More than desserts at COBO HOUSE
Starting out as a dessert only bar, COBO HOUSE was bought to HK by renowned pastry chef Janice Wong. Since opening, the menu has evolved to now include more than just sweet delights, so I was intrigued to check it out and try some of the seasonal fare on offer, including one or two dishes from their first ever festive menu…
Situated in the heart of Shek Tong Tsui, conveniently just around the corner from HKU station, you can find COBO tucked away on the quiet South Lane. The interior is modern yet cosy, with marble topped tables and plaid covered chairs, I was made to feel instantly at ease in the understated and stylish decor.
When we were seated, our attentive waiter quickly presented us with some freshly made (and deliciously warm) bread, with the added quirk that the bread basket was made entirely from lego – a cute choice which made us smile, even if it was a little at odds with the sleek surroundings.
COBO has an eclectic and international wine list, alongside a selection of unique dessert-inspired teas and some interesting sounding cocktails. As our dinner fell on a weeknight though, we reluctantly just stuck with the wine pairing chosen for us, a New Zealand chardonnay, which perfectly matched our main course of Halibut.
First up we enjoyed a delicious starter of Yuzu Scallop ($198), beautifully plated with yellow and green courgette, mirin jelly, edible flowers and yuzu ice-cream. The flavours were very fresh and innovative, with the intricate plating. Alongside this, we had Scampi Ravioli ($208), with black garlic, pea and pumpkin purées. The dish was seasonal and comforting, with the trio of purees complementing the juicy scampi filled pasta.
Perfect for a chilly night, we then each had a soup – Guinea Fowl Consomme ($108) for me and Black Truffle Porcini ($98) for my boyfriend. I was presented with a delicate glass dish with dried berries at the bottom, the consomme was then poured over the berries from a dainty tea-pot. Along with the whimsical presentation, the consomme had lovely earthy and woody flavours, nicely perfumed with strong notes of thyme, which became fruitier once it was mixed together with the dried berries. The truffle soup was also delicious, definitely one to try for the truffle fans out there! The flavour was deep and intense but not overbearing, just beautifully creamy and earthy.
For our main, we both had the delicate Halibut Crab ($286), which features on COBO’s 6-course festive menu. The perfectly cooked halibut was topped with crab meat and fried dill, served with a kaffir lime emulsion, olives, citrus whey and walnuts. I was instantly drawn in by the strong aroma of the lime leaves and the eye-catching and colourful presentation. It then took just a small taste for me to know that it was something special, the unusual combination of ingredients surprisingly working together.
We then came to the part of the evening which I had been most looking forward to – the dessert! I was sure that Janice Wong would not disappoint (she was voted Asia’s Best Pastry Chef twice, after all!) and thankfully I wasn’t let down! We were treated to the Purple Chestnut ($145 – this also features on the festive menu); a combination of chestnut fondant, cassis chestnut puree, lavender marshmallow and cassis meringue.
I have to say that I haven’t had a dessert like it and can easily see why Janice is so famed for her pastry expertise. The perfect mix of textures, flavours and temperatures contrasted and complemented each other, making for one very unusual and delightful dessert.
The food at COBO HOUSE certainly did not disappoint and Janice Wong has done an incredible job of merging food and art to create dishes that look and taste amazing. COBO HOSE now has so much more to offer than just the amazing desserts! I would love to go back and try some more of the innovative dishes (plus a few more puds!) in the relaxed setting – perfect for the foodies out there who also have a keen eye for presentation.
COBO HOUSE, 8/12 South Lane, Shek Tong Tsui, Hong Kong, www.cobohouse.com