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Ken Hom opens restaurant in Rio ahead of World Cup

19 February 2014 by
Ken Hom opens restaurant in Rio ahead of World Cup

Celebrity chef Ken Hom is to front a new pan-Asian restaurant in Rio de Janeiro, ahead of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

Named Mee, the phonetic spelling of a female name meaning "beauty" in Korean, the 92-seat restaurant will open next week and sits by the swimming pool at the Copacabana Palace hotel.

Mee's menu will be influenced by the cuisine of Thailand, Cambodia, Malaysia, Singapore, Korea, Vietnam, China and Japan.

The restaurant's chefs learned Asian culinary techniques in Bangkok prior to the opening and will prepare a menu of specialities including "spicy Thai salad" and "Vietnamese salt and pepper crab" in the restaurant's wok area, separated from the dining room by a glass panel.

Following a six-month remodel, the 190sq m space features contemporary Asian-inspired décor with Chinese teahouse-style booths and eastern portraits by Bangkok-based artist Christian Develter.

The oriental ambience is complemented by Shanghai lounge music selected by Ken Hom and a "signature room aroma" with hints of lily and ginger.

Based both in France and Thailand, BBC TV chef Ken Hom has starred in a number of prime-time series and written more than 30 cookery books. He said: "I am delighted to be bringing authentic pan-Asian cuisine to Rio de Janeiro. Mee's innovative menu will use the freshest, finest ingredients to give guests a true taste of eastern gastronomy".

The restaurant's Executive Chef, Rafael Hidaka, is of Japanese descent and has previously worked at acclaimed Sao Paolo restaurants Kinoshita and Osaka.

The opening of Copacabana Palace's new restaurant follows the completion of a $20m (£12m) refurbishment at the end of 2012. The hotel's general manager, Andrea Natal, said: "Mee is the latest in a series of investments that have further strengthened Copacabana Palace's status as one of South America's finest hotels. With a creative menu and exclusive service, the restaurant is sure to become a favourite dining spot for both guests and locals."

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