Ok, so, after you get over the awkward choice of names for an Asian restaurant, Opium in Ipanema is a great choice if you’re looking for Asian cuisine from many of the continent’s countries. The aesthetic here is clean and sleek, and the food ranges from sushi, to noodles, to curry.
To start, I had a drink. No, not Oolong or Green tea, sorry. I went for a typical Brazilian cocktail, a Caipirinha (cachaça, sugar and lime). I’ve had these before in the States, but ended up drinking quite a few of these in different spots around Brazil. You know, research, you have to see who’s making them best. Opium’s was pretty good, not too, too sweet, but a bit strong. Success.
Next, I ordered Miso Soup (soy paste, tofu, seaweed and chives). A very standard Japanese starter, pretty hard to mess up, and this one did not disappoint.
Then for my entree, I ordered Phat Ma Maung Him Ma Pan (braised shiitake mushrooms and vegetables in a mild sauce, covered with toasted cashew nuts, pineapple cubes and coriander with jasmine rice). I really liked this dish a lot. It was different from other stir fries that I’ve had, this one on the sweet side with a really nice glaze. The veggies were really bountiful, I loved the crunch from the cashews, and I especially liked the raisins that also added that natural sweetness.
Location: R. Farme de Amoedo, 34 – Ipanema, Rio de Janeiro, Brasil
The Long and Short: Would I go back? Yes, I really liked my food and there’s really something for everyone.
Would I recommend it? Yes, and, the Ipanema Plaza Hotel is conveniently adjoined to the restaurant, so, you can kill two birds with one stone (ugh, I really hate that phrase…so violent).