You enter Biko off the street but it is a just a room with an elevator that takes you to the dining floor. This is a large room with windows around two sides covered with wooden slats and some bad music playing in the background. We came at 8:00 pm and it was empty. It got more people as the evening went on but never filled. The waitstaff were nice but had varying abilities to speak English, although I heard a lot of English spoken by guests. I thought it was a statement about the place that their “Biko” embroidered shirts also had a space where their name should be but instead it just said “monogram”. Maybe employees don’t stay long?
They offer a tasting menu with optional pairings as well as a la carte items, but no translation of anything. Between that and the waitstaff it was tough to figure out what a number of things were. They also offer half portions, which are in the “lo de hoy” portion of the menu. The “lo de antes” are full portions.
We started with their version of a Margarita, which unfortunately was frozen rather than on the rocks.
The tasting menu started with cold roast Wagyu beef with gnocchi, white turnips and dried potatoes. The beef was tender but not real juicy. The sauce was a little slimy and something crisp was on top of the medium done beef. They offered an assortment of breads and the raisin looked quite good but was awful. It was so dry it should have come from a toaster but as it was only on one side I knew it had just sat cut and open for sometime. The other bread had nuts and the taste of cardboard.
The papaya was served with scallops,spinach and wasabi. The papaya smear reminded me of warmed baby food. The scallop was barely cooked and the spinach too tough to cut. The crunchy brown croutons looked a lot like the little cauliflower bits and they did add some needed texture. However when combined the ingredients didn’t work together, so overall I’d call this plate okay.
The soup was burnt corn flavor with bits of puree underneath the burnt corn floating on top. The puree was like a mild cornmeal mush. It was interesting but the mild tastes were dwarfed by charcoal. Another okay.
The Lubina was a fish in the sea bass family. This mild dish was accented with pimento, but the fish was on the verge of being overcooked. Again, nothing stood out in this dish – not bad but also not good.
The boneless, charred quail came in two pieces, one much juicier than the other. There were some tough, crispy bits mixed with the mole and tapioca. The tapioca texture was fun but I wasn’t sure it enhanced anything.
The first dessert was curry with molecular coconut balls (like liquid globules). There was puffed rice to give it some texture as well as the crumbs on top. It had some very nice flavors and was a success.
The last course was cake with herbs and seeds on an orange smear topped with fruit flavors – lemon, raspberry, passion fruit and prune. The cake was very herby but dry and dull and the fruit bits were unexciting. Not sure this one worked.