10 things you mustn’t do at the kilo

Last week I told you a little about the tactics I employ at the kilo restaurant near my workIt’s hardly rocket science, but there are a few things that you should bear in mind when you visit the kilo. 

My top tip is not to lose your ticket. Without the ticket you have no way of proving how much (or more to the point, how little) you ate. Therefore you will have to pay the massive default price, set deliberately high in order to eliminate the incentive to ‘accidentally’ lose your ticket after a big meal. 

Here are ten more tips/rules/guidelines on how to behave at the kilo restaurant (stolen adapted from a recent article in IG): 


1. This ain’t finger-food
Don’t go snacking on food before you’ve paid for it. 

Oh no she didn’t! Uh-huh, eating food you haven’t paid for is a no-no. Image: http://www.ig.com.br/

2. Keep your hair on
Try not to drop hairs in the food (did this one need saying?)

3. No tortoises in the kilo
These places get very busy at lunch. It is very annoying when someone in front is dithering and taking ages to make their mind up. Get in, get your food, get out of the way. The article suggests a tactic I often employ: do a little reconnaissance run by the food first so you know what you want. 

4. Don’t be greedy 
The etiquette consultant interviewed suggests that 500g should be the maximum you put on your plate. If you want more than that you should return later for a second weighing.

Would sir like a waffer-thin mint?

5. No table-hogging
During the lunch time rush, many people like to reserve a table with a bag, then go off to collect their food. This is common, but a bit naughty. Really you should get your food first, then grab a table. Alternatively, sit down, get a drink and then go off to get your food.

6. No changing your mind
It happens to us all. You wander along and see something tasty. “Ooh, salmon!” and put it on your plate. Then you look over and notice they’ve got some really yummy looking picanha today. No! You can’t put the salmon back!

7. No cherry picking
Are you the sort of person who doesn’t like eating the crusts from your sandwiches? Only want the good bits? It is not cool to take the yolks out of the fried eggs.

8. Learn the rules of Queueing
National queueing behaviour is a popular topic with Britons on holiday. We generally judge the French to be the worst and this makes us feel superior. Personally I think Brazilians are quite good queuers (though I’m not sure they enjoy it quite as much as the Brits).

Brazilians play football. The British queue.

9. Be gentle
If you’re taking a portion of say, lasagne, don’t go digging around in the middle  or mixing it up. Try to take a nice neat square and don’t mess it up for everyone who comes after you.

10. Complain quietly
Kilo restaurants detest a scandal in public places. Our etiquette expert advises that if you find a hair / cockroach / rodent in your food, you should not scream and make a fuss. Calmly call the waiter and explain the situation. [Not sure I agree with this one].


Phew! After all that I think I might just make myself a sandwich!

7 replies
  1. The Gritty Poet
    The Gritty Poet says:

    Cool post. I have been doing the reconnaissance run for years now and people think I'm crazy. I just detest those slow pokes that think time is infinite.
    One should also avoid conversation during food retrieval since "a la your saliva" is not part of the menu.
    Do you have any "how to subtly sit by the hottie" tips? I am running out of those. BTW when successful in this endeavor don't converse about Brocolli as chicks don't seem to be interested in this.

  2. brasilicana
    brasilicana says:

    Great post! I often do a scouting run just to see what's available so that I don't commit error #6.

    Right after "Don't lose your ticket," another tip is don't take anything you won't eat, since some restaurants charge a "taxa de desperdicio" if you leave significant quantities on your plate.

  3. Tom Le Mesurier
    Tom Le Mesurier says:

    Sorry Gritty, no tips for sitting next to hotties – I'm pretty antisocial when it comes to lunchtime, so on many occasions I just enjoy the fact that here in Brazil it isn't weird to sit and have lunch on your own.

    Hey Brasilicana! Wooo, taxa de desperdicio? That sounds like a really sensible idea actually. The complete other end of the scale to those ridiculous "Supersize it" incentives you get at some places.

  4. Anita
    Anita says:

    Seriously, WHO is going to have more than 500g on the plate ? Hahah !
    My personal rule is to make a "theme" dish: only fish/seafood, or meat only. This kilo system is destroying the lunch culture. Where's the good sense ? I have already seen on the same plate: cassoulet with spaguetti, farofa and a fried egg, for example. Or a combination of everything "yellow": fries, strogonoff, omelette and bobó de camarão.

  5. Tom Le Mesurier
    Tom Le Mesurier says:

    Ha ha, I know what you mean Anita. When I first started going I would end up with some pretty weird combinations. Now I try to be a bit more sensible.

    I think Kilo's are great for a workday lunch, but I am really not keen on eating Kilo on a weekend. When I'm eating for pleasure, I want someone else to decide what would go well together. Seems like the difference between going to someone's house and them making you a meal or them simply saying "There's the fridge, help yourself"!

  6. Tamara
    Tamara says:

    hahahahaha, i love reading your posts. your comments underneath the pictures are my highlight…
    “eating food you haven’t paid for is a no-no” and “Brazilians play footbal. The British queue.” almost made me pass out laughing. keep it up, always, and never leave Rio! hahaha 😉


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