Perequim, Ubatuba, São Paulo, Brazil

by Stevie on February 23, 2010

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Hegui has warm memories of this seaside restaurant situated in the resort town, Ubatuba, along the northern coast of São Paulo state, from numerous delightful previous visits. I’m glad that I’ve gotten to know it, too, as the food, ambiance and service are all wonderful. For you handful of weirdcombinations readers located in São Paulo or who might have the chance to visit, we highly recommend it.

Perequim boardwalk and ocean view

We went to Perequim in the late afternoon for a post-beach lunch/dinner. From the street it doesn’t look like much and I was ready to overlook it for the restaurant next door. If you approach Perequim from the boardwalk on Itagua Beach, it’s a different story. It exudes a charming air with a traditional covered terrace with outdoor and indoor seating. The interior has a lot of German and Belgian beer posters and a dark, comforting feel that’s quite welcoming.

welcome to Perequim

It was hot that afternoon as we sat outside next to this rowdy table of revelers. I wasn’t totally feeling that, especially after they started to complain to one another about mis-understandings that they made about the menu which led them to order incorrectly. Whose fault is that anyway? I think theirs, particularly as they were Brazilian, so didn’t have the language-barrier excuse. Fortunately they left about twenty minutes after we arrived, allowing peace to return once more.

cachaça minera

Our table overlooked the boardwalk and ocean. It was a lovely spot to rest and relax. The shade was cool and there was a gentle breeze. Our waiter was attentive but not overbearing. The menu is extensive so took a while to navigate. For the most part the plates are “for two” though after ours arrived we thought that they were really “for four” or possibly more. The waiter did warn us about the size of the portions but we were too excited to pay that much attention.

We started with beer, of course. This is Brazil. The menu also boasted cachaça minera by the glass which excited me. Naturally I ordered a cup which I shared with Hegui. It was marvelous.

delightful octopus mint appetizer already half eaten

We really wanted the palmito salad which had large heart of palm slices, a mild pickled pepper and various veggies. We got the meia, or half, portion, which was enormous! I was intrigued by the octupus in mint dressing appetizer. That’s where we really blew it. The starter portion was a whole meal by itself. But by then we had already ordered the main course. It was spectacular: octopus drenched in olive oil, raw garlic with mint and other fresh herbs. Mmmm! I ate way, way too much but don’t have regrets and even back home for two weeks, still think about how delicious it was.

overeating at Perequim

Our main course was a fish and shellfish stew called calderada. It had white fish, two types of shrimp, more octopus and squid in a sauce with coconut milk and dendê oil. Wow! The sauce is a bit heavy but this is good eats. I want Hegui to make something like this sometime for a big party at home. We could serve caipirinhas.

Calderada is kind of like a similar dish from Bahia to the north called moqueca. We had another variation of this fish stew at PART.ALTO in Vitória. For that moqueca capixaba they leave out the coconut milk and dendê oil and make a tomato-based sauce with a special local spice.

The calderada came with white rice and pirão, a savory purée of cassava. They served everything in these burning hot dark clay pots perched on little stands. The waiter prepared individual plates for each of us from the family style dishes while warning us not to burn ourselves. Everything was really good. The large pieces of fish were very fresh. We both over did it.

We skipped dessert as we were stuffed to the gills! Instead we took a long stroll up the boardwalk and back to aid digestion. I definitely would go back to Perequim again. Even if you don’t ever get there, try making calderada or moqueca sometime. It will be worth the effort!

calderada served family style

amazing calderada or seafood stew

very full, covered in olive oil, tired and happy in Ubatuba

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

tasteofbeirut February 23, 2010 at 4:59 pm

You made me so long to be there! I have a childhood friend, Fabienne, who took a vacation to Brazil, and never came back! It is 30 years later and she is still there, she bought a little store by the beach and is fully integrated. I was salivating at the thought of that octopus mint appetizer; I made an octopus risotto not too long ago and want to expand my octopus culinary horizon! (plus I have got one octopus sitting in the freezer)
See ya!

Stevie February 24, 2010 at 12:55 pm

Thanks for your great comment!

I get your friend Fabienne completely. Every time that I’m in Brazil I want to move there. The first time I was ready to settle down in Vitoria. On my second visit, Rio de Janeiro. This time around in Sao Paulo in the Jardins district.

I love octupus, too! I can’t wait for you to make the octupus in mint sauce. We’ll try your recipe out in our kitchen and write it up.

Love your site!

Visit Brasil April 6, 2010 at 4:39 pm

Congratulations Stevie!

This is a really cool blog, very original!

Ubatuba is a really fantastic and unique place, maybe for been away enough from Sao paulo and Rio.

Here I post a nice video from the city and its surroundings, I hope you like it!

Take care, and keep posting!

Stevie April 10, 2010 at 3:19 pm

We’ve lots of Brazilian food stories from our recent “Visit Brazil.” Thanks for your interest in the blog. By the way, what do you think of Brazilian beer?

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