During my stay at Chicago, I decided to hit up on one of the Michelin Star restaurants because there’s just so many great food and restaurants there! I found this website,ChooseChicago, quite helpful and from the Michelin Guide list, I decided on Boka due to price, proximity and menu.
Boka was awarded a Michelin Star in 2010 and 2011 and I believe they received 2 Michelin Stars in 2012 and 2013. And received 3 stars from the Chicago Tribune and Chicago Magazine. .
Boka is also part of Boka Group, one of the premier chef-driven restaurant groups in United States. They also own Girl & The Goat, one of the hottest restaurants in town and was awarded “Restaurant of the Year” in Chicago in 2011. I was told it was a must-go but unfortunately it was a bit far for me and I couldn’t even get a reservation in! It will be on my list of to go next time.
Boka (Chef-@giuseppetentori) was quite difficult to make reservation that we ended up with a 9:15pm late dinner. The restaurant itself was fairly small with a sophisticated white seated area and decors. There’s also a built shelter that’s close to pitch black near the entrance…and that’s where we sat. Hence, the photos that I took were really dark! The area also seemed to be an expansion for patios but they just put a soft roof on top.
They offered a 7 course chef’s tasting menu for $85 but MJ and I decided on the a la carte menu instead.
Complimentary Focaccia They were superb! I can’t remember the types of butter that they gave us but they were excellent too!
Complimentary Pickled Vegetables to get us ready for our scrumptious meal! Again, sorry for the quality of the images. If I could use flash, I would but it was just too impolite for the atmosphere that I was in.
For appetizer, MJ and I each got a Raw tasting platter. This is by far the best app I’ve ever had!
- OYSTER, SEAWEED SALAD, PASSIONFRUIT OYSTER LIQUOR
- KINGFISH, BALATON CHERRIES, YOUNG COCONUT & CUCUMBER SALAD, CURRIED DIAKON, YUZU, GLASS NOODLES
- YELLOWFIN TUNA SASHIMI, CHERMOULA, MOJO YUCA, TUNA TIRADITO, TROUT ROE, DOSAKAI, WHITE SOY
- TANGERINE MARINATED SNAPPER CARPACCIO, SUNCHOKE CHIPS, HIJIKI, PICKLED RADISH, TANGERINE ICE
- All seafood was extremely fresh. Lots of texture. Very springy with light and vinaigrette flavours. Each dish was speechlessly amazing! Although the portions were small but I guess that was what made it so amazing that I was savoring every bite. Boka is not a Japanese restaurant but all of this had a Japanese fusion to it (i.e. sashimis) that I’m drooling just thinking of it! Everything was my favourite that I couldn’t even pin-point which I liked the most!
A better image of the Raw Tasting Platter here, taken from Boka’s website
For the 2nd app, we got the Veal Breast – braised radicchio risotto, poached persimmon, aged balsamic, juniper, sweetbread croutons ($14)
- It was good but we had to second guess ourselves of what we were eating at first cause the restaurant was really dark and we couldn’t tell what we were eating. It tasted like chicken at first.
Main, MJ ordered the ALASKAN HALIBUT – parmesan sabayon, asparagus, smoked endive, confit cherry tomatoes, maitake mushroom, oxalis ($30)
- Comments were that the fish and flavours were very fresh and light. You really don’t want to have a flavourful fish if the fish is good.
Muscovy Duck Breast juniper smoked leg, bigoli, pickled mustard seeds, easter egg radish, finger limes, duck broth ($34)
- I love duck breast and this was also by far one of the best duck breast I’ve had. It was in great portion. I loved the noodles and duck broth with it. It was served hot so it made me very comforting and warm…especially due to the area that we were sitting in.
After our meal, the chef gave us a complimentary Cucumber Grape Almond Mix. It was interesting…very refreshing to finish off your meal with some vinaigrette veggies.
We were too full to order desserts so we called it at night.
Overall, the Michelin stars were well-deserved at Boka. Definitely one of the best meals I’ve had with superb service and eloquently crafted food.
Something that I have to note is when they serve our food, they would lay down our plates at the same time…what coordination!
The bill came to around $330 for 2 people including wine for the two of us. Will definitely return if I can! Highly recommend it!