve had in ages. An excellent night. A quick pre-dessert puff and then a very cute item…

10a-tree

The dessert tree! I picked the fruit happily and enjoyed it. Then we had the next, main dessert item based on chocolate and beets.

11-chocolate beets_edited

Not bad, a good closing number — though I did remove that annoying edible gold to the side…

Then I had another drink and coffee and enjoyed some closing nibbles, and chatted with the server for a little, talking about Portugal and SP and things. Really nice evening overall. That opening mishap was quickly sorted, which is a sign of a good FoH. My complements to the management here.

Overall this was a rather excellent dinner, the procession of seafood dishes were spectacular. For one thing, I feel far more confident about Rio’s dining scene now, which puts me at more of a rest for the next few nights. I headed out into the stormy night very happy.

Eleven Rio
Avenida Vieira Souto 234, Ipanema
Rio de Janeiro, Brasil

Review: D.O.M.

17 July 2017

I was still glowing with the porcine goodness of lunch at A Casa do Porco, but we approach the final meal of my time here in São Paulo. And of course it was dedicated to D.O.M. It had to be done, and with all the accolades it should be quite a wonderful meal to end my short stay here in SP.

It was not a long walk, and mostly downhill, so I trekked my way there. A little early, so just hung out a little before they were ready. I headed in, seeing Chef Alex Atala still chilling. I was seated and they recommended a house cocktail, so I went with it.

cocktail

A nice smoky wee cocktail and they vaguely described the dinner, and I was happy to go with the wine pairing. I asked for a bit of time to enjoy my drink before the procession started, and they were happy to do that. Glass was a little too cute tho, it kept rolling away… I chilled out for a bit, and saw Chef Atala head into the kitchen. This should be fun!

I need to apologise for the bad photos as it was dark as Hades in there, and I try to take shots in the dark without the glowing screen annoying other diners, so some didn’t come out well at all… Soon the snacks appeared, starting with a cachaça candy that wasn’t bad…

01-cachaça candy_edited

…then a pepper mouse that was also good, accompanied by a shot of sake inside a pepper… Interesting. So far so good, then the next set of snacks…

03-06-starters

This was a hit-and-miss set. The oyster was was a boozy disaster, the watercress and shrimp was okay, the bottarga not bad, and the piracuru skin pretty nice. I have to say reading the menu after the fact showed the servers didn’t really know what the items are…and sadly, that’s just the start to this rapidly declining evening…

A pour of a nice white and the first larger item arrived, scampi.

07b-prawn_edited

Now for a 2-Michelin and supposed-to-be-one-of-the-best restaurants in the world, this prawn was a cry for help. I don’t think I’ve had a stringier prawn for a decade. It was borderline inedible, horrible quality. Did no one check? My goodness, this was just awful… And of course the servers had no idea what was with the poor creature that may have expired from advanced age…

Then the next course came, shockingly with the server DROPPING silverware on my table instead of placing them. Is this a 2-Michelin place or a hole-in-the-wall? Where did they find these servers?

08-scallop palm heart_edited

This scallop and palm heart dish wasn’t bad, though the herby essence was way too strong and ate way into the natural goodness of the ingredients. Careless stuff by the kitchen. Then some manioc bread that’s just that…

09-manioc

Next…then we revisit palm heart with this raviolo-like thing. Excellent, the dish of the night, lovely stuffing here.

10-palm raviolo

The service has not improved, but at least they’re not dropping silverware on my table anymore after I gave them dirty looks last time they did it… But as with the descriptions they seem to have an “just eat it” attitude when I kept asking for a description more than 3 words…

11-pirarucu

Then the next dish was the piracuru…it really didn’t work. The extremely acidic sauce just destroyed the fish. The pirarucu I had at Tordesilhas yesterday for lunch was far, far better… What in earth is this kitchen thinking? Then the next dish was shrimp and manioc.

12-shrimp

I asked the server what was in this, and he said, “shrimp”… I asked for more details, in Portuguese, and he said he didn’t know and need to ask the kitchen. FFS… I ate this with no glee…really boring. Again, very poor seafood. Is he sourcing this stuff right? The server came back with a mild explanation that didn’t explain anything at all…ain’t that great? The service cannot function in English NOR Portuguese it seems…

13b-chicken okra_edited

Next up in a meal that I’ve lost interest in was a chicken and okra dish. It seems to have various “Asian” touches but this kitchen has absolutely no clue how it works… It’s like a bad dinner at a bad wannabe fusion Asian place… I just tossed down the wines as they came…

14-palm noodle

Then the next dish was another one I wrote down in my notes, “what were they thinking” — palm noodles. These were awful. Again, what I call “faux Asian” in another dish that I would have expected from a chef who has just helmed his first kitchen, not in one with so many accolades…

Ugh…this is basically a cluster. I wasn’t even asking questions anymore as it does no good. This is just going through the motions now. The final savoury is now up — finally…

15-duck

And of course it’s overcooked, the duck… TA DA…am I surprised? No. One of the worst duck dishes I’ve had in years… I just want this to end, and then this…

16-aligot

Really, aligot? Really? A dish on a good day I find disgusting actually turned out quite good. It’s quite sad to say this was one of the best dishes of the night…on something I usually would not touch with a bargepole ala carte… Does that say it all?

