256 Rua Almirante Alexandrino
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).