Street food popularity to continue into 2013 with Galeto launch

By Peter Ruddick

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Restaurant

Brazilian street food restaurant Galeto is the brainchild of restaurateur and chef Antonio Romani and former Pizza Express business development manager Leo Alexander
Brazilian street food restaurant Galeto is the brainchild of restaurateur and chef Antonio Romani and former Pizza Express business development manager Leo Alexander
The prevalence for street food-inspired restaurants shows no sign of abating with the announced opening of Galeto in Soho, a partnership between two former Pizza Express executives which also taps into the South American trend and the popularity of chicken and burgers.

Galeto, a 60-cover restaurant with a name meaning 'little chicken' in Brazilian, will launch on Dean Street in March. It is the latest restaurant project for experienced restaurateurs Leo Alexander and Antonio Romani who also collaborated on Italian-inspired restaurant Hugo's in Surrey last year.

On-trend

Speaking to BigHospitality, Alexander explained the on-trend concept had been conceived a number of years ago.

"We were looking for the right location as well as getting the finances together so it has taken a while," he admitted. "It has been going on for about three years - we have been refining the menu, working on products, sourcing the equipment we need and searching for the right location - it was a choice between Shoreditch and Soho."

However the restaurateur said the pair were confident the restaurant would not be joining a crowded scene too late.

"We tried to open sooner but finding the location has been very difficult - there is big competition, everybody is looking and the bigger boys always grab them before us. Three years ago Brazilian and Latin food was not as popular here, especially grills and chicken.

"It is actually a very nice time to do it because Soho has over the years been a French quarter, Italians moved in there and now there are South American multiples or individuals - there is a lot happening. It is a nice place to be at the right time."

Wood-burning grill

The restaurant, which is expected to launch to coincide with the legendary Rio carnival, will include Carnival-inspired interiors and will feature an open kitchen containing Robata wood-burning grills. Diners who can't see the kitchen will be able to view the action on screens near their tables.

Referring to the concept, Alexander said Gelato would offer something 'very different' to the rest of the South American fare currently on offer in the capital. "It really just belongs to Rio; it is not popular all over Brazil."

Grilled specials, including a Picanha burger, will be accompanied by salads and tapas-style dishes. Drinks will revolve around South American beers and authentic cocktails.

The house speciality, Galeto, will be a marinated and grilled half chicken grilled served with sides and two sauces from a choice of tropical fruit barbeque, mango and lime, hot and spicy coriander and garlic cream.

"We have a British farm contracted to supply the chicken fresh. We are intending to serve our main dish at around £9 - it is really street food," Alexander concluded.

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