Sunday, December 6, 2015

Bobo @ Bangkung, Bangsar

When the ringleaders behind Opus Bistro, Leonardo's & Cava conjure a new destination, attention must be paid: Bobo in Bangsar marks a tantalising extension of the Bangkung empire, with two levels comprising an elegant restaurant that offers mainly modern European fare & an intimate piano lounge where local performers will soon seize the stage six nights a week.

Our best bets for Bobo's food reside in the starter selection: The 'Caesar Salad' (RM28) is inspired by Thomas Keller's version from The French Laundry Cookbook - custard-creamy Parmesan mousse on a crusty crouton base, accompanied by an anchovy fillet & other elements associated with a regular Caesar; playful fun & pretty fulfilling, thanks to the luscious mousse. Cheese is also key to the success of Bobo's bruschetta (RM24), layered with tender Campari-poached strawberries, balsamic vinegar pearls, pine nuts, & rocket leaves on a heavy smearing of gorgonzola - a tour de force of sweet, salty & slightly tart.

We're fans of the Wagyu beef satay (RM38) as well - three chunky skewers of smoky meat that completely banish concerns about chewiness, partnered with glutinous rice, cucumbers, onions & a respectable peanut sauce. It might be impossible to resist ordering the braised Aussie Wagyu beef cheeks (RM88) after that, but while this is enjoyable too, complemented by a soft polenta mash, snow peas & onion marmalade, the sauce feels flat in flavour, doing no favours to really elevate this recipe. And as restaurants wrestle with spiralling costs, it's sad that the days of beef cheeks served in big, gelatinous blobs are lost.

 Liver lovers have a couple of choices: The foie gras pate with cranberry sauce (RM45) is achingly soft & sumptuously smooth, but the kitchen makes it mandatory to pair this with bread, since it's supercharged with sodium & oil. It ends up being rather one-dimensional in flavour, without genuine depth or complexity. We harbour mixed sentiments about the chicken roulade stuffed with chicken liver (RM39) too; the filling features both liver & minced meat, tamping down the liver's impact. These are still worth trying, but we're setting a high bar for Bobo since we've loved Leonardo's from the start & we truly like Opus & Cava.

Two Italian temptations could benefit from tweaks: The arancini (RM28) are promising at first bite, a crisp breadcrumb exterior shielding these risotto balls with buffalo mozarrella at their core. But the grains within prove mushy, & while the kitchen uses a hint of saffron to convey an attractive hue, there's too little of the spice to impart actual fragrance & flavour, leaving the tomato coulis with the burden of rescuing the ensemble from blandness. Meahwhile, the sweet potato gnocchi with sage (RM39) seem too stiff & stodgy - a fluffier preparation might contrast more pleasurably with the firm morsels of salchichon sausage. And alas, the brown butter dressing may wind up as a slick puddle at the bottom of the plate.

First Blush is Bobo's signature cocktail, showcasing Cava & rose syrup; we might swap the rose syrup for Calvados, mainly since we're not into the former. The house red (RM113 a bottle) is lovely - an agreeable, easy-drinking match for Bobo's food.

Bobo's piano lounge is right above the restaurant, accessed via a speakeasy-style entrance & a stairway adorned with masterworks from the collection of Bobo's chief founder (the restaurant too emphasises beautiful sets of art). Sean Ghazi will be the lounge's musical director, curating performances Tues-Sun (with the buzziest gigs slated Fri-Sat). The setting was still under renovation when we visited, but shows should commence December 11; lots of thought & effort have been poured into this lounge, from the staging & lighting to a dedicated green room for performers. It's sure to be something to look forward to.

Bobo Kuala Lumpur
65-1, Jalan Bangkung, Bangsar, Kuala Lumpur. 
Open 5pm till late (kitchen's last orders by 1130pm). Tel: 03-2092-5002

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15 comments:

  1. Ahhhhh!!!! Tablecloth! A touch of class. Why didn't they have one for the round table? A piano lounge too? I love live music, soft and soothing live music.

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    1. Suituapui: ooo, trust you to notice the distinction for the round table, heh :) and yup, you described the kind of music i appreciate too for live performances, heh :)

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  2. The presentations are lovely, and very nice white tablecloth and cloth napkins.

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    1. Linda: i'm glad you like the look of the food and the place :)

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  3. A high end satay! Hehe. Too bad that the foie gras is one dimensional, otherwise that will be my must order dish. :P

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    1. CK: heheh, would happily have the satay again :) maybe you'd like the foie gras here more than i did :D

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  4. I hope they liven up the sweet potato gnocchi - that's one dish I'd be tempted to order for sure.

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    1. The Yum List: yeah, gnocchi is one thing i tend to order too ... it can be deliciously comforting :)

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  5. Ahh, I like Thomas Keller's take on the 'Casear Salad'....and not 'Scissors Salad' (as some would have it).....wakakaka!! :D :D That one probably inspired by Edward Scissorhands! >_<

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    1. Contact.ewew: yes, i think this version is preferable too! :D

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  6. Everything seems fine and delicate here, the name reminds me of Cina brand that sells Soy Sauce though :D

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    1. Ken: i like the name, and i think it holds a strong sentimental reason for the founder :)

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  7. BoBo needs an address....???

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  8. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  9. We visited Bobo KL after reading a review on Yumlist. Unfortunately this was one of the worst experiences in terms of service. For one hour that we spent there with wine and a shared platter of cold cuts the waiters kept coming and interrupting conversation every 5 mins. We didn’t want to order dinner. It was quite obvious that they didn’t want us there anymore either if we didn’t order dinner, even if we were still not done with the wine and the cold cuts. They kept coming over to the table and pulling away the cutlery and crockery one at a time. After being requested and reminded twice that we didn’t want to be disturbed so often the Manager told us “If they’re not being used they should be removed. That’s service!” Immediately afterwards another waiter comes up and asks us for the second time if we wanted dessert. The service in this place is arrogant and haughty. Nothing much to write home about except a bill of RM 178 for a precious evening with friends spoilt by Bobo KL. Upon being provided feedback on facebook their only response was "We are sorry that you did not have a good experience at bobo." It is very clear that they couldn't care less about the concerns of customers.

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