Rua Maciel de Cima, 1,
Salvador, Bahia 40026-250, Brazil
Axego is the rare restaurant that we will go to TWICE in one trip. Though we rarely visit the same place, we loved Axego’s setting, the food and the warm service so much we decided to make it our last moqueca in Salvador. We also could not believe the extremly reasonable price. The menu at Axego is pretty varied and has all the typical Bahian dishes you may expect. However we were there for one thing alone – Moqueca. On our first visit we decided to branch out into a type of moqueca we had never tried before: Aratu Red Crab (R$48). This rounds out to about $25 US or less than $13 a person – good deal!
Now we absolutely love moquecas, and over the past year or so have sampled enough so that we know exactly what we are looking for. First – it has to come to the table piping hot, preferably in or on a stone bowl. In terms of the moqueca itself: it has to have not too runny of a sauce , high quality protein, good dende flavor and a nice and varied amount of sides in non-stingy portions. M would also add that there has to be a spicy pepper sauce to spice things up. Never have all of these elements come together so well than as at Axego. The moqueca itself came our absolutely filled to the brim with Aratu, a strongly-flavored and tasty crab dish. No filler or watery sauce here! On our second trip we went with our old standby – moqueca de camarao. Both were equally delicious, though the uniqueness of the Aratu gets our vote. We can get shrimp just as well in the US.
On the last visit we made to Axego we were even lucky enough to hear a live Olodum concert while we were eating – not IN Axego, mind you, but rather in a largo right behind the restaurant. Dinner and a show all for the price of a few mediocre sandwiches back in the US. The space of the restaurant itself is very nice, in a restored colonial rowhouse. The inside is mostly wood, and an entire wall is dedicated to a a creatively-displayed selection of Bahian artifacts and art works.
We highly enjoyed our moqueca at Axego, and we hope we are able to go back soon. Along with tasty food, Axego has all of the intangibles that we love in a restaurant, welcoming service, pleasant atmosphere and a good vibe. If you are going to get one moqueca in Salvador, make it Axego!