Boteco, BKC | All The Deets
In Brazil, a boteco is a meeting place where people would go for a drink and some snacks, where they could hang out and chat without any obligation. There is nothing fine-dine about a Boteco and that’s the spirit Chef Guto Souza wanted to bring to his restaurant. Located in BKC, Boteco is a brightly decorated restaurant where we saw as many corporates as we did families and groups of friends.
We started off with a Brazillian style pani puri, Camarão Copacabana, stuffed with grilled prawns, a roasted tomato chutney and a Spanish style aioli. What’s interesting is that on your first bite, you’re actually quite unsure of what you’ve just eaten but the more you eat, the more you enjoy it. I found this with quite a few dishes at Boteco due to the use of unique flavours that I’ve never tried before. For me, a memorable dish is one that is completely new to my palate, which is exactly what this was. Next came the delicious Pão de Queijo com Linguiça which translates to delicious balls of cheesy dough sandwiched around homemade pork sausages of which I could have eaten 10. The Salpicao or shredded chicken salad was perhaps the most underwhelming dish because although the flavours were unique, they didn’t quite keep my attention.
Chef Guto clearly told us that his menu is centred around meat and seafood as is the food in his hometown however, even a hard-core carnivore like him could appreciate the delicious Beetroot Ravioli. Thin, cured, seasoned discs of beetroot cradling soft goat cheese and walnuts topped with a decadent saffron sauce for a sophisticated and delicious vegetarian starter. We also tried the Escondidinho which was a really interesting dish and one that Guto said you would easily find all over Brazil. This was a tube of spiced, mashed pumpkin stuffed with shredded steak that has been dried for over four days. This is then topped with a layer of mascarpone cheese and parmesan. This was not my favourite dish but again, it was so interesting that I had to keep digging in. The spiced pumpkin complemented the steak surprisingly well!
Moving on to the real highlight of our meal, the grilled tenderloin. Guto showed us the grill in the kitchen which is where all the magic happens. For your main course, you can pick your choice of vegetable, seafood or meat and have it grilled to perfection and served with 10 accompaniments. I tried the tenderloin which was melt in your mouth delicious, I topped mine with thyme butter and flakes of cassava with fried onion which was to die for. The Peixe ao molho de Camarão was another star, kind of a fishy Shepard’s pie. A grilled piece of seabass was hidden within a bed of mashed potatoes, topped with prawns in a sweet, tangy tomato sauce. The flavours burst with every bite and the combination of the prawn, fish, tomato and potato is deadly.
For dessert, we indulged in churros served with chocolate sauce and home-made dulce de leche along with an incredible lemon mousse topped with honey caviar. The mousse was as light as air with a bright, fresh, tart acidity from the lemon cutting through the creamy texture. Boteco has a laid-back, convivial energy and ambience and can work as well for a business lunch as it can for date night or a dinner with friends. Their bar menu looks quite appealing as did the cocktails I saw being served around me. A great choice for those who enjoy experimenting with flavours and cuisines and of course, who love their meat!