It was such a pleasure meeting the team behind one of the World’s 100 Best restaurants, and one of Latin America’s 50 Best! Chef Thomas Troisgros takes over from his dad Claude, and their work is a culmination of 38 years of research on the best of local produce. We really enjoyed trying ingredients like baroa potato, açai and hearts of palm in savoury dishes for the first time. Fantastic flavours and amazing ingredients. So, let’s get started!
The restaurant is classically elegant and we enjoyed quite a bit of privacy from our table. We were served freshly-baked bread with breadsticks and butter to start. Really interesting texture from the breadsticks.
First up, Mussels with white wine foam and kimchi. The use of kimchi was surprising, but the mussels were fresh, succulent and its briny flavour brought out beautifully by the wine foam.
Next, this gorgeous palette of Ricotta Cheese, beet, pickles, nuts.
This looked and tasted like a work of art. All the intricate textures and flavours were so different and yet came together in a harmonious explosion in the mouth. Very unique and a great refreshing start to the meal.
Up next — Scallops, caviar, tower root puree and chickpea mash.
Nothing very special about this dish, but there was nothing really much to fault either. The scallops were firm and fresh, and the chickpea mash smooth and creamy. Wouldn’t have minded a bit more caviar though. Haha.
I wish I could take a better picture of this, but this truly does it NO justice. One of my favourite dishes — Poached egg, napa cabbage fermentation, sour leaf puree, chicken foam.
I loved how the fermented cabbage cut through the rich, creamy goodness of the poached egg and chicken foam. All those savoury flavours just gliding down the throat. Lovely.
Then came the first of the mains — Seabass with black sauce, sour palm.
This was a rather simple dish, with light flavours that didn’t overwhelm the fish. This was my first time trying heart of palms which really is a local specialty. And I did enjoy the somewhat firm, crunchy texture with a tartness that helped balance the whole dish.
And then there was the Ravioli with baroa potato puree, honey and dry beef.
Baroa is an Andean root vegetable native to the region. I liked its smooth texture encased by the ravioli skin which had a firm bite. Loved also that salty topping of dried beef that gave the dish some oomph.
And last but certainly not least, my favourite dish of the night — Lamb Loin with acai crust, yucca gnocchi and sumac butter solids.
All of the ingredients used were relatively new to me and it all just came together SO perfectly i was swooning while making my way through the dish. That perfectly juicy, medium rare lamb, chewy, pan-fried gnocchi that went superbly well with that acai sauce. Just wow. Definitely recommend trying this if you’re ever there.
And the best way to end of a stellar meal? With dessert of course. Specifically, this Coconut Sagu, Roasted Pineapple Sorbet, Poejo Mint, Nut Crumble.
Again, a gorgeous blend of creamy, tart, sweet and crunchy that brings the meal to a delectable end. Also, we could hardly complain when the waiter arrived with a platter of salty aged cheeses. We were stuffed by then, but we always have five stomachs for dessert so we were definitely not complaining.
Overall, a great way to enjoy local ingredients and produce in creative, unique dishes. Don’t miss it if you’re ever in Rio. We were also lucky enough to be invited to take a tour of the kitchen, which definitely made our time there wonderfully memorable.