Apollo inspired by best of Latin America

The restaurant feels like a cozy farmhouse-style loft. The main dining room and bar take up the first floor with communal tables, bar seating and street-facing window seats.
Ti Gong

The first floor of Apollo opens to the tree-lined Anfu road. ­­­

One of my favorite cafes of the past decade has been recently replaced by a new exciting concept — Apollo. 

The two-floor structure hasn’t been changed much although the first floor now has window doors opening onto the tree-lined Anfu Road, giving a more relaxed vibe for guests to chill during the warmer season’s happy hours.

The restaurant feels like a cozy farmhouse-style loft. The main dining room and bar take up the first floor with communal tables, bar seating and street-facing window seats. The second floor opens up to soaring wood beams, providing an airy loft, an open kitchen with bar seating where you can watch chef’s culinary performance.

Apollo serves modern Latin American-inspired dishes created by Danish chef Frederik Rasmussen. Hailing from the booming food scene of Copenhagen, Rasmussen’s love of South American flavors comes from his experiences at el Nacional and Llama. 

His culinary passion started at a young age, hunting and fishing with his father, where he also went foraging for mushrooms and herbs in the woods of his hometown Vejle. Rasmussen was apprenticed in classical French cuisine before developing his own style of Latin American food.


Ti Gong

 Tenderloin and kale in chimicurri sauce

“I’m not creating ‘authentic’ Latin American food here. It’s my very personal twist inspired by the region and techniques. I’m cooking food I love, food that I want to eat,” Rasmussen said.

Dishes at Apollo are served as small plates to share, allowing diners to explore more options. The chef recommends ordering three dishes per person so different tastes can be explored. 

“I like to hide things within layers of my food. You need to forage through it. Dishes will meld into each other, and you will have to discover what’s under this cover or this powder. I just want people to sit and have good food and wine with the company they’re with,” he added.

Seasonal and fresh ingredients are used in playful ways that explore new flavors and textures. Methods like pickling, quick curing and smoking — integral techniques used in Latin American food preparation — are employed with a light and modern touch. 

I tried a little bit everything as the small dishes are meant for sharing. The highlights of the evening included Tostadas, mussel soup with scallop, tapioca and apples, cured salmon with yoghurt and puffed rice, as well as tenderloin and kale in chimicurri sauce.

Each plate proved the chef’s experimental creativity and showed no limitation to how he can make empanadas. 

“I could dehydrate everything. I could turn meats into powders. They could be traditional or modern,” he said. A special cocktail menu is created to pair the food or simply for happy hour. The blends like Latin American favorites Pisco Sour is a must order. Apollo is an all-day spot for lunch, dinner, drinks and snacks.

Info

Opening hours: 11am-midnight (Monday-Friday); 10am-midnight (weekends)

Tel: 5404-0998

Address: 201 Anfu Rd

Average price: 250 yuan (US$39.32)


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