Time Out says
There’s tropical vibes in your glass and new flavours on your plate at this Brazilian diner
If your only experience with Brazilian cuisine to date is churrasco, be grateful for the warm patience that the staff possess at King Cross’ subterranean Brazilian restaurant, Ovo Boteco. Your friendly snack guide is here to translate coxinha (chicken croquettes), farofa (imagine tasty, dry stuffing mixture) or batatinhas (French fries to us). You are here for something out of the ordinary for dinner, and a tropical cocktail while you’re at it.
Whether the moqueca de banana is for you depends entirely on how you feel about sweet-savoury dishes that mix fruit and meat, like apricot chicken. A creamy coconut stew with a hint of chilli and a lot of capsicum gets a tropical haymaker in the unmistakable flavour of banana. It’s from the plantains that lend both a starchy body and sweetness to the mix. You can opt to add a crisp-skinned fillet of barramundi, which is a good call, doubling down on the coastal, island vibes this dish generates.
At the other end of the spectrum, the feijoada completa is all meaty grunt. The thick stew of black beans and three kinds of pork, including chorizo and ribs, is the kind of dense, savoury fare you’d fuel up on if you were planning a hard day’s trek in the Amazon. Luckily it comes with companions in the form of rice, farofa, wilted kale and a zingy fresh salsa to add light and shade to a big bowl of earthy nutrition.
The serves here are generous and filling, but if you can, squeeze in a basket of cheese bread with cream cheese spread, or a little bucket of mixed fried snack balls – like a croquette tasting basket. Deep-fried pork belly bites with salsa do exactly what they say on the label, and will be one of the more familiar things you eat here.
All the light, bright freshness is found on the drinks menu, where Caipirinhas (Brazil’s national cocktail) come in four flavours (kiwi, lime, strawberry and passionfruit) and with your choice of cachaca, sake or vodka for potency customisation. There’s not a dark spirit to be seen on the menu, and the beers on tap are Young Henrys, which clearly suits the tables of friends who are channeling gentle spring-break-in-your-thirties vibes with every round of Mojitos or Fiano from the Clare Valley.
They’re not the only ones in a party mood. The floor staff sports colourful beaded necklaces over their relaxed white shirts and the tunes have that insistent 1,3 beat to them that you expect from a holiday diner decked out in lots of light pastels. It’s a fun, laidback time at Ovo Boteco, but if you’re more of a morning person, you can always head to their Surry Hills café for a buffet Brazilian brunch. It involves unlimited cake, if that sways you.
Shop 1a/9-15 Bayswater Rd
|Opening hours:||Tue-Fri 6-10pm; Sat-Sun noon-10pm|