Har mi, lo mein, chilli, sage,carabinero wonton
Alvin Leung of Bo Innovation in Hong Kong is so passionate about what he is doing he could speak for hours about one or another product or a preparation method. Maybe he is known for his bold statements, but what speaks most loudly is his creative yet delicious food and his ability of reinvention.
We've seen new French or new Spanish, new American and recently – new Scandinavian. It seems that Chinese cuisine is still very closely tied to tradition. When i was at Bo Innovation almost two years ago, i thought the food was very good, but didn't differ too much from all those modern-molecular European restaurants. Alvin's cooking has evolved since then- he has turned to the rich Chinese culinary and cultural heritage. Although Alvin Leung enjoys using such "non Chinese" products as foie gras or fatty tuna, each and every dish had an exciting Chinese touch that was both, intelligent and inventive.
Some of the highlights of the dinner…
"Pat Chun, pommelo, pineapple" Mousse like cream made with Pat Chun rice vinegar, pommelo and pineapple. Perfect to open the appetite- the Pat Chun vinegar was very present among of all the flavors.
The wine paring was excellent. Sake "champagne" to begin with . I've never had it before.
" Har mi, lo mein, chilli, sage,carabinero wonton" Noodles that were infused with oil made of the shrimps pictured in the second image below. The slightly cooked shrimp tempura was incredibly fresh. (I think "har" means shrimp in Chinese while "lo mein" is the name of the Chinese noodles dish. Correct me if i am wrong!). One of my favorite dishes.
"Demon riesling" – Alvin Leung is also a wine maker.
"Caviar, smoked quail,crispy taro" Bo Innovation classics. Needless to say -very good.
Fried tofu in spicy Chinese sauce. Loved the contrast of the products.
"Roses, foie gras,mei kuei lu,pickled daikon, peas". The foie gras was infused (?) with "mei kuei lu chiew" (pictured in the second image). You could taste rose and alcohol flavors.
Rose petals poured over with liquid nitrogen. You didn't have to eat them- just smell.
Chinese noodles wrapped in Iberian ham
"Toro,foie gras powder, raspberry" Perfect
"Hairy crab,Zhenjiang vinegar" Hairy crab is an expensive Shanghainese cuisine delicacy. The texture of the dish was similar to crème brûlée with pieces of crab in it. Excellent
"Nitro- shao hsing ginger tea" Ginger tea "cooked" in liquid nitrogen.
"Kruger-Rumpf Spätburgunder Trocken" – red wine from Germany.
"Molecular- xiao long bao" A molecular version of another Shanghainese speciality – soup dumplings. Nothing but pork broth. Very good.
"Red braised baby artichokes,sweetbread, abalone,lettuce"
"Hunan ham,honey,cod, chicken jus,peas" Onion infused with ham from Hunan region(the second image), honey sauce, fresh cod. Great dish.
"Saga-gyu beef,black truffle,cheung fun,braised green onion" . Top quality Japanese beef was wrapped in "cheung fun" , a rice noodle roll. Very good.
"Sandalwood,almond,hawthorn" The pot was filled with smoke that you can find only at Chinese temples. Under smoke – delicious panacotta like almond cream.
"Shui Jing Fang, banana,vanilla,caramel,raisins" Caramelized banana tart with "Shui Jing Fang" , Chinese liquor. Amazing cake you don't get to eat every day.
To conclude, Bo Innovation is by far the most interesting restaurant in Hong Kong. The food is creative, delicious and educational. I've learnt a lot about traditional Chinese products yet the cooking methods used are inventive and modern. What Noma is for Scandinavia ,El Bulli for Spain, Bo Innovation is for China. Definitely one of the best restaurants i've been this year.