Craving the Best Asian Food in Rio?! Head over to Mr Lam

Looking for a modern, fun, ‘New York style’ swanky Asian restaurant in Rio?! Head to Mr Lam  in Jardim Botanico (ie the Central Park of Zona Sul).  The story goes that entrepreneur Eike Batista enjoyed his meal at Mr Chow in New York SO much that he brought him to Rio to open Mr.Lam.  Talk about a dedicated customer- The corner table on the first floor of Mr. Lam is reserved for Eike Batista and usually other patrons are not welcome to dine at his table! He really did bring a piece of ‘New York’ to Rio with this multilevel trendy restaurant- not a typical set up for restaurants here in Rio.

The first floor is bright, and nicely spread out- as you can see people aren’t sitting on top of each other.  Apparently, it is also the more ‘family friendly’ floor.  The second floor contains a private room for parties— while walking up the stairs when you get to the second floor all your see is a big red curtain lining the floor.  Personally, I loved the 3rd floor terrace- with a sliding roof, you get an amazing view of the Christ Statue (Corcovado) on one side and Lagoa (the Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon) on the other.  It has more of a lounge feel and has some great old school music videos playing on the big screen;)

For starters we enjoyed the famous chicken satay and sqwab with lettuce. Delicious!! I highly recommend trying both: the satay has that wonderful peanut sauce you love but its a little sweeter (if you are reading this and live in NYC- head to Phillippe, tastes the same) and the ‘sqwab’ is minced chicken, perfectly spiced which you use to form your perfect lettuce wrap.  For the main course we had the crispy duck which was phenomenal! This restaurant is known for superb duck dishes, especially the Peking duck (fyi takes 60mins to prepare so it is advised you order ahead of time, it is also large, better for a group of 4).  It was wonderful, the service was impeccable;  the waiter event prepared each ‘moo shoo’ style wrap for you. (which was quite nice)

Though I didn’t try the noodle dish, as you can see from the picture above, they are hand thrown noodles created table side.  It was great to watch, and when finished the waiter brought the fresh noodles around to show people.

However, it was the ‘Mini Bang’ dessert that seals the deal making this restaurant top 5 in Rio de Janeiro.  Mini pots of chocolate mouse/cream with a caramelized cherry at the center and pop rocks sprinkled on top! On the side there are two yummy caramel sauces a simple and a spicy for you to pour on or dip your mouse into.  Of course there is an additional line of pop rock candy decorating the center of the plate— Mmmmm good!! 

I highly recommend Mr. Lam! It is the perfect spot for a special occasion, romantic night out, a group dinner, or if you are just craving a perfectly prepared meal with a beautiful atmosphere.


Thai food in Rio?! You Bet!

The food here is INCREDIBLE, honestly every direction you turn there is something delicious to eat (don’t worry I joined the gym and will report on that soon!). I would say most of the ‘traditional’ restaurants along Ataulfo de Paiva (think: ‘main street’) have grilled chicken (perf for me) or some other form of protein served with fries or rice and beans.  They also have sandwiches, salads, crepes, you get the drift. Last night after Carnival we were craving something different and discovered Mekong a cute Thai restaurant a few blocks away from our apartment. It was a nice change for the palate!! We had chicken satay- with real peanut sauce… It is actually quite hard to find peanut butter here! Had to do some investigating, but finally found a small container at the 3rd market I went to(see below).  Then onto spring rolls and of course pad Thai.  The Pad Thai tastes very similar to any of the NYC restaurants on seamlessweb you are ordering it in from, but there are 2 differences…

First, the size! As you can see above the portion of pad thai was VERY small.  Think we were a little shocked, since we were obviously expecting a giant portion like we are used to (probably a good thing that it was tiny) but still a shocker. Second, instead of egg being mixed into it, it was sprinkled on top (yellow spaghetti looking stuff on top is really egg). Personally, favor their egg placement here more than that in the states since I usually pick it out! Overall, the place was cute- half inside/outside of course and the food was great.  Next time I am jonesing for Thai, I will most likely head back here!