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. 

The Shorts:
Name: Opium
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). 


Dough Loco

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First stop on my 7 Best Doughnuts In NYC Challenge is Dough Loco. Located on the cusp of the Upper East Side and East Harlem, you can smell the intoxicating scent of doughnuts pouring out.

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Inside is a simple store with scatterings of the signature cartoon caricatures, selling unique doughnuts and Blue Bottle coffee. These doughnuts are not for the faint of heart, measuring to about the same size of a softball. Luckily, I’m not scared. I chose a couple, the Maple Miso and Pumpkin Cherry.

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Ok, so, I’ll keep it honest. I thought the doughnuts themselves were too thick and dense. A yeast doughnut by itself doesn’t necessarily have a ton of flavor to it, but, when it’s lighter and airy, and with the right coating or glaze, it’s delicious. Here, there was just far too much dough. The glazes are more of the star of the production. 

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The glaze was very sweet, but, since the dough was without much flavor, it was necessary. The Pumpkin Cherry really exuded the flavors nicely. You first get the pumpkin flavoring and then when you incorporate the red icing drizzles, the cherry comes through. And not that candy-like cherry, the real deal.

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The Maple Miso glaze was really good as well, with a sweet maple flavor, speckled with little candied bits. 

The Shorts:
Name: Dough Loco
Location: 1261 Park Avenue, NYC
The Long and Short: Would I go back? I’m all about second chances, but, they would have to reduce the size of the doughnut first, and I’m not sure that’s in their plans.
Would I recommend it? As much as I love doughnuts, it wasn’t my top pick.