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Hong Kong budget eats

Restaurant review: XOXO Cafe Lab in Kowloon Bay serves Korean dishes with a twist

If you’re looking for bubbles, this newly opened, creative fusion outlet will blow you away

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 02 March, 2016, 8:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 02 March, 2016, 8:00am

Tired of traditional Korean fare like stone pot rice and barbecued meat bulgogi? The new XOXO Cafe Lab in Kowloon Bay offers creative Korean fare that is mixed with Taiwanese and Western elements.

The trademark dish – bubbles pot rice – is a creative invention resembling a mini snow mountain. Adapted from the traditional Korean stone pot rice, the raw egg used originally in the pot rice is replaced by egg white foam. Baked until golden, the crunchy exterior melts in the mouth. There are six varieties, with fillings that include fresh squid, grilled beef and chicken. We like the spicy bubbles Korean style kimchi pork rice (HK$108) as the slight salty taste of the foam goes well with the cabbage and meat.

Korean rice cakes mixed with Chinese and Western ingredients are imaginative dishes, and we tried the lurou ravioli rice cake in kimchi sauce (HK$75). It’s an unlikely but enjoyable combination with rice cakes, ravioli filled with Taiwanese braised pork belly and a spicy sauce.

Besides the creative food offerings, the décor of XOXO Café Lab is a delight, too, with blue and white walls, floral-patterned tiles and plenty of potted plants.

XOXO Café Lab, shop S174-175, 2/F, Phase 3, Amoy Plaza, 77 Ngau Tau Kok Road, Kowloon Bay, tel: 3974 5772. Open: 11am-10.30pm