Gurumê — Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Cariocas may not be as quite as spoiled for Japanese food as Paulistanos, but Rio’s sushi scene is thriving. In Saõ Conrado, Gurumê is a slick take on an all-day, casual-dining concept. The idea was borne out by restaurant entrepreneur Jerônimo Bocayuva and Grupo Trigo, with Bernardes Arquitetura creating the coolly sophisticated setting. The larger area, featuring handmade tiles on the floors and walls, and slim black pendant lights by Iluz, is designed for conviviality, with its organically shaped sushi counter and zigzag communal table. Lined with cumaru slats, the long vaulted space is more intimate. Offset against the neutral tiles and ceramicist Denise Stewart’s tableware, the wood and blue-green oxidized copper evoke the colours of weathered fishing boats. Chef Shin Koike, whose reputation was sealed with his two São Paulo restaurants, Sakagura A1 and Aizomê, devised the menu, keeping in mind both traditionalists and the modern-minded. Some ‘shrimp popcorn’ should be the ideal snack if you’re on your way to strut your stuff on Pepino Beach.