Check out the new signature dishes at Brazilian-Japanese restaurant Uma Nota

The SoHo-based hipsterish eatery, Uma Nota, which brings Brazilian-Japanese street food to upmarket Hong Kong, has just launched ten new dishes this summer, all under the able stewardship of Chef Gustavo Vargas.

For the uninitiated, São Paulo, one of the most famous cities in Brazil, is home to one of the largest populations of Japanese expats, who over the decades have shaped Brazilian cuisine, especially its street food culture in a way that is unique to the region. Thankfully, now gourmands can savour an even-wider range of dishes from this unique cuisine owing to the culinary team at Uma Nota.

Uma Nota
Polvo Teriyaki

Eager to taste-test their enhanced menu, we started with a range of appetisers. The first up was Dadinhos de tapioca – deep-fried cheese cubes with tapioca granules meant to be consumed with a spicy dip. Simultaneously crunchy and chewy, these nibbles proved to be just the kind of appetite-building starters that we needed for the next dish, which was the Croqueta de linguica. This proved to be delightfully crispy on the outside with the soft pork and potato filling inside giving it a creamy texture that melted in our mouths. 

However, the true highlight of this section was the Polvo teriyaki – pan-fried octopus and sweet potato with house-made teriyaki sauce. A simple dish in itself, the sweetness of the potato complemented the salty-sweetness of the sauce. The best part, however, was the perfectly charred octopus whose smokiness elevated the dish further.

In the skewers section, the beef skewers were sumptuous in themselves, but made even more delicious with the addition of with farofa, a kind of Brazilian crumb made with toasted flour. After the beef cubes had been dipped in the spicy sauce and coated with farofa, let’s just say they disappeared from our plates at the speed of light.

Uma Nota
Robalo – signature dish at Uma Nota

Of the mains, the Robalo Assado em Folha de Bananeira was a hearty affair definitely meant for sharing. Consisting of a sea bass fillet roasted inside banana leaves with fried banana, farofa and a fresh salad of red onion, tomato and coriander, it was perfectly steamed and given an added zing with the addition of the fresh onions and tomatoes. However, the fish had fine bones in it, which marred the overall experience of an otherwise finely executed dish. Those looking to give proteins a break may also like the Berinjela – a roasted eggplant with miso, goat’s cheese and cashews. Silky smooth with just the right amount of crunchiness coming courtesy of the cashews, there’s really nothing not to like about this dish.  

Almost in a food coma by this time, we decided to give the desserts a break, but with the servers assuring us that both the Brazilian cheesecake and the black sesame mousse are innovations worth checking out, maybe that’s enough reason to go back to Uma Nota sometime soon. Very soon.

38 Peel St, Central. +852 2889 7576.
Text: Suchetana Mukhopadhyay