Address: G/F, 163 Hollywood Road, Sheung Wan 上環蘇豪荷李活道163號地鋪
Telephone: +852 2956 3188
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Hong Kong is certainly becoming more art-conscious in the past few years. Following the success of Duddell’s, a pioneering restaurant that combines art gallery and dining, Bibo on Hollywood Road is another eatery that has generated much hype in the city thanks to their impressive display of contemporary art works in the restaurant. As you go through an inconspicuous brass entrance on Hollywood Road and descend the stairs, an achingly hip, gallery-like dining room appears before you. Works of various prominent artists are casually displayed in this stylish space, including a scooter bearing the iconic calligraphy of the late Tsang Tsoi Choi, more famously known as the King of Kowloon, and a Mickey Mouse-like wooden installation by Kaws.
Dining at this dizzyingly artsy restaurant comes with a hefty price tag, and a dinner typically costs over $1,000 per head. There is, however, a better value option – a 3-course weekend brunch with free-flow rosé wine and cocktails, at $680 per head. (1) As soon as we are seated, a tempting tray of pastries is presented to us, and the croissants are insanely flaky and delicious! (Of course, the best croissants in Hong Kong, in my opinion, are from Robuchon, but the ones here come pretty close!)
We are also given some sourdough and cold butter. Do withhold from eating too much bread though!
(2) The cocktails are tasty, but are generally not very alcoholic at all. My favourites are the Yuzu Cooler, a fruity, citrus drink made with gin, sake, yuzu, mint, cucumber and ginger ale, and a more punchy Viva la Revolucion, made with whiskey, Grand Marnier, vanilla and coffee.
We end up drinking more fresh juices than cocktails. Every week, there is a “Healthy Choice” juice on the menu, and one week it is sugar cane juice which completely surprises us!
(3) After the pastries, juices and cocktails, you should already be almost full, but now is when the brunch really begins. The first appetiser that arrives is the oysters topped with Hokkaido sea urchin. Neither the oysters nor the sea urchin is particularly flavourful, but this combination very tempting and a dash of lemon juice beautifully brings the two ingredients together.
(4) Next is the pizza with jambon de bayonne, mozzarella and Parmigiano-reggiano cheese. The pizza dough is thin but well fermented, and the toppings are delicious.
(5) My favourite appetiser is the Japanese egg with bisque mashed potatoes, yuzu hollandaise and roasted lobster. The presentation is absolutely gorgeous, and the mashed potatoes is decadently silky and buttery!
(6) The homemade tagliatelle with Parmigiano-reggiano sauce and Comté cheese is going to make you feel more bloated than you already are. The tagliatelle has a nicely al dente texture, and the sauce, even if a tad too filling, is very thick and enticing.
(7) The traditional beef tartar of Australian Wagyu served with triple cooked fries perfectly hits the spot. The beef has an excellent bite and great flavour, and the fries are also deliciously crispy.
(8) Who will ever say no to burgers? The Australian Wagyu beef burger with pan seared foie gras is gigantic, and comes with a thick piece of well-seared foie gras. The beef is quite stringy, but its juiciness helps make up for it.
(9) For desserts, the traditional French crepes flambéed in mandarin juice and Grand Marnier is a great option. The citrus mandarin notes are bright and refreshing.
(10) The assortment of traditional French pastries is also delightful, and I particularly enjoy the mini éclair.
(11) Usually I will never order the fruit platter as my dessert, as it seems so boring in comparison with the cakes and other desserts, but this platter completely exceeds my expectations. It is beautifully arranged and adorably colourful – definitely a good dessert to be shared by a few people.
The eclectic background music, painfully stylish interior and polite, polished service make for a very pleasant experience indeed. The brunch menu here is certainly not the tastiest in town, and the kitchen can be a bit slow in sending out dishes (I have been here twice and each time it takes around 20-30 minutes for a course to be served), but this artsy, one-of-a-kind art haven is definitely worth a visit!