Healthy, organic eating is a growing gastronomic trend and thankfully, it looks set to stay. Some forward-thinking restaurants in Rio de Janeiro that have taken the leap to serve locally produced food, free from preserves and additives. The current hub of healthy eating is in upscale Leblon, which has recently seen an explosion of incredible new restaurants.
We went to JAEE in Leblon to check out their new menu. Having opened in 2013 as a health food restaurant, it redefined itself in the last couple of months to provide homely, hot food that is served in rustic metal pots that set the feel-good, charming scene. Foodies will love that most of the food is organic and locally-sourced, where the simplicity of the dishes masks the rich flavours within. Most of the food is vegetarian, vegan, paleo, lactose-free, and gluten-free, appealing to a wide audience.
The chef behind these delicious homemade creations is João Marcello Coelho who creates a collection of small hot dishes that are ready to eat. For those looking for lunch options that are light and refreshing, there is a selection of healthy salads and pasta that are taste-rich and guilt-free.
We arrived on a busy weekday afternoon and settled down to try their hot lunch menu. Our little wooden table became a banquet of brass-coloured pots filled with chicken pesto and cherry tomatoes, whole-grain rice with cauliflower, escondidinho de cogumeto (a mushroom dish), roasted tomato with Canastra cheese from the Serra region in Rio de Janeiro, and roasted eggplant. The spread of dishes was perfect for two yet luckily we had arrived super hungry and had space to try other things.
We then shared a cold dish, a mix of shredded curried chicken with vegetables, where the flavour drew from its freshness and organic origin. We absolutely loved it, and the owner advised us it could be eaten hot or cold for those looking for a warmer option.
JAEE also have a wonderfully varied menu of juices and smoothies. We tried a refreshing mix of pineapple and coconut water, and a green juice, both were substantial and would make a great healthy snack for when you’re on the go.
Our conclusion? JAEE fills a much-needed niche of a stop off point for fresh, healthy food. It’s homely, filling, yet makes you feel detoxed and healthy after. We definitely recommend it!
JAEE – Avenida Ataulfo de Paiva, 1228, Loja B, Leblon, Rio de Janeiro
Tel: +55 (21) 2540 5627
Monday – Sunday: 8 am – 11 pm
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