Monday, February 29, 2016

SINGING WITH YOUR DINNER AT BOBO KL




Live music has a new home at Bobo Kuala Lumpur – a cosy restaurant with a ‘hidden’ speakeasy bar cum lounge upstairs in one of Ed Soo’s repertoire of F&B ventures in Bangsar’s Bangkung Row.
Bobo marks a significant ‘coming of age’ phase for Ed who has always nursed a much cherished dream of combining his different passions: food, wine, art and music into one single entity over the years. As serendipity would have it, Ed met renowned Malaysian thespian and entertainer Sean Ghazi at a dinner party and the rest was history.
 
Only an ardent art lover and collector like Ed Soo would conceptualise a restaurant around his treasured artistic masterpieces. From the ambient lighting to the minimalist furnishing in the restaurant, visual feasts abound in Bobo.

Named in honour of Ed’s fave huggable stuffed doggy Bobo (it occupies a discreet corner in the little lounge next to the balcony), the resto’s ambiance exudes as much charm and conviviality as its tasteful, worldly owner.
Local music talents take centrestage at Bobo KL
The pride of Bobo KL is the music lounge complete with a curtained stage, top-notch sound-proofing and high-ceilinged ambient lighting (proof of Sean Ghazi’s expertise), the resultant acoustics and overall vibe are second-to-none. No wonder local musical talents like David Gomes, Izlyn Ramli and Sean G (yes, the man himself!) have taken to Bobo like bees to honey.

After an effusive welcome, Ed got his culinary team to conjure up a repertoire of starters for our sampling. Red and white wines accompanied our companionable evening, amidst cordial chit-chat and bouts of cheery laughter.

Soon we were inundated by a melange of textures, flavours and tastes as the plethora of appetisers appeared. My personal vote goes to the unconventional Bobo’s Caesar Salad (RM28) - a wicked composition featuring a mound of velvety parmesan mousse atop a crouton base.
Crowned with shredded romaine and a baked parmesan wafer on the side, the supporting cast for the wondrous speciality included a strip of anchovy, parmesan shavings, dollops of aged balsamic vinegar and savoury dressing.

It was a naughty way to get non-vegetable eaters to eat greens as there was more of that rich umami mousse than lettuce! Still, a few more leaves of romaine would go down even better.

Coming in a close second is the Charchuterie & Cheese Board (RM39), a platter guaranteed to make fromage fans go weak at the knees. A robust red is best to down with the irresistible cured meat cuts and cheeses.

We were amply satisfied by the big, boldly flavoured chorizo de pavo (fermented, cured and smoked Spanish sausage), salchicón de pavo (cured summer sausage), cecina de vacuno (air-dried beef), manchego (Spanish semi-soft cheese made from sheep’s milk), mahón (Spanish semi-hard cow’s cheese) and nectar-sweet rock melon.

Plump and brimming with hints of their deep-sea origins, you can’t go wrong with Fresh Irish Oysters (RM38) here. Shucked and served on the half shell with a splash of olive oil, black pearly caviar and if you wish, a squeeze of lemon juice, the slickly smooth molluscs go down a real treat.
Decadently voluptuous on the palate, we raved over the slab of Foie Gras Pate (RM45); the chicken liver pate’s unctuous richness aptly balanced by the attendant cranberry sauce and onion marmalade. A serving is ample enough for sharing, to leave your tastebuds well-primed for other good things to come.

The bright and cheery tangerine hue of Salmon Crudo (RM34) demands full attention and rightly so. Drizzled with olive oil and horseradish cream alongside dainty dots of horseradish cream, some micro herbs and salmon roe, the simplicity of this raw fish dish again underscores the ‘less is more’ maxim.
If you prefer warming up with hot stuff, Polenta Fries (RM24) with Lemon Truffle Aioli or Arancini (RM28) should do the trick. Personally, I’ve never been partial to cornmeal but the thick, golden batonnettes came up trumps once dipped into the aromatic and creamy aioli.
The Arancini also ticked all the requisite boxes: crispy crumbed shell – checked, ball-shaped soft, slightly nutty risotto – checked, a melty, oozy buffalo mozzarella filling – checked, tangy chunky tomato sauce – checked.
Choices are aplenty when it comes to mains but I readily vouch for the show-stopping Crisp Paupiette of Barramundi (RM75). Imagine sinking your teeth into sweet, flaky barramundi flesh enrobed in crisp, wafer-thin layers of baked potato. Tender braised leek and shallot in red wine sauce with fresh sprouts lift the dish to heady gastronomic heights.
Red meat enthusiasts will put their hard-earned money on Herb-crusted Rack of Lamb (RM75). Pink at the core, the meat’s juicy tenderness stood out in agreeable contrast with asparagus spears and dauphinoise potatoes (sliced, layered and baked au gratin potatoes with garlic, butter and cream). A little bowl of lamb jus is served on the side to lend flavourful depth.
Garlic and bits of bird’s eye chilli imbued Spaghetti a la Bobo (RM42) with discernible aroma and heat. The aglio olio preparation is switched up with succulent scallops, squid and prawns in addition to cherry tomatoes. A sprinkling of toasted breadcrumbs and chopped Italian parsley lends a subtle finishing appeal.
We had high hopes of the Moules Mariniere (RM58) but the mussels’ delicate freshness barely made an impression. Possibly because we were wishing for lashings of white wine sauce to smother the shellfish and those tiny dices of leek, celery, carrot, and onions? You know, put those freshly sliced baguette to good eating. LOL.

Dessert can be partaken at the lounge upstairs upon request. At Ed’s persuasion, we did just that…although I daresay we were far too distracted by the intimate environs and melodious renditions of Malaysia’s piano man aka David Gomes that evening. Hence no photos – only ebullient memories that make me yearn to return. Music to Ed Soo’s ears, yes?
 
For reservations, call BOBO KUALA LUMPUR, tel: 03-2092 5002. Address: 65-1, Jalan Bangkung, Bangsar, Kuala Lumpur. Latest music performance updates in www.facebook.com/BoboKualaLumpur

1 comment:

KY said...

I need some of those salmon & cold cuts!