The D.O.M. Experience

Kitchen at D.O.M. That night Chef Atala was out of town exploring the Amazon.

The last two years I have adventured myself into diverse spectrums of cuisines, from World’s 50 Best Restaurants locations, to local-friendly street food. I have decided to start documenting my eating experiences around the globe.

If you enjoy Netflix’s Chef’s Table , then you probably have heard of Alex Atala and his restaurant D.O.M., located in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Since my girlfriend lives there, we decided to book a reservation for the tasting menu.

A variation of pisco sour, made with guava. My lovely girlfriend in the background.

Looking at the menu options, there were three options: a vegetarian menu, Menu Optimus, and Menu Maximus; each with suggested wine pairings. We chose to try Menu Optimus which included eight plates plus aligot and dessert.

I am a fan of discovering what unique flavors of cocktails a restaurant can offer, so I decided to try a pisco based drink, mainly made with guava. As a Peruvian, I really enjoyed the flavor. I believe it used Chilean pisco Kappa.

The flavors that D.O.M. tries to offer its clientele focus on highlighting Brazilian ingredients that are not mainstream, the ones that are hidden somewhere in the Amazon, and that Atala has to discover before showcasing them to the world.

For example the glazed shrimp had some citric fruits alongside farofa, which I am not a big fan of, but the combination made it feel less dry and thefore easier to eat. Some twist in flavor with a staple of Brazilian cuisine. Alongside, the mix of pumpkin and shrimp flavor was a new one for me. The sweetness from both items really caught my attention.

Glazed shrimp. Pumpin in shrimp.

I have to admit that, being from the Amazon rainforest, I am a huge fan of açai and piracuru. This big river fish, known as paiche in Peru, has a notorious salty flavor, and this time was paired with some type of açai sauce, which interestingly enough was salty, deviating greatly from its well-known sweet flavor. Throwing some pepper and you have found me my favorite dish in the menu.

Piracuru with Brazilian açai berry and pimenta de cheiro.
A shot inside a pepper. Phaunus Loureiro, 2015.

As for the pairings, I reckon that I am not very good at understanding flavors matching, but I wanted to try myself what was offered alongside the dishes. The Tara Chardonnay was of my linking, alongside the Alfa Crux Blend from Mendoza. I am big fan of Malbec and Chardonnay which made it easier to enjoy.

It was my first time trying a 30-year-old Palo Cortado, but I soon learned that it was meant to be consumed entirely with food to cut the taste of fortified alcohol on it.

It was my first time trying aligot, so I got to enjoy that cheesy flavor mixed with mashed potatoes that I image is easy to become addicted to.

A mix of nuts, fruits, and cheese spreads for tasting with pāo de queijo and other breads.

I have to say that the money paid in this restaurant was well spent. The experience was made up of unique flavors, great service, and the privilege of eating at one of the 20 best restaurants in the world.

Some constructive criticism would be that not all the garçons helping you speak English, and that many of them have strong accents that require a considerable amount of time to understand.

Remember to make a reservation at least two months before your planned visit, as this restaurant gets pretty full given its reputation.

This is my first writing about food experience. I do this as a hobby and I expect to get better with time.

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