Decided to try something fancy during my stay in Hong Kong and that fancy dinner was at Michelin 2-star restaurant Bo Innovation. Started by Hong Kong chef Alvin Leung, who gives himself the title “Demon Chef”, Bo Innovation focuses on molecular gastronomy with an Asian twist and was ranked the world’s 65th best restaurant in 2010.

Located on the 2nd floor of a building at Wanchai, the set up of the restaurant is rather casual, surrounded by rustic Hong Kong residence.

Couldn’t resist taking a picture with the “Demon Chef”.

We opted for the Chef’s Menu, which consisted of 13 dishes. The price came up to about HKD1680 per person, inclusive of sales charge. Service at the restaurant was impeccable, with the waiters providing me with a shawl because I was feeling cold at my indoor seat. They are also able to customise the menu according to the guests’ dietary preference.

Instead of bread which is usually served at Western dinner, we were served egg waffles with Iberico ham bits. Egg waffles are traditional Hong Kong street snacks and the ham bits helped to provide more savory substance to the otherwise light and fluffy snack.

Tea: The amuse bouche was named “Tea”, which served fresh oyster with long jing tea jelly, as well as lime paste and spring onion. The oyster was fresh but the fresh after taste was a little overwhelming.

Two of my dinner companions do not eat raw seafood and had this interesting dish instead. The “brown soil” was mushroom crisps which were flavorful.

Saba: A spoonful of saba sashimi with a cloudy foam of ponzu and the smell of rose helped to provide a sensory tasting experience.

Foie Gras: A true example of East meets West having the pan-fried foie gras matches with Chinese style “Mui Choy” ice cream and crisp. I didn’t enjoy this dish because the ice-cream too salty and didn’t really complement well with the foie gras (which I would have preferred to be cooked a bit longer).

Har Mi: Chinese noodles mixed with some chilli and crab roe, with taste of the dried prawns (har mi), which are frequently used in Asian cuisine. This is quite a subtle dish that was tasty, but left us unimpressed.

Tomato: This dish introduced the Pat Chun vinegar, which is a commonly used in dishes for ladies who just gave birth. The cherry tomato was soaked in the vinegar and we were advised to eat it with one gulp to avoid juice from gushing out of the fruit. The crisp was another intepretation of the tomato – with tomato bits encrusted in the pastry. The fluffy tomato marshmallow ended the dish with a light touch.

Molecular: This is Bo’s signature dish – a reinterpreted Xiao Long Bao. The jelly ball was filled with a gravy that tasted exactly like xiaolongbao, and the red strip is ginger strip, which mimic the ginger and vinegar dip that we often use before savoring the xiaolongbao. This was probably the highlight of the dinner, we were both surprised and enthralled with one bite because the broth within the jelly ball was simply amazing.

Lobster: This dish was definitely less spectacular compared to the earlier one. The lobster was dipped in butter and corn sauce, as well as sea urchin crisp. I would have preferred the lobster to be cooked longer, as it felt a bit raw.

Bubble Tea: Interesting interpretation of my favourite drink. There is mango paste, hawthorn paste and translucent pearls with chilli powder that adds a sudden tinge of spice. We couldn’t figure whether this was a dessert but it was delicious and worked well in cleansing our palettes before the main course.

Organic “Long Kiang” Chicken: The main course consists of two portion – the chicken and the 7-years aged acquerello rice, cooked in Chinese style. The chicken was a simple dish, but the meat was tender and delicious. The rice, which was served in Chinese claypot, was more intriguing. No doubt the 7-years acquerello rice chosen by the chef is the best choice used in renown restaurants such as the Fat Duck in the UK,  we couldn’t decide whether this was European risotto, or Chinese congee.

Memories of Cha Chan Teng: Dessert started off with a bang. Starting from the right, we had condensed milk ice-cream, peanut butter crisps, and egg custard reminiscent of the filling of an egg tart topped with slated egg paste and corn syrup. The “ying yang” drink served together with the dessert is a mousse with coffee on one side and tea on the other. In my opinion, it was a very creative presentation encapsulating the essence of Cha Chan Teng (Hong Kong cafes).

Pineapple: Pineapple, known as “Po Lo” in Cantonese, is a key ingredient in typical Hong Kong desserts and pastries. I started off with the burnt coconut ice-cream, which tasted like gula melaka, followed by the pineapple meringue which was embedded with pepper seeds which gave you a zesty taste and finally a full slice of sweetened pineapple.

Sandalwood: A simple ending to the gourmet journey, the spoonful of mandarin oranges with almond cream and ginger sprinkles was very refreshing. And this was completed with the aroma of sandalwood.

Petit Dim Sum: This was a dessert sampler with different offerings from the Demon Chef – ranging from the red date marshmallow, sesame ball with chocolate, osmanthus jelly, just to name a few.

Verdict: While this was indeed a very polished meal and an interesting gastronomic experience, I couldn’t help but feel that dinner was a tad overpriced. I appreciate the creativity of Chef Leung, integrating the influences from East and West and creating unique renditions of Hong Kong street food. However, I couldn’t help comparing this with my experience at WD~50 in New York and I concluded that Bo Innovation certainly has room for improvement. Nonetheless, I appreciate the impeccable service we received from the service staff, which made our dining experience pleasant and memorable and would still recommend this restaurant to friends who would like a different fine dining experience in Hong Kong.

Bo Innovation
Shop 13, 2nd Floor, J Residence,
60 Johnston Road,
Wanchai, Hong Kong.
+852-2850-8371

PS: A big thank-you to Joycelyn for recommending this place to me via Twitter. :)

原本想在香港试试这里的私房菜,没想到最后选择光临分子料理Bo Innovation. 主廚Alvin Leung, 自称“厨魔”,将分子料理从新演绎,赋予港式料理特色以及精髓。品尝了将近13道菜肴,当中最喜欢的是店内招牌菜“小笼包”以及甜点之一“茶餐厅的回忆”。 厨师的创意的确令人赞叹,而且餐厅的服务无微不至。虽然价格相当昂贵,若您想在香港有较非一般的美食体验,可以考虑这家餐厅。

 

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