Categories: Opinion

Si-Chou, the no-strings-attached Asian restaurant in Ipanema

Si-Chou, the no-strings-attached Asian restaurant in Ipanema

If there’s one thing that Elia Schramm and Menandro Rodrigues know how to make a successful restaurant. And now the two have come together in a bold and bossa-filled project, as Rio de Janeiro deserves, and have opened the music club Asian cuisine Si-Chou .

If Elia is in charge of the city’s busiest Italian restaurant, Babbo Osteria, and Menander is the name in front of the award-winning Haru Sushithe personality and specialty of the two is perceived in the menu without strings attached and without house rules which – yes – already has a line at the door!

Si-Chou means silk and this is the restaurant’s starting point: revisiting Marco Polo’s Silk Road, passing through countries such as Japan, China, Korea, Vietnam and Thailand. However, Elia makes it clear: no strings attached! Here we contemplate classic recipes, we bring the basis of many traditional dishes, but we also allow ourselves to revisit and adapt others to the taste of the Brazilian public.

At Si-Chou, cream cheese is not the enemy and truffle oil can appear if the visitor so wishes. And for those who don’t like these ingredients, don’t worry, traditional options appear masterfully on the long and well-executed menu.

Si-chou’s menu features a variety of cold starters such as Yokhoe (R$62), a Korean tartare made with thin slices of seasoned meat, sesame seeds, nashi pear, country yolk and Korean nori and Spicy Tuna Tartare (R$58 ), with battered tuna seasoned in spicy miso, flying fish roe, shari and Korean nori. In the Japanese starters, a variety of Ussusukuris come into play, including Brazilian fish (R$ 62) with mango sunomono and gochugaro; of Sashimi, with classic options and special creations such as White Fish & Karasumi (R$ 49) – Japanese bottarga. In the Niguris section, the highlight is the scallop with clarified butter and fleur de sel (R$ 65).

At Makimonos, the chefs created a special section, in honor of the late Madame Butterfly, who operated at the same address for 18 years, they are: the Temp Roll (R$56), with shrimp tempura, massago, crunchy dough and sauce dynamite and the Happy Roll (R$49), with tuna, kani, takuan, cucumber and dynamite sauce. Finally, Si-Chou offers the Bluefin Experience, served as a pair, customers can try Chutoro, Akami and Otoro pieces.

The hot kitchen is divided into three stages: starters, mains and an entire chapter dedicated to Dim Sum & Bao. To start, dishes such as Bulgogui (R$62), made with slices of meat marinated Korean style, sautéed in a wok with onion and mushrooms, and Fish Korokke (R$27), fish croquette with tartar sauce.

Among the main dishes, a true fusion of cuisines, with recipes such as Carbonara Si-chou (R$ 74), carbonara noodles, with Cantonese bacon, cream cheese, black pepper, perfect egg and chives, an adaptation of a of Babbo Osteria’s hits. Another suggestion is the Kaisen Udon (R$ 128), Udon-style nero di sepia pasta, with octopus, shrimp, scallop and creamy sake sauce, Sicilian lemon and shellfish. Also outstanding are recipes such as Curry Thay do Mar (R$ 122) with prawns and white fish cooked in coconut milk with red curry vegetables, heart of palm, banana and salad accompanied by gohan and Dolsot Bibimbap (R$ 69), fried rice in an iron pan with marinated and seasoned meat, mushrooms, vegetables, egg yolk and slightly spicy Korean sauce.

To finish off the hot cuisine, a selection of Dim Sum & Bao. Starting with the Gua Bao (R$ 21), filled with seasoned battered tuna, with spicy miso, flying fish roe, shari and Korean nori. Another option is the Sio Mai (R$38), an open and steamed dumpling, stuffed with shrimp, bamboo shoots and chives.

The dessert chef is in charge of pastry chef Julia Guimarães, consulted by chef Gonzalo Vidal, with original recipes such as the Orient Express (R$ 39), a chocolate fondant with vanilla ice cream, bourbon and miso salted caramel sauce and the Tropical Asia (R$ 36), creamy coconut and white chocolate, passion fruit sobert, slightly spicy mango compote.

Cocktails also gain prominence in the house

Si-chou’s drinks menu is signed by mixologist Leonardo Santos (Haru’s bar chef), who was among the finalists of the Campari Bartender Competition. The man running the bar is the award-winning Pretinho Cereja, who creates creations ranging from originals such as: Gin Yuzzu Collins (R$ 36), with Gin, yuzu, Sicilian lemon, sugar and sparkling water; the Junmai Ice Tea (R$ 42), with junmai Sake, green apple and lemongrass soda and the Strawberry Negroni (R$ 41), with Gin, campari, vermouth rosso and strawberry milk punch to the classics such as: the Old Fashioned (R$40), with Bourbon whiskey, sugar and bitters and the Whiskey Sour (R$39), with Bourbon whiskey, lemon juice, sugar and egg white.

Si-Chou: Rua Barão da Torre, 472 – Ipanema – Rio de Janeiro – RJ / Opening hours: Monday to Wednesday, from 12pm to 4pm and from 7pm to 11pm; Thursday, from 12pm to 4pm and from 7pm to midnight; Friday and Saturday, from 12pm to 4pm and from 7pm to 1am; Sunday, from 12pm to 6pm.

Source: CNN Brasil