Welcome to part thirty-two of the Must Tries Series, which asks people working in the Beijing bar and restaurant business for the top picks from their menus. This time I talked to Geraldo Thomazini of longstanding restaurant Alameda.
What is the “must try” dish at Alemada?
On Saturdays, we do a traditional Brazilian dish called feijoada. Basically, there is a bowl of beans with sausage, beef and pork stuffed inside. On the side, we have white rice, cassova flour, and collard greens sauteed with garlic. If you go to Brazil, this is what you usually eat on Saturday, and BBQ on Sunday. Sparkling wine goes very well with feijoada.
How about a “must try” appetizer?
Normally, if you go to a hotel for feijoada, you have also a buffet with crispy pork belly, a deep fried dumpling kind of like tortellini, and other foods. Our appetizer is bean soup in a small bowl, one cheese stuffed dumpling, and cachaca foam in a shot glass — it is like a miniature Brazilian buffet.
What is the “must try” drink at Alameda?
Caipirinha. We sell a lot of passionfruit caipirinhas but I like the traditional lime one best. In Brazil, we usually use cheaper cachaca to make this drink — in terms of price it is close to baijiu. At Alameda, we use Chapeu de Palha, which means straw hat, and Velho Barreiro. We also have others like Ypioca Gold, which is aged in old wine barrels for six months, and Moleca.
I like the Finca Perdrid Malbec 2007. For me, the Malbec grape is perfect: not too strong, not too complex, and can be paired with lamb, beef and harder cheeses like Provolone. We sell it for rmb366 per bottle.
What are three “must try” items at other places in Beijing?
Middle 8th: The deep-fried prawns with Yunnan cheese are wonderful. I also like the water infused with orange and herbs.
Mosto: The lamb and the truffle risootto are very nice. My girlfriend loves the chocolate cake.
Pho Pho (on Gulou East). I like the chicken curry and papaya salad.