Bo Innovation is well known for its’ obviously unique and sometimes absurd dishes. Made worldwide frame from the Hong Kong episode of Anthony Bordain’s “No Reservations”. This episode was one of the best. When I saw it, I knew I had to come and see for myself what it is like. Visiting Hong Kong gave me a good opportunity.
The restaurant is located in an upscale neighborhood in central Hong Kong. On the second floor of a residential complex is the house of Bo Innovation. The outside dining area looks out to the surrounding buildings and streets below. As we approach the restaurant, the friendly staff welcomed us with smiles. There is a large photo of the Demon chef “Alvin Leung” before walking into the interior dining space. Once we walked in we were guided to the chefs table. A 6 seater bar top with high stools that looks into the kitchen. Two options are presented for the diners. The “tasting menu”, a scaled down version of the “Chef’s menu” which is the second option. There is no ala carte. We opt for the Chef’s menu with wine pairing. It started with a glass of champagne.
The first dish is call dead garden. It does not look anything like food. It looked a like a dead plant. Air dried moral mushroom layered on top green onion smoothie which was the dirt and soil. Enoki mushroom was the plant. Deep fried than fried with liquid nitrogen(dried ice). We could see Alvin put the enoki in the liquid nitrogen, it was sizzling. It makes the mushroom more dry, giving it a more intense flavor and makes it crispier. After the first dish, and looking at the long list of items in the chef’s menu(18 including petit four), and the friendly staffs, we know this would be a treat.
“Tomato” a Chinese inspired dish of tomatoes and eggs, but it does not look anything like it. The tomato juice is in-closed with a gelatin skin to form in a ball, serve with light Chinese sauce in the form of gelatin and sherbet. Separately on a spoon a sous vide egg yolk with tomato candy chip.
“Caviar”; is deep fried toro with quail egg top with caviar, another Chinese inspired dish.
Black noodles with prawn from Spain. The prawn was very sweet serve almost raw. It looks like a western dish but the flavors are very Chinese.
The celebrity chef, Alvin, does all the quality check of each dishes that got out of the kitchen. Being at the chef’s table we see there are a lot of tension to get all dishes to a certain quality. Alvin serves most of the dishes with explanation to his guest at the chef’s table. It was nice to talk with him and get his inspirations and ideas for each dish. He is a pretty nice guy, I don’t know why he calls himself the Demon chef though.
Toro with air dried foie gras and freezed dried raspberry. This is Wow, the toro it self is great with the foie gras it is something else. The fat from the toro makes the foie gras come alive.
Next was Iberico 36, hidden under the onion foam; iberico ham and moral mushroom. The ham was very tasty, which went along well with the moral mushroom.
White asparagus, hunan ham, shiitake rillette.
One of Alvin’s version of “Crab”. Crab meat and crab roe combined to form something like a crab cake top with a pungent Chinese vinegar. We did not get a good photo of this, just got what was left, because the intense scent of the crab made us eat it right after it was put in front of us.
Yak and Mac, Bo Innovation’s take of the macaroni and cheese but all with Chinese ingredients. In the place of the macaroni was cheung fun a Chinese rice noodle. The tasty cheese was from Tibet Yak milk.
At this point we were almost full, we only had half of the chef’s menu. The wine keeps flowing, every dish is served with a different wine, mostly white. Mr. Ming the Sommelier stop by very often to serve us new wines and refilled the old glass. He was very knowledgeable and gave good information of each wine served.
“Molecular”, version of Xiao long Bao dim sum. The juices from the ingredients are still inside the rice flower enclosure. But this version it is served in a ball form, inside the gelatin skin a flavorful liquid which the taste reminds me of Xiao long Bao.
Sweetbread, fried served with deep fried oyster, sweet and sour sauce. The oyster was very juicy.
Suckling pig rib, a very mouth watering Chinese style pork rib with black pudding spring roll.
For dessert “Sex on the beach”………………………,
this could be too extreme for some. How would you react if you saw a used condom served on a dinner table. Thankfully, it’s a chewy gelatin with cream filling on top crushed cookies.
Another dessert. Blue cheese ice cream with lotus roots, longan syrup, and coconut gelatin.
The Big bang, is in a ball form, made out of sugar. Once cracked open; smoke comes out with sandalwood scent, inside an almond foam.
We were surprised by the unfamiliar name of the dishes serve. Some had familiar taste but looked so different. Bo Innovation for some can seem like a joke but with two Michelin stars under it’s belt the joke must be a real good one. It offers a rare experience of the Chinese cuisine done differently. After having this meal, I was stunned of how extreme one can go in creating something new and different. Deconstruction a term used in Architecture for the way of thinking and designing spaces. Now it has it’s home in the food world.
Chef’s Menu 1,080 Hong Kong dollars per person additional 600HK$ for wine pairing.
Text/photo: Vasin Srivarathanabul
Shop 13, 2 floor, J Residence, 60 Johnston road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong
Tel. +85228508371 email: email@example.com
open: lunch(Mon-Fri): noon – 3pm, dinner (mon-sat): 7pm – midnight
The presentation of petit four
AJ the restaurant manager talking to us about this particular dish
Shui Jing Fang, pear chrysanthemum