Location-Rua Haddock Lobo,1002, Sao Paulo, Brazil
Cuisine-Sophisticated French and Contemporary
Another trip to Sao Paulo,another chance for a great meal,where to go?Tweet your personal Sao Paulo restaurant critic, Alexandre Forbes,Food Editor GQ Brazil,along with other credits,and the tweet returns, Epice for sure,and I am there.Tonight, I am joined by Fernando of Casa Sanchez fame as well my Argentinian friend TheBadTennis player and his Brazilian partner.We enter Epice on this slow Tuesday night and are seated by our very nondescript and boring server NoName,what can I get you to drink he asks,Caiperoskas of course, is this not Brazil.
We get our drinks and NoName wants our choices before we can even lift our glasses ,hold on Mr.,let us enjoy our drinks we are the customers here not just numbers.We study the menu and having read Alexandre’s description of the Salmon starter order it for three of us, while Fernando orders the Entrecote Carpaccio.
The Salmon starter arrives as shown above along with all all dishes served to our group. The Salmon dish is spectacular,salmon sliced thin,with al dente asparagus and the Gagit must, egg yolk soft ,perfection in simplicity.Fernando’s Entrcote Carpaccio is great meat but really overpowered by the salad on top,this dish really misses the mark on presentation as well.
The mains now arrive, I order the Crispy Pork Belly and it is cooked to perfection, the outside crispiness and the inside juiciness ,on a bed of tasty beans and herbs.My other three guests ordered the Hacke,cooked perfectly with smoked Hearts Of Palm with Bacon. The guys thought this dish was truly worthy of a great restaurant.
Our server ,No Name drops the dessert menu on the table no smile ,no suggestions,just a mechanical it is my job attitude.I order the pineapple ,sliced very thin,ice cream,fine brunoise of cooked fruit,and clouds of coconut to complete. This is the dish Alexandre shows in her Boa Vida article on Epice and it even tastes better than it looks. The final disappointment from No Name was instead of the lovely mignardises Alexandre was served we only get the check and not even a thank you.
Let the Truth be Told,Chef Alberto Landgraf has tremendous culinary credentials;Pierre Gagnaire in Paris and Ramsey’s on Royal Hospital in London and his dishes truly show his skills.However on this slow Tuesday night ,even though his food skills shined brightly, his wait staff treated us as an annoyance to their night.I should have asked for the Chef and told him how much we enjoyed his food and how the front of the house did not do justice to this meal,all it needed was enthusiasm, a smile ,and a thank you to hurry me back.