On Thursday night, we took our foodies on a trip into the Jungle, with a 'Taste of the Amazon' themed dinner at South American restaurant Boteco. Small and intimate with a bohemian vibe, the unique venue set the mood for our culinary adventure. Our Brazilian chef Fabricio Campos had prepared a dinner incorporating unique ingredients native to the Amazon Jungle in his South American cuisine.
Our first course was cassava and palm heart croquettes with house preserved lemon aioli, a twist on the traditional fried potato rolls. The cassava was fried to a satisfying crisp on the outside with delicately soft innards. The palm hearts were an unusual but well-received ingredient, tasting similar to pickled artichoke while the lemon aioli added creaminess and a bit of zing to the dish.
This was followed by the coconut and organic palm oil risotto with salt cod, a unique dish with European roots which has found itself incorporated with more tropical elements. The coconut and pam oil added a subtle creaminess, while the cod punctuated the risotto with saltiness. 2010 Rutini Trumpeter torrontes, a dry white Argentinian wine was matched to this course.
Main course was an impressive platter of free-range wood fire grilled yerba mate marinated chicken, spicy artisanal chorizo, chickpeas, quinoa, accompanied by a bowl of taro chips. The smoky chicken held a subtle tea flavour from the maté and was grilled to a tender perfection. The spicy and succulent home-smoked chorizo had us rationing out the last piece. The taro chips were fantastically crunchy and moreishly salted, the texture was denser and starchier than your humble potato but much more fragrant. The matched wine for this dish was a 2009 De Martino 347, a red wine of Chilean’s signature carmenere grape.
Dessert presented us with Boteco’s house made coconut ice-cream with acai and tapioca, a sweet, creamy and slightly tart concoction which left everyone glad they didn’t have to share.
Head chef and owner Fabricio has a fine-dining background but has recently opened up this intimate venue with a casual atmosphere. Boteco is a tiny eatery hidden in Surry Hills with friendly service and fantastic yet unique food. I’ve definitely got my eye on their all you can eat grill on Tuesdays and Wednesdays as well as their famed cassava chips. But enough about what I think, let’s hear what our foodies had to say…