Young, buzzy and inviting, Brado welcomes you in, sits you down, surprises you with its unconventional menu, gets you a little giddy with decent Malbec for under R$50 a bottle, and sends you on your way, happy, well-fed and not feeling out of pocket. In short, it’s our kind of place.
The colourful, open-plan space spanning the ground floor and yard of a 1950s white-washed brick house charms by day, with sunlight shining through the vines on the yard’s glass roof, and enchants by night, when legions of hanging candles are lit.
The menu – a fun, broadsheet-sized affair, packed with arty illustrations – is eclectic, to say the least. Fish korma sits alongside the likes of chimichurri steak and wok-fried chicken. Brado describes it as ‘food with a conscience’, with buzzwords like ‘local’ and ‘seasonal’ peppering their website.
The menu changes twice a year, winter and summer, though with more than twenty possible mains, the menu feels a bit big to be wholly seasonal, while ingredients like salmon – imported from Chile – rack up the food miles. But maybe we’re just sore at only spotting the free filtered water option once our waiter had opened and poured six bottles of mineral water.
Eco-credentials aside, what Brado’s menu is all about is fun, vibrant and reasonably priced food. Foams feature here and there without being pretentious – more of a playful approach to comfort food than a beginner’s attempt at contemporary cuisine.
Our pork ribs (R$42), slow-roasted and tender, came with a sweet, not-quite-sticky-enough molasses coating, toasted manioc flour farofa, the boiled root veg mandioquinha, and a zingy lime foam. Other highlights were the fantastically crunchy batatas bravas (R$20) – potato wedges smothered in aioli and chilli sauce. Less gratifying was the lamb dish, parmentier de cordeiro (R$40), whose layers of pesto brocolli and mashed potato were crying out for some sauce or gravy.
Whatever you do, leave room for one of the beautifully-presented desserts – we loved the chocolate brownie with intense coffee ice cream and a sour squirt of passion fruit foam (R$16).