Delicious, refreshing cocktails and Nipo-Brasileiro bites in SoHo.
Words Tiffany Chan Food Photo Samantha Sin
I first noticed Uma Nota before it opened when I came across a vast pink mural next to the restaurant – a striking image of a laughing woman with a bouquet of flowers and a fan of turquoise peacock feathers – on the corner of Peel Street and Hollywood Road, in SoHo. The mural, and the restaurant, tries to captures the bohemian beauty and energy of São Paulo. Serving Nipo-Brasileiro street food, Uma Nota occupies a sunny space, outfitted with light wood and turquoise accents. It has a pretty little outdoor nook furnished with plush cushions, which is sure to be popular during happy hours and weekends.
Chef Dagoberto Torres, formerly of Alex Atala’s D.O.M, combines Brazilian ingredients with Japanese techniques. The compact menu offers raw plates such as ceviches and tiraditos, salads, small plates of deep-fried items (which pair perfectly with refreshing caipirinhas), as well as large plates for sharing and yakitori skewers. We started with the vegetable ceviche ($90), which may sound uninspired but turns out to be a tart, refreshing “salad” of shiitake and enoki mushrooms, avocado, palm heart and meaty grilled red pepper, marinated in leche de tigre. The scallop tiradito ($130) is sliced so thin it’s almost translucent, but still creamy. It arrives in a zesty marinade, rendered subtle and fragrant with the curious addition of coconut milk. It’s less acidic than ceviche, but we felt it needed more texture than that provided by the sparse slithers of onion. The chicken thigh skewers ($80 for two) were moist, smoky and delicious, and even better when doused in homemade chipotle sauce. Perhaps the most unusual dish of the evening was banana dulche ($65), a grilled green banana – less sweet than the ripe versions, with an almost eggplant-like texture – slathered with shredded crabmeat and sour cream. It’s a strange combination that works, but perhaps with a little less sour cream.
You won’t be entirely impressed with the food, but it’s the laid-back vibes and upbeat playlist that make Uma Nota a fun, easy-going place for drinks and snacks (or an affordable dinner).
Spending: $300 to $450 pp
Highlights: Caipririnhas and coxinhas
What else: Open every day, 6pm until late
38 Peel Street, Central
Tel: 2889 7576