Posted by Degan on June 30th, 2012
It used to be that you had to go to Commercial Drive for traditional Italian food but The BiBo, along with Nicli Antica Pizzeria and now a few others others, are striving to bring Italian ingredients and flavours into focus. The BiBo. It sounds like it could be a childhood nickname or maybe a character on Jersey Shore (in fact it appears to be an amalgamation of owners Andrea Bini and Lorenzo Bottazi) but they also call themselves an authentic Italian experience and there’s no denying that! The wood-fired oven at the back of the room turns out fresh bread and pizza classics like Margherita and Marinara as well as regional specialties such as Tonno (tuna) while the kitchen has various fresh pasta, meat dishes and cheese and salumi platters. I was so excited to see bucatini all’amatriciana on the menu (it’s been a while since I’ve seen that dish outside of my own kitchen!) as well as Ligurian pesto and other DOP products. DOP is an abbreviation of Denominazione di Origine Protetta, or area of origin guaranteed so you know you’re getting quality ingredients and that the dish is not only delicious but made authentically as well.
And now they have weekend brunch! Forget bacon and eggs – naturally they’re sticking with pure Italian style and offering traditional bagna cauda, farinata and the tongue-twisting focaccia al formaggio di recco. Farinata is a crepe-like dish made of chickpea flour that is cooked in their pizza oven but served alongside some of their delicious bresaola or mortadella instead of doused in syrup. It comes from the Genoa region in the north, as does the Focaccia al formaggio di Recco – a type of thin focaccia topped with Stracchino cheese and sometimes ham. These are destined to be popular, although I admit the Bagna Cauda – a “hot bath” of anchovies, garlic and oil served with a platter of raw vegetables for dipping – seems like more of a lunch item to me. At the new menu launch we also tried a selection of their cheeses and meats as well as several savoury pies that will be available (zucchini, onion and egg and spinach), and a dew of the pasta dishes. My favourites were the melanzane alla parmigiana - eggplant-wrapped Parmesan and tomatoes – and the lasagne “al Pesto” made with Burrata cheese, Parmigiano Reggiano and basil.
I wish they would have a breakfast buffet so I could have them all! Outside of my indulgent pancakes and Caesars breakfast cravings, I prefer savoury breakfasts and I always love the spread of cold cuts, cheeses and bread laid out in the mornings in Europe, so I’ll definitely be putting The BiBo into regular brunch rotation. I have no doubts that the coffee will also be excellent.