Razzle-dazzle Desserts, Arty Street Food and Saffron-infused Menus Hit Hong Kong
This week's new and noted restaurants.
Cobo House by 2am:Dessert Bar
With the weather still hovering in the chilly range, we’re betting on at least a few more weeks until we have to think about baring it for bikini season again. With this in mind, it’s the perfect time to head over to Singaporean import Cobo House by 2am:Dessert Bar. With Janice Wong—two-time winner of Asia’s Best Pastry Chef at Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants—onboard, you can expect more than a little razzle-dazzle to accompany your dishes, with seductive desserts including the Cassis Plum ($138) made with plum wine, yogurt, elderflower and cassis meringue, and the Chocolate H2O ($128)—an edible art piece featuring aerated frozen chocolate to mimic the coral of the San Sebastián coast. Another play on textures and temperatures appears in the Tsujirihei Green Tea Tart ($108) with an oozing warm liquid matcha pastry. A savory menu will be launched later this month, but for now the sumptuous sweets are more than enough reason to stop by.
If you’ve yet to try Zafran’s popular Theatre of Tapas, you’re out of luck—the contemporary Spanish restaurant has reset the stage with a brand new à la carte menu, featuring 30 dishes designed by new executive chef Pere Moreno. Luckily, the menu bursts with the same fresh, bold flavors and unique ingredients that have always wowed us about Zafran, with an array of rich herbs and spices evoking earthy influences of Morocco and fresh seaside fare from the Mediterranean. Expect generous pinches of saffron (only fitting given that “azafrán” is Spanish word for “saffron”), and dishes with influences from all over, such as Galician octopus on paprika hummus ($180) and red prawn tartare with fresh sea asparagus ($190). Understated and elegant, the black paella ($320) is a must-try, with an intense flavor imparted purely by Spanish red prawns and cuttlefish ink.
It’s all about art this month, but Hong Kong—food-obsessed city that is—has decided that no art fair is complete without gourmet eats to savor as you ponder the abstract significance of contemporary art and modern installations. Returning for the second year, Art Central (Mar 23-26, Central Harbourfront Event Space, 9 Lung Wo Rd., Central, 2174-0322, artcentralhongkong.com) raises the bar in the gastronomy department, with some of Hong Kong’s most trending restaurants sharing the limelight with collector’s pieces. An expanded street food section will feature the first pop-up edition of the latest offering from Black Sheep Restaurants, Belon, which serves up French-rooted classical dishes with a neo-Parisian bistro vibe. Other restaurants on the lineup to tempt art-goers’ palates include Brickhouse, Beef and Liberty, Tri and XYZ.
A new chef de cuisine is raising the stakes at home-style Italian restaurant Sabatini, revamping the menu with creative dishes rooted in various regions of Italy. Chef Gleb Snegin previously sharpened his knives at La Fermata in Casatenovo and Trussardi Alla Scala in Milan, before moving to Asia to head up the menu at Terrazza Italian Restaurant in Galaxy Macau, which won its first star in the latest Michelin guide. The new menu at Sabatini features six or so chef’s recommendations, including anelli pasta with lobster and spicy sausage ($508) and parmigiana risotto with black trumpet mushrooms ($428) exhibiting chef Snegin’s deftness with elevating classic Italian comfort carbs. Try several plates to share, and don’t miss out on the amaretti pudding with Chantilly and hazelnut ice cream for something sweet ($128).