June 6, 2014

Eat Your Art Out

Like your cocktails with a squeeze of Kaws, your bread roll with a bit of Banksy and your supper with a side of street art?

It’s official: art and food is colliding into a beautiful partnership in Hong Kong. Joining the ranks of Paris, New York and London, the newly opened Bibo tucked away on the corner of Hollywood Road and Ladder Street is giving the general public a sensory indulgence. Our experience began before we even walked in to the venue, as a sharply dressed doorman in a black suit let us in through a matted golden door, by pressing a button, much like those found on an old school train in Europe. We are then welcomed by a hostess, elegantly decked out in a black lace sheath dress, before walking down a set of slightly rugged stairs down to the restaurant.

Upon entering, we are immediately greeted by friendly faces at the bar, which is a gentle extension of the train theme we encountered at the door.  The restaurant itself is a creatively designed space that is much like an artist’s studio. Walls decorated with graffiti similar to those found in New York subway stations are juxtaposed with art courtesy of Basquiat, Hirst, Koons, Murakami and Banksy. Though art is meant to be subjective, the floor-to-ceiling sized collapsed bear sculpture commands everyone’s attention, and can easily be considered the centerpiece of the place.

Though Bibo is first and foremost a restaurant headed by Michelin-trained Chef Mutaro Balde, it is fast becoming a hip hangout where digestifs are enjoyed by all. Conceptualised by veteran mixologist, Alexandre Chatte, all the drinks at the bar boast an old-school 1930s flair. Top of the must-try list are the signature ”5 Spice Powder” made with sake infused shiso, St. Germain liqueur, lemon juice, five spice melon juice, cherry bitters and topped with soda water and the “Midnight Diamond” a mix of Boomsma Jonge Genever Gin, Dolin Dry Vermouth, truffle infused absinthe, lime juice and sugar. The dapper bartender straight out of a speakeasy whips these delectable libations with skill, precision, and attention, and the finished product is presented in beautiful vintage handcrafted glassware.

While dinner is undoubtedly a decadent treat, we love lunching at Bibo, where Chef Balde tantalizes diners with a sampling of dishes from his repertoire. The lunch menu is omnivore and carnivore friendly, with dishes such as the 63-degree egg with asparagus and the mushroom risotto satisfying vegetarians, while a stylishly executed take on steak and potatoes is on offer for meat lovers. Don’t skip out early, as you’ll miss the scrumptious petit fours and chocolates that come after the meal. Our favourites were the gold-dusted chocolates – a burst of caramel deliciousness to end the experience on a perfect note.

Since it has opened, Bibo has become a social epicentre for the creative industry. Whether you’re a foodie, and art aficionado, or someone simply looking to shake up your liquid diet, Bibo is a place that can make you feel at home. Their friendly staff embody the soul of the place, where individuality and creativity is celebrated, and no judgments are passed. Whatever your reason is for going to Bibo, you will leave with a well-stuffed tummy and a culturally sated mind.

163 Hollywood Road
Sheung Wan
+852 2956 3188

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