Hot List 2009

Asia, Rio de Janeiro

256 Rua Almirante Alexandrino

Tel: 55-21-2224-2014

In breezy Rio, where critics decry lazy technique and indifferent service, Asia has quickly gained a following for its zesty, well-crafted dishes. The four-story townhouse, in hilly Santa Teresa, has been renovated with dark woods, slate-gray fabrics, and paper lanterns. The terrace is surrounded by soaring Tahitian apple trees; inside, windows let diners observe the Malaysian cooks' high-octane style. The wide-ranging menu skips from delicate dim sum (steamed pork-and-prawn dumplings wrapped in seaweed) to spicy Thai soups like tom yam prawn with lemongrass, but the standout is grilled wreckfish in a whiskey-and-honey sauce.
Tip: End with the house-blended chrysanthemum ginger iced tea and sweet sesame rice pudding (entrées, $14–$33).

Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

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