What is it? Brought to you by last year’s Asia’s Best Pastry Chef winner Janice Wong, Cobo House is her first official foray into the world of savoury dishes. Renowned for her inventive sweets at 2am:dessert bar in Singapore, Janice was continually asked to host high profile private dinners and over time amassed recipes and honed her skills on the savoury side waiting for the right opportunity to present them to the masses; the result is Cobo House.
The place: Highly stylised and high ceilinged with a dessert bar at the back to watch the endings in action. With suited and booted serving staff, this place is very elegantly outfitted and feels like an ideal business meeting venue to discuss big deals over remarkable dishes. With outdoor seating along the quietude of South Lane, it’s not the greatest for people watching but sometimes its just nice to have the option of being out in the open air. We adored the light and delicate cutlery designed by Loveramics and the fact that they have created a rooftop garden with both herbs and vegetables that feature throughout their dishes.
The menu: There are some quirky elements, like the Lego constructed bread basket and popcorn tube that accompanied one of the desserts, but mostly the focus is on the food as a form of artwork itself. The mushroom garden starter was a combination of root chips sprouting out of creamy mushroom textures with a truffle shittake puree and a sprinkling of a subtly flavoured coffee soil. We also sampled the potato soup that was a simple and heavenly dish we would return specifically for. The salmon main was slow cooked with beetroot juice for a deep purple and extremely soft finish. A generous portion of duck confit was served with a 63 degree egg over pasta while the beef cheek holds a strong stand alone flavour and is decorated with potato strings. A selection of sweet and salted popcorn flavours were complemented by a sharp and sour yuzu parfait and passion fruit sorbet sprinkled with popcorn dust and guava syrup, while the tiramisu was a rich treat with Kahlua jelly and espresso ice cream for the perfect finish. Textures feature prominently throughout Janice’s dishes giving the taste buds an experience on every level. The lunch set started at $198 for two courses or $238 for three, which isn’t too bad considering the artistic interpretation of a modern lunch where as much focus is placed on the taste as it is on the exquisite presentation. They also serve a degustation menu for $1,280 and a well-rounded a la carte selection.
The verdict: We thought the dishes pretty and creative, but more importantly, it all worked. It didn’t sacrifice substance for style. The dishes were carefully planned and the flavours worked wonderfully well together to create an abundantly delicious meal, as well as being a beautiful one.
Cobo House by 2am:dessertbar
8 South Lane, Sai Wan, 2656 3088