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TV chef Ken Hom opens Rio’s first luxury pan-Asian restaurant

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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.

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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.

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The oriental ambience is complemented by Shanghai lounge music selected by Ken Hom and a signature room aroma with hints of lily and ginger.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

About

Assif is a luxury travel and design aficionado currently working as a BBC content producer. He holds an MA in journalism from the University of Leeds. He is partial to tea and cake - Yorkshire Tea Gold Blend please. His favourite trips include island hopping in the Seychelles, a mountain escape in Kashmir and getting lost in Hong Kong.

Assif is the current editor of Adelto Magazine. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram: @journolista.

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March 25, 2014 | Property | View comments

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