Wednesday, July 12, 2017

BIBO - THE ART OF DINING


Bibo was one of my favourite restaurants I discovered while I was in Hong Kong and it's one of those places I couldn't wait to tell my friends about when I arrived back home.  My aunt suggested it as she was recently wined and dined there with her work and she knew it was right up my street. Combining fine dining and art, it mixes two of my favourite things and it's the coolest concept restaurant.

Bibo is located in Sheung Wan and you could easily walk past the unassuming front door. The entrance is meant to resemble a 1930s tram and getting in, involves pressing a little button! Press the button and the brass sliding door opens...

Once you're inside, you're confronted with a whole lot of Art and thus begins sensory overload. The artworks get bigger and more impressive once you've hit the main dining area. The Art were all exhibitors at the HK Art Basel (I must go one year) and the idea is that they rotate the artwork on display and I think it may already have changed since my visit in April. The genre of art featured is loosely street art and everything has an urban, graffiti or raw style. I loved the Takashi Murakami paintings and you really couldn't miss the KAWS sculpture. I couldn't keep still sitting inside the restaurant - I was giddy with excitement and joy.

If you can see beyond the artwork on display, you'll see brass pipes details and arched ceilings. The tables are set with really unique tableware - which are by the way, display only and they get taken away when your food arrives.

The food was really fantastic, it's French cuisine with an Asian twist and headed by executive chef, Mutaro Balde who trained under Michelin starred chefs, Alain Ducasse and Joel Robuchon. We were given freshly baked sourdough to start with and a selection of butter including one with mustard seeds and herbs. I had the lobster salad for starter which featured fresh tomatoes and tarragon mayonnaise. It was like summer on a plate -  fresh, clean with subtle flavours and plated up beautifully.

This was followed by my main, la piece de boeuf which was wagyu beef with baby pak choi, confit shallots with a red wine sauce. The beef was sublime, melt-in-your-mouth tender and perfectly cooked medium rare, I could certainly have eaten two plates of this! The presentation was amazing too and I'm impressed with the carefully placed pak choi on top of the confit shallots.

Dessert was a chocolate millefuille with summer berries.  Crisp, light and moreish, especially what you want after a day traipsing around the humidity in Hong Kong. HK is definitely not the place for heavy british puddings. As with many lunch sets in HK, they are always finished with a complimentary hot drink. The coffee was great but it wasn't anything to write home about - with such a beautiful set of dishes beforehand, I expected a little coffee art but I'll let that one slide...



To give you a bit of an idea of the experience and standard of service, Bibo is the only Relais & Châteaux awarded restaurant in Hong Kong which represents exceptional gourmet experiences with a focus on hospitality and the dining experience. Service was therefore as expected, friendly with just the right amount of attentiveness. At $380 for a 3 course lunch set (£37.00) it's actually pretty good value.

With the rate that eateries open and close in Hong Kong, I do hope that this place sticks around for my next trip back to the city because I'm already itching to return. I would love to take friends who are also art lovers (or just fans of good food) along with me and a visit to the sister restaurants in HK is on my to-do list. You know when you go into a restaurant, cafe or business and you realise that if you were to set up a business, it would be something pretty similar? Well, Bibo ticks all the boxes for me...
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