TV chef Ken Hom opens Rio’s first luxury pan-Asian restaurant
Ken Hom, the celebrity BBC TV chef has opened his latest restaurant at the Copacabana Palace in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The luxury pan-Asian restaurant is a first for the city.
Named MEE, the phonetic spelling of a female name meaning ‘beauty’ in Korean, the 92-seat restaurant is located by the iconic hotel’s swimming pool and joins Copacabana Palace’s two other acclaimed dining options, Hotel Cipriani Restaurant which serves Italian cuisine and international eatery Pérgula.
Following a six-month remodel, the space features contemporary Asian-inspired décor with Chinese teahouse-style booths and eastern portraits by Bangkok-based artist Christian Develter. Walls are painted in Chinese sang-de-boeuf porcelain red and wooden dividers in the style of Asian screens create an intimate feel.
The oriental ambience is complemented by Shanghai lounge music selected by Ken Hom and a signature room aroma with hints of lily and ginger.
The design concept focuses on simple, minimalist décor with a tranquil atmosphere. The floor features light wood while partition panels and tables are a darker wood.
The bar features a mosaic of gold-coloured tiles topped with a honey-coloured onyx counter-top. To accentuate the oriental ambience, a shelf in the centre of the bar features Chinese-style boxes, tins and kettles. Books are scattered throughout the space, as well as colourful crafts and Asian flower arrangements
A light installation of amber-coloured bubble glass cascades from the ceiling, reminiscent of Asian lanterns. A similar installation is located in the porch lounge that leads to the pool.
MEE’s exotic menu will take diners on a gastronomic journey through Thailand, Cambodia, Malaysia, Singapore, Korea, Vietnam, China and Japan.
A dedicated sushi bar will serve a range of sushi and ‘SashiMEE’ – 10 of the chef’s special fish dishes including eel, scallops and Kobe beef – with a special soy sauce, and guests can sit at a long bar and watch as sushi is prepared for an interactive dining experience.
Based both in France and Thailand, Ken Hom has starred in a number of prime-time series and written more than 30 cookery books. He said: “I am delighted to be bringing authentic pan-Asian cuisine to Rio de Janeiro. MEE’s innovative menu will use the freshest, finest ingredients to give guests a true taste of eastern gastronomy.”
MEE, Belmond Copacabana Palace, Avenida Atlântica 1702, Rio de Janeiro, CEP 22021 001, Brazil, copacabanapalace.com
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