Since opening in 2016, Madrid's immersive rainforest-esque restaurant, Amazonico, has won the hearts of celebrities, socialites, and politicians the world over. As they prepare to expand into London and Dubai, we speak to chef and founder Sandro Silva about the restaurant’s history and inspirations.
Quintessentially - Keven Amfo: How will the London and Dubai locations differ from each other, as well as from the Madrid original?
Sandro Silva: Each Amazonico is unique, specific to their respective locations. In Dubai and London, we adapted Amazonico to local preferences and strived to deliver an experience that meets the local expectations in terms of cuisine, service, and atmosphere. The three locations differ but at the same time are similar in that they each feature the same key components that create the Amazonico identity: the customers and the staff. At Amazonico, our ethos is to create an environment where guests bring energy to the restaurant—as soon as they step in, they become the craftsmen of the atmosphere. We see Amazonico as a concept that belongs to the guests, where the cultural diversity funnels its energy and vibe.
Amazonico Madrid has been so popular. What makes the restaurant so unique?
Amazonico is a journey along the Amazon River, showcasing the culinary and cultural diversity of Latin America. The Amazon River connects people and links different cultures. It is this connection that influences and shapes the gastronomy of the region. The restaurant is organic, close to nature, and full of energy. It is a place where people experience the unique cooking techniques from this part of the world. It offers a luxurious environment, where simplicity and authenticity are essential. From the ingredients down to the decor, Amazonico pays tribute to nature.
What is different about Amazonico from other existing restaurants in London and Dubai?
Amazonico is authentic—a unique way to experience luxury through nature. The food is real, based on the respect of the natural produce that nature gives us. We honour the heritage of traditional cooking methods, making use of the elements from nature: fire, sand, coal... This creates an environment where people can feel at home, comfortable, and relaxed. It's not intimidating or pretentious—it's approachable.
Is the menu the same amongst all three locations?
The menu varies slightly from one location to another, taking into account local preferences, but the philosophy at the core remains the same. To create Amazonico, we truly delved into the foundations of South American culture, and explored the elements of the cuisine, eating rituals, and how meals are enjoyed. The most important parts are often the ones that you can't see, like the roots of a tree that are submerged beneath the iceberg. Amazonico stemmed from this philosophy, a venture born of depth, history, and expertise.
In London, you'll be open from morning til night! What should we order for breakfast/lunch/dinner? What are your favourite menu items?
I can't recommend a specific dish at Amazonico because it is more about living the whole journey. The sharing concept is an invitation to discover: from our Japanese sushi counter with a Latin American influence, to our Espeto (fish cooked over a wood fire), or a traditional Picañha (specific cut of beef), these are our flavours for everyone.
Will either London or Dubai have a jazz club? Will there be live entertainment?
Live entertainment is part of the concept, part of the Amazonico DNA. London and Dubai will each have a different embodiment of the Jazz Club. Dubai has an extraordinary setting with a beautiful Copacabana-inspired rooftop, offering a panoramic view of the Financial Centre; whereas in London, the expression of the Jazz Bar will be much more intimate. Each one is unique and translates Latin America's rich musical diversity.
Tell us about the cocktail program!
The cocktail program is also a reflection of the diversity of Latin America, incorporating essential ingredients from the region such as cachaca, pisco, mezcal, tequila, rum, and other local spirits. Exotic fruits and elements that might have been previously unknown will take guests on an exploration of tropical flavour. We will offer a diverse number of options—a real journey!
What else can we expect from the two new locations?
They are both different, each with their own personality, but share the same core identity. Words can't really describe the experience—you need to visit to understand!
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Read more about Mayfair's best restaurants, including Amazonico.