17-curd mousse

Next up was curd mousse, which was quite meh…I’m just counting the numbers now…

18-banana lime ravioli_edited

Then a lime and banana “ravioli” dish in a jelly-like thing. Not bad, to be honest. This segment is turning far better than the savouries… And we finally finish with some grilled mango…

19-mango

More like pulverised…and, of course, they bring out a faulty spoon. What a perfect end to this service disaster. Even at last night’s ridiculously bad Rodeio the service was not this pathetic. They were just lazy last night. Tonight is just incompetent, and whoever runs the FoH should be totally ashamed of this. Not even worthy of an Applebee’s…

AND FINALLY, IT’S OVER…

This was just such a crappy evening it’s hard to believe how expensive it is — especially considering we’re in Brazil. This would be considered pricey in many European capitals, and it’s just obscene in a town where some make less than this a month. Sure, if the food and service was up to par, but this was not — not by a long shot. The food is mediocre, the service is piss poor. How they got 2 Michelin stars is beyond me, but it’s places like this that makes Michelin look bad. And it discredits the 50 Best Restaurants thing even more with its mutual stroke-fest attitude.

This was so utterly infuriating of an evening I didn’t even wait until my Cabify dropped me off a few minutes later before I sent a complaint email about the ridiculously bad service. My goodness, what the hell? They should all go to Tuju and learn — from the kitchen, and from the FoH there.

I thought today’s awesome lunch had saved São Paulo for me, but this just buries it. Ugh, what a waste of money and time…

Avoid this place like the PLAGUE. THE PLAGUE.

D.O.M.
Rua Barão de Capanema 549, Jardins
São Paulo, Brasil

Review: A Casa do Porco

17 July 2017

After that utterly awful dinner at Rodeio I was losing heart. Brazil is getting on my nerves already, the annoying attitude that tourists are there to be taken advantage of instead of being courted. Sigh… In any case it was my last full day in São Paulo so I wanted to make most of it.

The morning took me to explore Cemitério da Consolação, the city’s key cemetery. It’s certainly nowhere as nice as its counterpart in Santiago… I then walked into downtown and explored the centre a bit. The Igreja Nossa Senhora da Consolação was looking nice on this sunny day.

Aside from that my main destination was somewhere I knew I may have to wait in line even on a Monday, A Casa do Porco.

This was well-known as a temple for porcine goodness, and I was not gonna miss it. I got there at about 20 minutes before midday and there were already folks waiting — local and tourists (both domestic and foreign). I forget there is a huge domestic tourism market here in Brazil…

But the door finally opened and I was seated at the bar. I decided to challenge myself and try to speak to the staff in Portuguese only and it seemed to have worked. I ended up having some wine and going for the tasting — despite being lunch-time. Why not, eh?

And just as I was sipping on some wine the procession began, and I smiled…

01a-charcuterie

Some charcuterie appeared, house-crafted ham and head… Excellent stuff. Bread, mustard and pickled veg on the side. Nice start! Then quickly things moved ahead…

02-03a-tartar

Oh my…this was a fantastic pork tartar (yes, you read that right), with an amazing flavour. Then there’s the jowl sushi…

02-03b-jowl sushi

Oh goodness this was just blinding good. Just awesome…not sure if I can say more, but. Remember, São Paulo has the largest community of Japanese outside of Japan… I was in heaven…

And it kept going with the next pair, first some sanguiça that’s far better than last night’s morcela mess.

04-05-sanguiça-belly

The pork belly was just dreamy, with a lettuce wrap. Oh damn this is good! I was smiling as much as the many pig figurines that adorn this place! This is a temple of happiness! It’s like variation of that other temple of porcine goodness, Butagumi, in Tokyo

kitchen

Sipped more wine and the next set appeared. BTW this is coming in twos is because I am dining alone, as others doing the tasting are getting them item by item. This is a very delicious (and burning hot) croqueta filled with pulled pork Wow…

06-07-croqueta-bao

And behind that is a drool-inducing belly bao…oh damn this is fabulous. Excellent quality of the bun as well. Wow…I keep saying wow…

More wine and this place was now rocking. And the staff is amazingly efficient. Compared to last night, this is a well-oiled machine! Next up was some chopped pork in a piss-take on pork and beans — with quail egg, which was very tasty…

08-09a-pork and beans-pancetta

And the fried pancetta…it’s just so wrong…so, so wrong… :))))))

Fabulous stuff. I can’t believe this all cost a fraction of last night’s disaster! Then finally we reach the epic end of all this…

10b-Porco San Zé

Oh my, porco San Zé…this suckling pig…this is what they are famous for. The skin just heavenly, the meat perfect. One of the best suckling pig dishes I’ve had in a restaurant. Almost got teary over this…

My goodness. I was stuffed. This was so damn good I almost wanted to come back for dinner. Alas, I have a reservation at D.O.M. so this will have to remain a dream that I live vicariously thru by re-reading this review…

I headed out and it was actually a bit warm… Missing the snow just about now! I walked around a bit more before deciding to take the Metro back — since the walk was mostly uphill. And plus, it was a chance to check out the Metro here since I had no other use for it all trip long. But even as I got back to my hotel all I could think about was that pork…oh my!

