I went to Brazil a few years ago for six weeks. They were some of the best of my life. I fell in love with the people, the sun, the sand, the smell, their culture and their food. Oh my goodness the food! When I first saw Ipanema, (not the beach, though that was a magic moment!) the newest restaurant welcomed to Ponsonby Rd I was a little skeptical. Wildfire exempt, there really hasn’t been any Brazilian restaurants about that I’ve know of, in fact when I returned from Brazil the closest thing I could get to their delicious cuisine was buying frozen cochinha from a Brazil hairdresser in Grey Lynn!
But intrigued I checked out Ipanema’s facebook and there were so many posts in Português wishing them luck I realized Ipanema must be the real deal and promptly booked a table.
It was everything I could have hoped for and more. The dining area is small, intimate and the service was attentive but not annoying. The bartender even came out (from the other room, the dining is separated from a bar and entertaining room) to help with our Brazilian wine choice and the waiter helped with some of the pronunciation so we all didn’t feel like complete fools!
We went the whole hog and ate 3 plates full each. The menu consists of all the dishes I came to love in Brazilian but each plate more refined than the flavours I’d know from the street carts. My boyfriends mother even swiped a cheeky finger across her dessert plate it tasted so good, giving me permission to do the same thank goodness because I didn’t want to leave a tiny bit!
I was the only person at my table having a reminiscent dining experience but everyone else seemed to love their meal just as much and I’ve been tooting their horn ever since.
This family owned and operated business isn’t the cheapest spot in town but I can tell you it’s most certainly worth it! I highly recommend the main Feijoada plate and Brigadeiro dessert. Nom nom!
2 Ponsonby Rd, Auckland.
Search Ipanema Food & Art Society on facebook to find out more about them.