Bo Innovation – 3 Star Michelin “X-treme Chinese Cuisine”
[Hong Kong] 3-star Michelin chef Alvin Leung from Bo Innovation has quite the reputation. He calls himself the “Demon Chef”, and erases all possible stereotypes of the typical chef dressed in whites. Fans of “Wok Stars” will know not to mess with him.
Chef Alvin Leung is a self-taught chef who is initially an engineer for 20 years. Yes, he opened Bo Innovation without any formal training but went on to win 3 Michelin Stars in Hong Kong, 1 for Bo London, and Asia’s No.15 because he pushed extreme boundaries with food. (Read: Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2014 )
Image wise, he looks more like a rock star more than someone who can cook: blue (sometimes violet) highlights on his hair, blue-tinted shades, big earrings, and a huge Chinese character tattoo on the right bicep which say “demon chef”.
Finally made my way to Bo Innovation, which may need some time to find, on the 2nd story of J Residence off Johnston Road at Wan Chai. (Look for a private lift entrance on 18 Ship Street.)
The space with an open kitchen does not look like a Chinese restaurant, or a 3-star Michelin one for that matter, because we may have the perception that only the ‘fine-dining’ types would get that accolade.
Set lunch was very surprisingly ‘affordable’, with a choice of 2 dim sum or classic “bo” dishes, main course and dessert for HK$430 (raised from HK$288 a year ago). A 13-course tasting dinner on the other hand, is at HK$1,680 w/o taxes (was HK$1380 in 2014).
Bo Innovation’s “x-treme Chinese cuisine” is said to combine traditional recipes with contemporary techniques, elements of Cantonese, Hangzhou and Sichuan cooking, coupled with European ingredients and presentation.
Thus you would get items such as foie gras ‘mui choy’ (preserved mustard green), black truffle XO ‘har gau’ (prawn dumplings’, black truffle ‘cheung fun’ (rice noodle), French quail ‘Beggar Style’ (baked in clay).
Of course their signature stand-out dish is the Molecular Xiao Long Bao (HK$90 for one). You won’t get the usual wrapped dumpling, but a spherical item where the essence of the Shanghainese pork dumpling is encapsulated within.
So the innovative creation tastes just like Xiao Long Bao, but is not, created with Chef Leung’s engineering precision and calculations. Its… interesting. Tried it once, and probably won’t pay for another.
Most of the dim sum and classic “bo” items I had, such as the Black Truffle ‘Cheung Fun’, Deep Fried Cuttlefish and Pesto Bamboo Shoot Spring Roll can be said to be mostly delicious, but (personal choice), I would still rather have these in the usual dim sum restaurants where the tastes are usually more intense and presentation more intricate.
Both my mains, the Pan Roasted Scallop and Carabinero Red Prawn Lo Mein were exceptional – a myriad of flavours in a mouthful, especially the ‘har mi’ which was cooked perfectly al dente with succulent tasty prawn.
Alvin’s X-treme Chinese cuisine has broken down long held preconceptions of what Chinese food should look and taste like. He has modernised Chinese cuisine and single-handedly created new taste sensations which give diners a unique experience every time they visit Bo Innovation.
Shop 13,2/f,J Residence, 60 Johnston Road,Wan Chai, Hong Kong (MTR Wan Chai Exit A3)
(Private lift entrance on 18 Ship Street)
Tel:+852 2850 8371, Fax:+852 2851 0113 [email protected]
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