Saudades do Brasil

I’d never tried Brazilian cuisine before last weekend, and it probably wouldn’t have occurred to me to seek it out were it not for the fact that I recently got talking to a Brazilian couple during our meal on the Brusselicious tram. Edi and Isa offered to show us what they considered to be the best and most authentic Brazilian restaurant in Brussels: Saudades do Brasil.

We started with a caipirinha while we waited for another couple (who had also been with us on the tram) to join us. Edi explained that, while there was wine on the menu, the food we were going to order was better accompanied by a beer. Of the two Brazilian beers on the menu only one was available, so we all took a bottle of Skol, which is a confusingly Scandinavian name for something from South America, but it tasted fine nonetheless.

To start we shared a selection of salgadinhos: croquettes containing fish, chicken and cheese in varying amounts. Very tasty: the perfect appetizer. Photo by Edi.

For the main all three men went for the “national dish” feijoada. This is a rich, hearty stew of beans, pork trimmings, pork ribs, beef and chorizo, accompanied by rice, collard greens, farofa (cassava flour) and a hot pepper sauce. Very tasty, and very filling.

The slices of orange on the side are to consume after the stew, so that their freshness and acidity wake you up again. I usually don’t eat much citrus fruit but this time I really appreciated it, and it had the desired effect.

Photo by Edi.

My wife had Lombinho a Brasileira: pork filet with rice, plantain, tomato sauce, and tutu de feijão (bean and manioc puree).

For dessert I had a coconut mousse with strawberry topping. This was a slight modification of the traditional Brazilian version, but lovely nonetheless.

Isa had a fantastic guava mousse (although we kept teasing her that, since we weren’t familiar with the taste of guava, to us it tasted like banana). After the meal the chef surprised her with two containers of the mousse to take home with her, free of charge.

Oh, and the name of the restaurant, Edi explained, means a more positive version of nostalgia or homesickness; something which evokes happy memories of Brazil. I certainly have happy memories of the restaurant. Thanks again, Edi and Isa!

Photo by the waiter.