The Brazilian eating experience that gives me the fear

Thinking back, I realise that I’ve written quite a lot about the culture of lunch in Brazil. There was the fact that Brazilians have a proper, sit-down lunch with plates and cutlery every day (the modern British norm of a quick sandwich at your desk is not an option here). Then I looked at the joys of the Kilo restaurant – the rules and the strategy!

On the whole I’ve taken to this aspect of Brazilian culture very well – I really enjoy taking a bit of time to get away from my desk to have a peroper lunch. But during my first year here there was one lunchtime word that would leave me trembling mass of fear and stress: Spoleto.

Spoleto Brasil

Spoleto – the scene of so many stressful lunches…


Read more

Shrimp Festival Disappointment

The Portuguese word for shrimp is camarão (in England we use the word ‘prawn’ for big shrimps – in America it is the other way round apparently). Well regardless of the name, I love them! So you can imagine my delight the first time I went to my local kilo restaurant on a Friday and saw a sign saying “Festival de Camarão”. I love food, I love camarão – the idea of a festival dedicated to these delicious morsels of the sea set my mouth a-watering! 


Not the sign I saw. Not the scene that ensued.

Read more

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:

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. 

Read more

How to beat the Kilo

Although I think of myself as being fairly adventurous when it comes to food, I am also a creature of habit, particularly when it comes to my everyday working life. 


Me proving my food-adventurousness with the help of a guinea pig (and several glasses of wine).

Read more

THAT is not lunch!

I remember a guy from New Zealand once telling me about a rather disconcerting experience he had whilst living in Japan. He was walking down the street, munching on a sandwich, when he started to get an uncomfortable feeling, almost like he was being watched. Whenever he looked up at the people passing in the opposite direction, they would avert their eyes, but he continued to get an uneasy feeling that he was doing something wrong. Was that a hint of disgust he detected in their eyes? 

Turns out it was. I’ve never been to Japan (so correct me if this is way off), but the Kiwi in question told me that he later discovered that to the Japanese, the idea of someone eating as they walk down the street is really disgusting. 

Eating on public transport – surely a step too far for most people?


Well I have started to feel something not dissimilar here in Rio. I’m not talking so much about eating as you walk down the street, but my issue is still lunch related.

Read more