Did you know that Brazil is home to the largest Japanese population outside of Japan? Yup. And this means that the Japanese food in Rio de Janeiro is pretty damn great. Jeff and I were there for a week, so we treated ourselves to two sushi dinners in Ipanema in that time…
The first sushi restaurant we visited was Manekineko.
Bathed in red light and empty on a Sunday night (we were also there way before the usual dinner hour because we were jet lagged and very, very hungry), Manekineko’s menu boasted an impressive number of cocktails. I ordered something with vodka, lychee and grapes, and that’s essentially what I got. I’m not used to guzzling vodka by the pint, so I struggled to finish it – but I did dig out my grapes and lychee fruits!
For dinner we didn’t order too much… in the sense that we ordered one item from the set mixed platters!
We went for the Mix 38, which came with sashimi (5x tuna, 5x salmon, 5x white fish), sushi (2x tuna, 2x salmon, 2x prawn, 2x crab, 4x white fish, 1x octopus, 2x fish roe) and 8x California rolls. Phew! Needless to say we definitely could have ordered a lot less because, while we were hungry, this was too much for the two of us to finish!
This set us back about £30 for dinner, and was easily the best sushi I’d ever had.
Rua Dias Ferreira, 410, Rio de Janeiro, State of Rio de Janeiro 22431-050, Brazil
The second sushi restaurant we visited was Nik.
We went on a Friday night without a reservation, and waited about 20 minutes for counter service. We could have waited longer for a proper table, but our bellies were hungry and we liked the idea of having a view of the kitchen!
We were able to order pretty much immediately after we sat down, and while we were waiting for the sushi to come we were given these salmon rolls to snack on.
After a week of enjoy caipirinhas on the beach I decided to try a pineapple caipirinha without sugar. Let’s just say I wouldn’t order that again, and that I learned sugar / sweetener is an essential ingredient in caipirinhas.
Again, we totally over-ordered! This time we picked & chose different items from the menu, and when the food started coming out it felt like it would never stop!
Like at Manekineko the sushi was incredible. The fish was fresh, the rice was light and it really was the kind of meal you’d want to write home about.
That is the prettiest tempura I ever did see!
The bill at Nik came to about £25 including tip, and we floated out of there happy and full.
Much love, Katie xo