First impressions of Cobo House by 2am:dessertbar restaurant, Shek Tong Tsui

Sister establishment to two-time Asia’s Best Pastry Chef winner Janice Wong’s 2am:dessertbar in Singapore serves intriguing desserts. Savoury dishes are interesting, but some may still need refining

PUBLISHED : Monday, 21 March, 2016, 12:01pm
UPDATED : Monday, 21 March, 2016, 1:53pm

When Cobo House by 2am:dessertbar opened last month, it only served desserts, but recently it added savoury dishes to the menu. The restaurant is in a convenient, quiet location in Shek Tong Tsui, in a lane behind Hotel Jen and the HKU MTR station.

Cobo House presents dishes created by chef Janice Wong from Singapore,a two-time winner of the Asia’s Best Pastry Chef title in the annual Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants awards. She made her name with 2am:dessertbar in Singapore, and has now brought the concept to Hong Kong.

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We had visited the restaurant twice before to sample the delicious desserts and so we were anticipating a three-course meal of the same standard. On the day we came, the restaurant was only a few days into serving savoury dishes and perhaps it needs a bit of time to adjust.

We sampled the three-course dinner (HK428) which gave us choices for soup, main course and dessert. Four courses is HK$588, and a degustation menu is HK$1,280.

After we ordered we were given a square bread basket made of colourful Lego bricks which was cute, but seemed out of place in the sophisticated-looking restaurant with its copper-coloured chandeliers, marble table tops and linen place mats.

The chicken consommé came in a wide-mouthed stemmed glass containing masala jelly, and the waiter poured the consommé on top. The broth had an exotic taste, but it was a pity it was only warm – or was it meant to be a kind of lukewarm cocktail?

The potato soup was better. Piping hot and creamy, it was poured into a bowl with a delicate deep-fried potato nest topped with oscietra caviar and Spanish ham foam. Decadent and delicious.

For mains, the waiter recommended the mantis prawn risotto. The risotto, flavoured with parmesan and spiced up with bits of chorizo, was rich and quite heavy, but the portion size was just right.

Our other main course was slow-cooked cod fish. The two small fillets were perfectly cooked, and came with aioli, smoked aubergine and seasonal vegetables that were presented like ribbons on the plate.

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For dessert, the chocolate H2O did not disappoint. The frozen 65 per cent dark chocolate mousse was whipped with Evian water, topped with a generous amount of salted caramel and served with yuzu sorbet and sauce as well as dark cookie crumbs. Everything on the plate went well together and gave the dessert a clean, not too sweet taste.

Another intriguing dessert is cassis plum, a small dome that, when cracked open, revealed a slightly tart filling of yogurt foam, blackcurrants, and a granita made from Japanese plum liqueur and yuzu pearls.

Another delicious dessert from the à la carte section is the Tsujirihei green tea tart (HK$108). Intensely flavoured by the green tea, it is accompanied with a scoop of jasmine rice sherbet.

Cobo House by 2am:dessertbar, 8-12 South Lane, Shek Tong Tsui, telephone 2656 3088