Meet Lobo

Last week, I was invited to a friend’s birthday dinner, which was held at a private kitchen called Meet Lobo. This place is situated right opposite Times Square in Causeway Bay inside one of those older buildings (Entrance is between Body Shop and Emperor Watch and Jewelry).

View from Meet Lobo 1

View from Meet Lobo 1

To the left ... you'll see Maid Date, Hong Kong's first maid cafe

To the left ... you'll see Maid Date, Hong Kong's first maid cafe

As a side note: To the left of the porch where I was standing, there’s the famous (or infamous) Maid Date (Hong Kong’s first maid cafe). My mediocre phone camera wasn’t quite up to the task of zooming in, sorry about the poor resolution  … I still haven’t been there, but I wouldn’t mind going and “try out their food”.

Maid Date - Hong Kongs First Maid Cafe

Maid Date - Hong Kongs First Maid Cafe

Anyway, back to Meet Lobo. This private kitchen’s been around for over 3 years now and apparently, it received fairly positive feedbacks in OpenRice, which is why my friend decided to go there for his celebration in the first place. I’ve been to a couple private kitchens before, most of them are bunched up in Wanchai (Star Street) or Sheung Wan (around Bonham Strand) … so visiting a private kitchen in the heart of Causeway Bay felt a little awkward.

I don’t know about you, but I have extremely high expectations from private kitchens. Because why would I pay to eat inside a stranger’s “home” (even though most of the time, it really isn’t … maybe their place is like 1 floor up or sth). But you know what I mean? Private kitchens don’t rely on a nice view, nice decor, nice ambience, advertising or anything that a proper restaurant is. What is boils down, especially for private kitchens is good food and that alone should take care of your viral marketing campaign.

Crispy Prosciutto Rounds with Tartar Egg White & Salmon Caviar

Crispy Prosciutto Rounds with Tartar Egg White & Salmon Caviar

So! First dish of the night …

Unfortunately, this was a pretty bad start to the meal. The “crispy” prosciutto wasn’t really crispy, but was rock hard and cold. It was almost like the chef deep-fried it a while ago and it was just left to cool and became solid. The Tartar Egg White also turned out to be diced egg white with a lighter version of Kraft mayonnaise. The best part of this was the “Salmon Caviar” which, in any Japanese restaurants, they would just called it “Salmon Roe” rather than make it all fancy by calling it “Caviar”.

Presentation-wise, this was also a pretty bad attempt. My first impression was just like … “What is this? Is this what I ordered?”

Seared Scallop with Fennel & Pernoid Sauce

Seared Scallop with Fennel & Pernoid Sauce

A friend sitting next to me had the seared scallops which apparently wasn’t bad, but wasn’t anything to write home either.

Soup of the Day - Tomato and Pepper Puree Soup?

Soup of the Day - Tomato and Pepper Puree Soup?

Then came 1 of 2 soups of the day, which was the only HOT dish of the night. It was a tomato and pepper puree soup, which I actually thought was alright, but some friends questioned my judgment and my profession as a food blogger when they said it actually tasted like Campbell Soup.

The other soup was a mushroom soup and that’s got some pretty positive feedback.

Seared Foie Gras (Goose Liver) on Baby Spinach & Toast in Meet Lobo's Signature Sauce

Seared Foie Gras (Goose Liver) on Baby Spinach & Toast in Meet Lobo's Signature Sauce

Oh man, right about here, I think I was about to give up and have something else across the street. The Foie Gras was only warm on the outside and even felt a little cool in the center. The “Meet Lobo” signature sauce was also a little too sweet, nor was there anything inside the sauce which I haven’t tasted before, and definitely nothing to justify it’s own name.

Presentation again looks half-assed and didn’t help make the dish any more appetizing. A friend who’s been here a couple months back described her experience then as great, where the food was cooked deliciously and they even used bigger dishes + better presentation. This night, it almost feels like they were using saucer plates.

Australian Lambrack with Traditional Red Wine Gravy

Australian Lambrack with Traditional Red Wine Gravy

Finally, when the lamb rack came, I honestly wasn’t expecting much from it, but luckily this also turned out to be the best dish of the night for me. Again, it was only warm. To be fair though, I think poor Lobo was the only chef in the kitchen preparing meals for 18 people so I understand its almost impossible with limited resources and equipment to make sure everything’s perfect. The lamb rack was cooked medium-rare to medium and was still very juicy so I was pretty happy with that. The mash potato and zuchinni was not bad so I clear that also.

It was a 6 course meal (I only talked about 4 courses). 1 course, I can’t remember whether it was before the foie gras or before the lamb rack was a sour lime sorbet to open up your appetite a little. And then I didn’t stay for dessert and tea which was the last course.

Alas, Meet Hobo Lobo failed to meet my expectations. From what I’ve been told, it feels like they’re capable of so much more, but they didn’t deliver what I was looking for that one night I was there. Private kitchen experiences have always been very pleasant for me … until this time. I did end up meeting Lobo that night and he’s a nice, courteous gentleman. Maybe he wasn’t feeling his magic that night.

Note: Photos taken with a BlackBerry Curve 8900

Siu Yeh Rating: 3/10

Meet Lobo
4/F., Room B, Tak Fat Building
50-52 Russell Street
Causeway Bay, Hong Kong
Tel: +852 6438 3363
Website: www dot meetlobo dot com
Email: info (at) meetlobo.com

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