Bravo, Brazil: Boteco will serve you enough reasons to go back
As an accessible introduction to Brazilian cuisine and the many immigrant influences that shaped it, at Boteco you’ll find bruschetta, momos, hummus and some paneer too.mumbai Updated: Nov 04, 2017 08:59 IST
- Rating: 4/5
- Where: Unit GO 1A, Ground Floor, Parinee Crescenzo, G Block, Bandra Kurla Complex
- When: Noon to midnight
- Cost: Approximately Rs 4,000 for a meal for two with a drink each.
- Call: 2653-0085
Have the cheese bread.
It’s the first item on the second page of the menu – pao de queijo (pronounced pau-juh-keju). These bonbon-sized pale golden puffs, with their cracked tops and chewy insides, are no ordinary combination of carbs and aged dairy. They’re baked tapioca starch, and they were invented by African slaves in the 18th century, in the state of Minas Gerais, in Brazil.
Minas Gerais is also where Boteco’s chef Guto Souza is from, so you know they’ll be good.
Spend time reading the menu of Guto’s Brazilian restaurant in BKC, it features dishes such as bruschetta and ravioli, momos and hummus. Do not be alarmed. This is an accessible introduction to the Brazilian cuisine and the many immigrant influences that shaped it, including the Italians and the Lebanese. And because Boteco is in Mumbai, there is also some paneer.
Souza respects his meat. Our mix grill has New Zealand lamb, Belgian pork, and steak (medium rare as requested) and homemade sausages. The meat tastes as if it has barely been interfered with. It’s lightly seasoned and simply grilled. We almost don’t need any of the ten (ten!) accompaniments with the grill plate, but then they’re so uncommon, we land up having each by itself. There is chiwda-like farofa (cassava flour with onions), head-filling thyme butter, buttery mushrooms, fried cassava chunks, garlicky roasted tomatoes, grainy mustard paste, a zingy homemade chilli sauce, creamy sweet potato puree, salsa fresca, and supremely fragrant pineapple chutney.
The restaurant is bustling with detail without seeming cluttered, thanks to clever metal partitions. Tiled tabletops, cane-backed chairs, a massive hand-painted mural (featuring football and Rio’s Christ The Redeemer statue), a guitar strung on an exposed brick wall, glimmering blue glass windows, a gleaming green bar, all sit above black and white and mosaic flooring.
When the camaro grelhado arrives, we mistake the prawns for small lobsters. The flesh is as delicate and sweet as we’d expect. They’re glistening with chilly butter, alongside a dome of bright tomato risotto in which the grains are perfectly cooked in the warm centre, but underdone on the outside. File a palito, sauté steak strips spiked with garlic, chillies and parsley, is exactly those flavours executed well.
For dessert, the Quindim is restorative – a baked coconut custard which makes panna cotta and creme brûlée seem precious. It’s comfort, and simplicity, and it’s enough to save Boteco’s churros for another day, and we have enough reason to come back.
(HT pays for all meals and reviews anonymously)