In a super beautiful and historic building in Chinatown you find restaurant Born. It opened just 2 years ago based on the vision of chef Zor Tan. Zor Tan serves a tasting menu based on Chinese flavors but with an open mind and he naturally draws a lot of inspiration from his time working in Europe as well.
The dining room is open and built around an open kitchen and from the counter you can see every dish being prepared which is something I always like.
The menu starts with a small ball which contained a liquid pineapple and chili sphere. Its beautiful presentation and flavor is a hint of what is to come in terms of flavor, presentation and techniques.
The next round of snacks would be be a be a small Japanese prawn and a tarte of beef tongue and five spices. A nice mix of umami and spice and naturally the presentation was spot on.
That would also be the case for the next serving which was an attempt to recreate the childhood memory of dipping french fries in soft serve. Here it was recreated with a vanilla crème, potato crisp and oscietra caviar. I truely enjoyed the mix of sweet and salty. Paired with this small snack was a chicken wing stuffed with pork neck. A rather big and filling snack but it was also very delicious.
For the first dish of the menu I would have buri, but this time made with radishes and jamón ibérico and a refreshing pear “snow” on the side. Once again it was a very beautiful and delicious dish.
The next dish was probably my favorite of the evening. Mud crab was swerved with a smoky hollandaise sauce and fresh asparagus. The hollandaise was simply just extremely delicious. A dish that was naturally inspired by the the chefs work in France.
The next dish would also be inspired by his work in Europe, but this time Spain and DiverXO where he eat and make bao which reminded him of his mon bao stuffed with oyster. Topped with Iberian jam it was a simple and delicious bite.
Inspired by the Portuguese tarte made made with egg custard chef Zor Tan would make a soup based on egg custard, foie gras and asparagus. Served with a niche brioche bread it was another velvety smoth and delicious dish.
For the next dish the inspiration would again come from working in Macao but this time with Chinese flavors in the form of the dish “Duo Jiao yu Tou”. In his version the monkfish is lightly smoked and served with both grilled scallop, chicken fat emulsion and chili. The result was a very balanced and delicious dish.
At this point the inspiration from the dishes have come from both France, Spain, China, Portugal and it was now time to add Japan to the list. Having tried amazing quality raw squid in Japan he wanted to serve but here with a light cuttlefish consommé.
The main course would be a smoked pigeon, corn and a barley risotto. A very nice dish where I especially liked the touch that the green peppercorn gave to the dish.
For a pre dessert they would serve a kumquat and abricot gel made to look like a koi pond. A clever idea that worked both in flavor and presentation.
To finish the meal I would have a dish inspired by a cartoon, Doraemon, that the chef used to watch as a child. The main carácters favorite snack was sweet potato which would be the primary element of the dessert. The dessert was assembled in front of you which I always like to see. The dessert was visually impressive and had a nice mix of sweet and savory flavor.
A round of petite four and a cup of tea would finish my meal at Born. A meal that I truely enjoyed. The entire menu has inspiration from all over the world but they are incorporated in a way where they still come together and form a coherent menu. Flavors and presentations are on point and well worth the Michelin star that it holds.
The service and the beautiful dining room makes you feel relaxed and impressed at the same time.
Head Chef: Zor Tan
Menu: 9 course tasting menu ($270)