Kiko Martins opened O Boteco to pay homage to his roots and to serve Brazilian treats.
onsidering its historical proximity to Brazil, and other aspects, it would be normal for Portugal to have a lot of Brazilian restaurants. However, in Lisbon, there are few with a genuinely Brazilian menu. Chef and restaurateur Kiko Martins, who was born in Rio de Janeiro to a Portuguese family, has now opened O Boteco, which boasts a menu featuring over 30 tropical petiscos (traditional dishes), from picanha (rump cap steak) with farofa (toasted cassava or corn) to quindim (custard) with tapioca, prawn bobó with manioc and coconut milk and escondidinho (a shepherd’s pie type dish). The feijoada (bean stew) croquettes à brasileira (the feijoada is also a main course) alone are worth a visit to this eatery in Praça Luís de Camões, where this very Brazilian cuisine has been adapted to include fresh Portuguese produce. O Boteco’s decor combines 1950s style with a contemporary element: “a satire” by artist Bordalo II, who created something that echoes both Rio de Janeiro and the Portuguese capital.
After moving to Lisbon as a boy, Kiko’s culinary career began in 2013 with O Talho, before opening A Cevicheria, O Asiático, O Surf & Turf, O Poke and A Barra Japonesa. He admits to being “restless, hyperactive”, but has begun to delegate, although the “skeleton” always remains his responsibility. He trusts in a more serene gastronomy and options that focus on produce, creativity and service. Nowadays, “the way forward is people understanding what they eat, and what they expect is good food and a variety of styles”. And they can certainly get that here.
Praça Luís de Camões, 37 \\\ fb.com/oboteco.chefkiko
by Augusto Freitas de Sousa
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