Bibo | Fancy some art with your fine dining?
Bibo is one of those “blink and you’ll miss it” spots on Hollywood Road. Guests should first look for a bronze door, green tiles, and a sign that says “Compagnie Générale Française de Tramways” (a nod to the building’s history). Then they should look for a hidden button on top of the bottom pole to open the door. This description might ruin some of the fun, but I think standing in the summer rain trying to figure out how to get in (like I did) is decidedly less fun.
Guests are in for a treat once the door opens. For those that haven’t been, Bibo is full of high-end modern art (think Banksy, Damien Hirst, Murakami, Pure Evil). Almost every corner is filled, including in the bathrooms. It all kind of feels like you’re entering an artsy, damaged, rich person’s lair.
On the evening we went, we tried the Chef’s Imagination six course menu ($898) with wine pairing ($488). Recently, Nicholas Chew took over as Executive Chef and now the French menu has Japanese and Peranakan influences. Overall, the Plats (mains) are nice. The Turbot with uni and coconut (a la carte price is $468) was cooked well and their flavours were accented by a salty-sweet olive tapenade. The Lamb Aveyron (a la carte price is $488) was tender and accompanied by water spinach in a housemade xo sauce which reminded me of my favourite Peranakan sambal kangkong. The Octopus (a la carte price $368) with beetroot meringue and horseradish was an unexpected combination that worked. Also delicious was the Celeriac Risotto (a la carte price is $188) from the Entrees section. The celeriac absorbed loads of flavour and the dish was exceptionally cheesy, but it was the slice of mango that elevated things adding depth and creaminess without, surprisingly, being too sweet.
However, I didn’t find the smaller dishes or desserts as satisfying. The Bulot (a la carte price is $138) and Squid Cheong Fun (a la carte price is $198) used lovely ingredients but tasted surprisingly bland. While the Cream dessert (lime curd in a passionfruit) was delicious, the other desserts on the menu were not that memorable.
Bibo has a funky new wine bar that was quite full on the Monday night I was there. There are over 100 wines available by glass, from the affordable (two digits) to the luxe (four digits). While we didn’t sit at the bar, we did enjoy a wine pairing with the meal and the sommelier was fantastic. He introduced a number of unique wines like the Marc Kreydenweiss Moenchberg Grand Cru 2008 (like a caramel-y, aged white) that went well with the food and was memorable enough that I definitely want to order it again.
Bibo is undoubtedly a beautiful restaurant, the wine selection is top notch, and their new Chef is talented. However, my opinion is that the food was good but not outstanding. More than that, my biggest hesitation about recommending Bibo is the portion sizes. If I hadn’t eaten a basket of bread, I think I would have left hungry. If you don’t want to splurge on a meal, why not go and enjoy the art and the wine bar.
163, Hollywood Rd, Sheung Wan, 2956 3188
*By Invitation for Foodie