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We decided NOT to be adventurous in Foz do Iguaçu and chose to have Asian food during our time there.
Took us some time to locate it and we were among the first diners of the evening. The restaurant is operated by a Japanese family although the waitress who served us was a Brazilian.
The food took some time to arrive and the servings were huge.
The tempura and curry rice were decent enough but the ramen was a let-down. The taste wasn’t quite what we were used to. The total cost was 105.60 BRL and apparently merchants in the region accept USD, BRL and ARS. I used my credit card as we didn’t have any BRL with us.
The patron mix was quite interesting. We saw a Brazilian family fully kitted in the national team jersey and there were several other Asians around. There was a big group of Mandarin-speaking speakers whom we could tell to be Taiwanese from their accents. On my way out, I noticed many Paraguayan-registered vehicles outside the restaurant and they should belong to the Taiwanese. They crossed the Friendship Bridge to Brazil for meals, not unlike how Singaporeans go to Johor Bahru for food.
The next day, after our visit to the Brazilian side of the falls, we stopped by at Restaurante China for late lunch.
We had to decide between the buffet or ordering a la carte and we chose the latter. Both of us were dying to have some Chinese-style vegetables.
Once again the portion was huge and it was a pretty satisfying meal. Towards the end of the meal, a group of Chinese tourists came in for dinner. This was the first time that we met Chinese tour group since United States.
The bill came up to be close to 100 BRL and both of us were quite stunned with it. While walking back to the accommodation, we realised that it shouldn’t be so expensive and decided to go back and clarify with the cashier (in Mandarin). Turned out that she mixed up our bill with the other table (Korean film crew) and the actual bill was a more reasonable 80 BRL.
Evening came but due to our heavy Chinese lunch, we weren’t hungry. We asked Mariana the directions to the nearest supermarket, which was around 10+ minutes’ walk away.
It turned out to be quite interesting as many products had special World Cup packaging.
Ying was amused to find ‘Omo’ (which means ‘oh my’ in Korean) in Brazil.
Beside yogurt, snacks and water, we also bought some mate. We kept forgetting to purchase it at Argentina and only remembered when we saw them again Brazil. Southern Brazil is pretty similar to Argentina in terms of mate consumption and we reckoned that it would be harder to find them in Rio de Janeiro.
On our way back, we ran into an Asian man in his 60s who addressed us in Mandarin. Turned out that he was an Indonesian Chinese who migrated to Brazil in the 1960s to escape anti-Chinese measures implemented by Suharto. His family operated Restaurante China, the restaurant that we had visited earlier in the day. What a coincidence.