O Boteco: Chef Kiko’s New Restaurant Is A Tribute To Brazil ♦ It’s a return to its origins, in a way: Chef Kiko Martins opened this Saturday a new restaurant inspired by the laid back culinary universe of Rio de Janeiro, where he was born. “O Boteco” is located in the heart of the city of Lisbon, in Luís de Camões Square, and consists mainly of a collection of typical Brazilian snacks ranging from the classic wind pastry. Secrets From Portugal brings you all about this amazing project, one more to add to the empire of the amazing chef Kiko. This time it will honour the city where he was born, Rio de Janeiro, with comfort food and many snacks from Brazil.
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Chef Kiko Martins brought a best of Brazilian appetizers and taco dishes to O Boteco, the new restaurant in Largo Camões, in Chiado.
The first thing to divert attention is the huge chandelier with flag-green bottles. The second, even more imposing, is the play by artist Bordalo II. It is hung on one of the walls of this Boteco, with very high ceiling and very light, old wooden counters and tiled floor. It is a boat that connects Rio de Janeiro and Lisbon, with stories that start at Christ the Redeemer and the favelas and arrive in Portugal with symbols such as the tram, the castle or the fishing nets. A bit like this restaurant which, although it is a compliment to Brazil, is in the city centre and has a Portuguese product.
“Usually what involves croquette is a bechamel, here we made a bean puree,” he explains. Among the main dishes is the Brazilian feijoada, served in the traditional way, with pork and sausages, beans, orange and cabbage (€ 18.70), shrimp and codfish bobó (€ 19.40), picanha. of wagyu (27,40 €), seafood rice with tiger prawns and catupiry cheese (25,80 €) or the hidden ones, in vegetarian version (17,90 €) or stewed ham (19,20 €). You can add to the party various side dishes, all apart from ham and bacon farofa (3.20 €) to fried casserole with salt flower (4.40 €), garlic rice (3.40 €), cheese bread (4,60 €) or black beans (3,80 €).
The hardest thing was getting some ingredients. “I wandered through several Brazilian supermarkets, from Algés to Arroios. Called, upset. I wanted the right flour for the cheese bread, the curd cheese, the tucupi, ”describes the chef. “This is not work done from scratch. Eight years ago, at O Talho, there was a dish that was Brazilian mincemeat, with hearts, fried banana. And it was already dried meat. I don’t want to make a cut and paste from Brazilian cuisine. That was just looking at half a dozen recipes and reproducing. You have to think about them ”, reinforces Kiko, who last year went to have two dinners with four hands in São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro and took the opportunity to visit some bars.
“Brazilian cuisine is very dear to the Portuguese. The bean rice, the rump steak, the coconut milk dishes, the quindins, brigadeiros, dulce de leche, the caipirinhas. This has always been a beach of ours, it’s rooted, ”he says. And so there is that in the letter. But you will also find a cod in Lisbon, to introduce the city to tourists passing by and peeking, with a scallion, potato chips and potato froth (21,80 €) and a beef tenderloin woodpecker (32,80 € for two people).
The Brazilian recipe does not forgive at dessert time and Kiko wants to end the meal with the quindim with creamy coconut tapioca and a passion fruit and coriander gel (€ 6.70), the chocolate brigadeiro cake and hazelnut paçoca (6, 90 €) or Romeo and Juliet, a romantic novel that is actually catupiry cheese mousse with guava textures and cornmeal cake (€ 6.80).
In addition to the seating, O Boteco has eight seats in the bar, a kind of chef’s brand image. It works without reservations and you can also pass just to eat one of the sandwiches: ham sandwich (9,30 €), sirloin (9,80 €) or ham acorn and curd cheese (8,90 €). Add a caipirinha of lime, passion fruit or guava (€ 8.90) and take your feet off the ground with the bossa nova that goes by.