After several decades of different owners, the Swedish film company Indio took over the reigns of Bio Rio late last year. Apart from being a hybrid between a film production and talent management firm, Indio also owns neighbourhood restaurant Indio Kitchen, where chef Gian Luca Montero introduced Nikkei cuisine to Stockholmers in 2015. Now Indio have given Bio Rio a makeover, where the new restaurant simply goes under the name of Rio.
Rio’s new kitchen is also under Gian Luca’s direction, and just like at Indio Kitchen it has its starting point in the intersection of Japanese and Peruvian cuisines. The Japanese barbecue tradition Robatayaki is mixed with Swedish raw produce and Peruvian spices. “One of the main inspirations behind Rio comes from my childhood in Peru. At night we used to eat street food from Anticucho stalls where old ladies stood barbecuing heart and liver on skewers. I have always loved Anticuchos, so I wanted to take that culture and translate it to modern Stockholm and blend it with the Nikkei cuisine,” Gian Luca explains. The inspiration for Rio can also trace its roots to London and restaurants like Roka at Charlotte Street where they barbecue fish, meat and vegetables on a Robatayaki grill. And a large part of the inspiration comes from Swedish forests. “Since I have spent most of my life as a chef in the sushi world and in the Peruvian cuisine, I was eager to explore some new frontiers. I had help in discovering the Swedish forest from master chef Fredrik Juhlin and it has been like discovering a completely new palette to paint my food with. I’m in love with Swedish herbs, berries and fir.”
While the food is curated by Gian Luca, the responsibility for the cocktail menu lies with prize-winning bartender Josephine Sondlo, previously at Bar Hommage and Svartengrens. This month she is again representing Sweden in the world’s premier bartendeing competition World Class. Apart from the culinary treats there will of course also be film screenings at the cinema, the history of which goes back to 1943. “Our loyalty is to the craft and the storytelling, regardless of whether this comes in the shape of a film or food. At Rio both these creative expressions will interact and our aim is that Rio will be a meeting point where people can meet up and not only enjoy great independent movies and popcorn, but also eat well and socialise in our new café, bar and grill,” explains Mattias Montero, one of the owners of Indio. Today Bio Rio is an arthouse cinema with 180 seats and a broad selection of films, events and performance art. Bio Rio also has a strong cultural-political and social engagement and closely collaborates with a string of organisations in the struggle against racism, for human rights and a sustainable environment.
Bio Rio, Hornstulls Strand 3, Open for lunch and dinner every day of the week.