And so to the Brazilian megatropolis of São Paulo, where we come upon Bien!, a restaurant offering functional food that claims to be able to beat stress, dodge diabetes, and even spice things up in the bedroom department. The concept comes from Alexandre Chaud, an engineer who likes to run marathons and race cars in his spare time – so he would know about needing extra vitamins – and has been put together by young designers Carolina Mauro, Daniela Frugiuele and Filipe Troncon of Suite Arquitetos.
The design of Bien! suits the unorthodox menu very nicely. Perforated metal sections on the upper half of the building exterior may present quite a stern face, but the inside is something of a pleasant departure from the urban industrial aesthetic – we enjoyed Mr Brightside‘s wooden climbing frame in Melbourne, and Bien! adopts a similar philosophy with even more wood arranged in substantial panel partitions. Hanging plants add to the tropical vibes here – we might call this rural industrial as the natural materials have been blended with the man-made rather than used to screen them from view. Just as well-balanced on the eyes as the food promises to be in the stomach.