Located on Rua do Lavradio, a small street that was holding its own live Jazz festival, Casa Momus was a discovery of Marta’s that she was keen to try. Having flipped through the menu myself I was also sold and we hit it up for lunch. It was the happiest I’d been since arriving in Brazil.
- Website: http://casamomus.com.br/en
- Location: Rua do Lavradio 11, Centro, Rio de Janeiro
- Price: €20-€30 per person
- Good for: Dates, foodies, chilling out
- Bad for: Large groups
I’d already perused the menu online and was pretty sure about what I’d get but I wanted to feel the place out first. It’s a gorgeous little place with semi-intimate tables arranged along one side with padded bench seating on the wall, opposite stands a gorgeous dark wood bar. The staff are snappily dressed, very attentive and friendly, and speak quite good English.
We’re given time to decide what to eat and in the end Marta opts for Tagliatelle Salmone and I take Baked “Namorado” Fish Fillet and Seafood in a light Prawn Consomê with Fennel and Paprika Potatoes. I’m a huge fan of seafood and despite the other truly tempting options on the dish I figure this is the way to go for me.
In the meantime we’re introduced to Bohemia, which immediately becomes our go to beer. It’s a pleasant change from everything we’ve encountered so far. We bask in the jazz, the AC, and the beer talking standard restaurant nonsense and not long after our food arrives.
Marta’s pasta has large very large chunks of salmon mixed in amongst a cream that has good coverage on every strand of pasta. The cream and salmon blend well with a smooth salty flavour and a deliciously fatty combination between the two. The salmon flakes well but is slightly overcooked. In the end its a minor error in what is otherwise an excellent dish.
My dish is not at all what I expected from the description. In the centre stands two large pieces of potato with a piece of fish carefully arranged over the top. Around it are arrayed prawns, calamari rings and roasted fennel, all swimming in a delightfully bright seafood reduction. I’m ecstatic before I even begin. I can’t recall anything arriving and looking better than I pictured it.
I take my first bite. I die. It’s delicious. My eyes go manga style, my smile jumps up to my ears, and my toes, literally, curl with pleasure. It’s the meal I’ve been waiting for all week. I can taste every little flavor within the dish and they all carefully balance with each other.
The potatoes absorb the reduction and reduce its salt content while maintaining all of the flavor. Their starchy bodies give a much needed heft to the liquid and to the light fleshy pieces of seafood.
The fish itself flakes away at the merest touch and dissolves in my mouth. The prawns could be better but only because I’m insanely picky about my prawns. For the most part they are firm fleshed and very flavourful. I’m in taste heaven right now. I can’t even think straight.
Finally the fennel’s anise backs the fish up and provides a whole extra level on which to enjoy it.
Marta snaps a few photos of me completely blissed out and then dives into her dish. She sighs in ecstasy and then invites me to try it. I do so with gusto.
After a prolonged period of deep moaning and sighing we eventually, and lamentably, finish our main courses. They were so good though that we opt for dessert. I take my great love tiramisu and Marta opts for a Fruit Crumble and Pink Peppercorn.
The fruit crumble is sweet and light and all of the fruit is seasonal and delicious with a combination of peach, pear, and mango. It’s immersed in a simple sugar syrup that beats back what little tartness there is to the fruit. The peppercorns add a nice twist to everything and pump some extra flavour out of the fruit. It’s good stuff, but we soon learn that I’ve totally won this meal.
The tiramisu comes served in a metal mug with the restaurant logo on it (which you can buy if you want to) and is incredible. I always think tiramisu is incredible, but this is the one that converts Marta. The mascarpone and cream are thick and rich without being heavy, the coffee and masala are in perfect harmony, and the sponge is soaked top-full but isn’t soft or sloppy. It’s toe curling yet again.
All said, this was the best restaurant we visited in Rio and I cannot recommend it enough. If you have the chance you should definitely check it out. A serious star that was worth much more than it cost.