Happy again! A MUST in São Paulo!!!

A Casa do Porco
Rua Araújo 124, República
São Paulo, Brasil

* I really do recommend you follow their Instagram feed…it’ll wreck any diet you have and make you want to jump on a flight south ASAP…

A Brazilian Rip-Off Story: Rodeio…

16 July 2017

My knee was a little better and I headed out to wander in the early evening. It’s Sunday, and despite that pretty good lunch at Tordesilhas, most of the city’s eateries are closed for the evening. I ended up going to a place that is quite well-known for its meats, which is a great way to finish up the week — Rodeio.

I got there and it was pretty empty. Hmmm… I was seated and just my bloody luck, there was a loud table of folks speaking Chinese. I tried to ignore their loud yapping as I ordered. I chilled with some wine and then the yapping got louder, one girl pounded the table and walked out. Lol…free entertainment with my dinner…

sausage

And soon the starter arrived, what was supposed to be spicy sausage. Not very spicy, but very salty… Drank more wine before my main course arrived, sliced picanha…and it was plated…

plate with picanha

Ugh, the meat was not good. I know people like sliced picanha, but when you slice it away the table, who knows if it’s been sitting there. The meat was not good at all. The only thing that saved the day was the palm heart… I finished and waited for ages for them to serve more meat. It’s like they didn’t want to…

After the second time they did that, I started giving them an ugly look, and they started to do it faster. I asked also for a morcela, and that came quick with more beef.

plate with morcela

At this point I noticed that some of the tourists dining here were being short-changed on their meats. They did not know how much they had on the side, and when the servers went lazy they thought they were done so asked for the bill. One even left after 1 serving — 3 measly thin slices! For about 50 US dollars!

This is a blatant rip-off that’s just pathetic. Again, why does Brazil feel it needs to rip off tourists instead of making them want to come back? Just ridiculous.

One more dirty look and they gave me the rest of my meat. What an underwhelming night. Of all things the palm heart was the best thing. I ordered a fruit dessert and it was a bit lame…surprised? And to close the night I asked for an after-dinner drink list and they said they don’t have one…and gave me the cocktail list. I asked for a sazerac and they brought out this undrinkable thing…

I sent it back and they apologised and I just paid the ridiculously expensive bill and left. This place is an insult to dining — from the service to the food, from the drinks to the price. If there ever was a tourist trap in SP, I’ve found it. This is a perfect reason why I just can’t see myself coming to Brazil again…

FUCKING avoid this place. It should be shut down for fraud, incompetence, etc…

Rodeio
Rua Haddock Lobo 1498, Jardins
São Paulo, Brasil

Review: Tordesilhas

16 July 2017

I woke up a little later than planned, but got some extra sleep. Still enjoying that excellent dinner last night at Tuju. It was a quiet Sunday morning in this São Paulo neighbourhood, and I wasn’t going to wander too far today. It was certainly not snowing here like yesterday in Santiago…

I walked around a bit, not realising how hilly this area is. Up and down hills are fine, but when the slopes are sidewards it really puts a strain on my joints… Plus the pavements aren’t all that great. In any case, I eventually got to where I planned to have lunch, Tordesilhas.

They had just opened at midday and it was quiet — apparently I was on the early side. This is an old-school place you can see quickly. I took a seat next to the window and the bright sun was blazing even through them. I ordered a glass of wine and enquired about the tasting menu, but alas only for dinner. So I ordered normally.

Chilled out for a bit to enjoy the wine and people watch out the window, but soon my starter arrived.

1-casquinha

First up was the casquinha de siri, which is stuffed crab. Excellent, lovely flavours, a generous portion of the good stuff. The wine flowed very well too, although it’s Spanish. Enjoyable. Then soon after my starter arrived.

2-pirarucu

This is the grilled pirarucu, the legendary fish of the Amazon.. Quite excellent, and the palm hearts are just a joy to have…love these things. The vegetables were nice with the excellent broth. Pretty enjoyable I must say!

3-fruits

I chilled out and decided to have some fruits as a dessert…and it’s certainly a better selection than the really sad plate I had at Soby’s a few days earlier!

Generally a good lunch, I enjoyed it. I headed out pretty happy. A bit of a long walk in the neighbourhood but the hilly terrain somehow did something to my left knee, and it was really starting to bother me, so I headed back in on this lazy Sunday…

Tordesilhas
Alameda Tietê 489, Jardins
São Paulo, Brasil