Uma Nota | Experiencing Sabado de Boteco in Soho
I’ve always been attracted to the idea of bohemianism, of being unconventional, free spirited, and fun loving. Bohemians enjoy food, drink, art, culture and life in general. A restaurant that celebrates this vibe with a South American twist is a welcome addition to Hong Kong’s polished dining scene.
Uma Nota is Hong Kong’s only Brazilian-Japanese street food restaurant. It opened this past March, and was quickly beloved for its chilled-out vibe and unique bites (check out Foodie's review of their dinner menu here). I was excited to check out their just launched Brunch da Rua.
Their concept for brunch is simple. Go out a little too hard on Friday night? Head to Uma Nota with friends and partake in a Sabado de Boteco, a Sao Paulo tradition of getting together over drinks and snacks on Saturday morning to cure a hangover. Of course, i think the concept works equally well if you’re not hungover, but just hand a long week and want to start the weekend off right.
First off, the restaurant is design perfection. Everything from the street art and tiled steps in front of the restaurant, to colourful art and wallpaper throughout the restaurant, screams fun. It’d be practically impossible to have a sour mood while sitting in that atmosphere, listening to vibrant music, and consuming delicious things.
There’s a small but solid list of drinks for brunch: caipirinhas, cocktails, and red and white wines. Our caipirinha of the day ($90) was coconut-based and highly loved by our table. The Galo doodle-doo ($90) with campari, yuzu sake, and passionfruit and citrus was also a good choice; sweet and refreshing.
As for the food, our table started with the ceviche of the day (market price). Ours was made up of pink snapper, calamari and shrimp with a hint of tamarind for spice. It was fresh, light and absolutely delicious. We loved the addition of sesame for subtle, nutty kick.
The pasteis, Brazilian-style fried wontons, came out piping hot and crisp. While the beef and cheese ones ($65) were nice and homey, the flavour-packed spinach, mushroom and ricotta cheese ones ($65) won our hearts.
There was something so enjoyable about the linguica acebolada ($75). This bowl of sliced smoked sausage was topped with sweet onions that had been softened through being flambeed with cachaca. It was a touch sweet, and just absolutely moreish. While this came with a side of toasted baguette, I just wanted to eat the sausage on it’s own.
Our table tried three sets of skewers: shrimp, beef, and octopus. The shrimp ($80) was hands down our favourite. It was topped with a togarashi spice and I thought I detected a hint of coconut. A squeeze of the charred lime enhanced the taste of the grilled shrimp even more.
That said, both the beef and the octopus were a close second. The beef ($90) was tender, and accompanied by farofa, a grainy mixture extremely popular in Brazil, and a fresh salsa. The octopus ($90) was extremely fresh and delicious. I only wish there had been more of the delicious fresh herb sauce served with it.
Our last dish was the Costela de Porco ($300) a large plate of ribs and cold potato salad. The meat was juicy, and I enjoyed the fragrant slightly spicy marinade.
Uma Nota has brought something new to my list of brunch options. With its chilled-out bohemian Sao Paulo vibe and delicious food and drinks, it’s a great place to enjoy a lazy day. Note that the restaurant doesn’t take reservations. Try it while you can as Brunch da Rua is available from noon to 3:30 pm on Saturdays only until August 26.
38 Peel St, Central, 2889 7576