This week, my husband and I were invited by Spirito Dubai, an award winning restaurant, to get to know their lounge, food and talk a little about the space. So I am here to tell you guys about this charming “latino corner” in the city. Our visit was free of cost, but it won’t affect my review or opinion about the place by any means.
As soon as I came to the 9th level of Media One Hotel, smiles and warm greetings made us feel already home. As a Brazilian who recently left home to live in UAE, whenever I go to a Brazilian restaurant, it is a special moment for me, full of expectations and nostalgia. And right at the entrance I felt like I belonged to that place.
The staff came right away to explain about the restaurant and the traditional food, because at that time they didn’t know I was Brazilian, and I decided to keep it that way, so I could hear more about their views and food in a more natural way. Everyone was so friendly and helpful… It amazed me the entire time.
Then was time to take a look at the menu!!
Right away I ordered a passion fruit caipirinha, and my husband an açaí capirinha!! Caipirinha is a traditional Brazilian drink, made with cachaça (Brazilian alcoholic beverage), crushed ice, sugar and lemon juice. Now a days the variety of caipirinha is gigantic, as you can mix it with any fruits you want. I personally love it! The fresh fruits touch is super refreshing. At Spirito you can, of course, order the virgin version of the drinks.
Along with the drinks, we ordered one of my husband’s favorite Brazilian appetizer: Pastel de Queijo (light fried pastry filled with mozzarela and herbs) and Pastel de Carne (light fried pastry filled with spicy braised beef, apricot, plum and beans).
The food was coming so fast that my husband and I kept staring at each other in amazement. Food and drinks were not taking more than 5 minutes between the order and the deliver. And everything fresh, crunchy and delicious. The food disappeared as fast as it was coming to our table!! hahahahaha.
The pastel was served along with mango paste, lemon mayonnaise, chilly ketchup and guacamole (traditional latino sauce, made with avocado, onion, tomatoes and a punch of lemon).
After that we decided to try Spirito’s interpratation of one of the Brazilians’ favorite snack: coxinha (smoked chicken croquettes).
Crunchy from the outside, soft shredded chicken inside. Add sauces and you just can’t stop eating! My husband particularly loved the smoked flavors.
Enough of appetizers now! Let’s go to the main dishes!
The first main plate we ordered was a traditional Peixada a Brasileira (brazilian fish stew, peppers, coconut milk, tomatoes and tomato paste). On the side, Brazilian white rice with herbs. I personally loooooove this fish sauce. I even try to play chef at home sometimes and cook this. The flavors are light and at the same time very present. The spicy punch gets everything together giving it a nice and unique taste.
And the last dish from this food over dose is my lovely and amazing and licking-finger delicious… FEIJOADA!! Let’s take a break here guys… This was an important moment for me. Feijoada is one of the Brazilian dishes I miss the most and till now, here in UAE, I couldn’t find it. Till this week! ❤
Feijoada is a Brazilian “urban legend”. It is said it was a meal that had its origins in the food prepared by the slaves in colonial Brazil’s mining districts, on its coffee or sugar cane plantations. The story was that usually the food given to the slaves was restricted to rice and beans. When their “owners” were being good, or to celebrate a holiday, the slaves were given a bit of the least-desirable cuts of pork (skin, snout, ears, feet, belly) to add to their normal diet. The slaves added this “meat” to the beans they usually ate unadorned. And that’s how feijoada was born. From there, it was brought into the kitchens of the plantation houses, made more elaborate and elegant, and in the 19th century became urbanized in the restaurants of Rio de Janeiro. From there it was adopted nationally, and attained it’s iconic status.
Enough of history now! The thing is that I loooooove this dish to bits… And at Spirito I had the opportunity to try the BEST feijoada interpretation I had till now in UAE. No exageration. No advertizing. No talking on the behalf of the restaurant. I DID love it. Till the feijoada, everything was delicious, but didn’t impress me. I ate it till I felt sick of the amount I ate. I got selfish and I didn’t want to properly share the dish with my husband… That’s how much it stole my heart. And stomach.
Spirito’s interpretation of Feijoada was simple beautiful. The smell got my stomach till the point I couldn’t take more than one picture before actually eating it. My bad. So it come with farofa de carne (caçava flour, spiced with herbs, with dried shredded beef and sausage), brazilian white rice and black beans cooked with shredded beef and sausage.
I felt like I was in Brazil again, out with my parents on the weekend to eat feijoada for lunch. It was amazing. Got me right back home.
And least but not last!!! The pie interpretation of Brazil’s number one bon-bon (round milk chocolate filled with peanut cream): Sonho de Valsa Cake.
If you aren’t a sweets and chocolate fan, this will probably be too strong for you, but it is a MUST TRY. My husband, as most of the men, is not a fan of sweets like me, and he loved it. The crunchy peanuts with the chocolate is mouth watering.
My conclusion about Spirito Lounge is: it is not an exclusive Brazilian restaurant. If you are looking for pure Brazilian food, this is not the place. The dishes at Spirito are an artistic and delicious interpretation of Brazilian and Latino flavors. But not only that: the ambiance, dishes, staff, songs, drinks… Everything was thought to make you feel like home. This is the latino was of doing things. We love appetizers and small bite plates, because we love sharing. Big tables to gather as many friends as possible, and if it still doesn’t fit you, we will make sure to pull one or too chairs closer to make sure everyone is there.
And this is the Spirito way. Warm, friendly, delicious and full of fun. If you never went to Brazil or South America, but always heard about our spirit of fun, freedom and vitality, Spirito is the place for you to discover that side of the world.
Spirito is open daily, from 12 p.m. till 4 p.m. and from 6 p.m. till 3 a.m, and there are lots of events happening there:
To know more about the lounge or for bookings: Spirito.ae.
I had an amazing time and I am SURE you will have as well ❤