Molecular Chinese: Almost two years after moving to its current location, three-Michelin-starred Bo Innovation continues bring theatrical dining experiences full of surprises. Helmed by self-proclaimed “demon chef” Alvin Leung, the restaurant celebrates Hong Kong culture with what’s dubbed “X-treme Chinese cuisine.” What does that mean, exactly? Marrying old-time Cantonese flavors with subtle French influences, it deconstructs much-loved traditional dishes with flair.
Look & Feel: Designed by homegrown firm AB Concept, the interiors pay homage to old Hong Kong, with unique touches at every turn. A brass sculpture commissioned by Leung depicting the contour lines of Lion Rock takes center stage, while elsewhere you’ll find Mickey Mouse holding onto a yellow umbrella — a nod to Hong Kong’s pro-democracy movement. The Chef’s Table takes up an area inspired by the Aberdeen Typhoon Shelter, complete with a painting depicting scenes of the harbor from yesteryear.
On the Menu: The 10-course “I Heart HK” tasting menu ($1,380 per person, available for dinner Monday to Thursday) is a new offering that showcases new dishes and old favorites at the restaurant. The “Child’s Play” starter boasts a selection of “sweets” served on a Chinese chessboard. Each are molecular concoctions with flavors of classic Hong Kong dishes — curry fish balls, wonton noodles and dragon boat festival rice dumplings. “Aberdeen floaters” is a two-part dish featuring red prawn and sesame with dried shrimp stuffed with sea urchins and soy sauce powder, plus vermicelli in lobster soup and homemade dried shrimp oil. It’s meant to showcase a contrast between fresh seafood and dried seafood. “60,000 a year,” named for the annual number of infants born in Hong Kong, is served in a tiny bar with a baby feeding spoon and features Alaskan king crab, Fuji apple, crab roe, Iberico ham, ginger and finally, chilli Pat Chun vinegar — a concoction that’s believed to aid in postnatal health. We’re told that Leung is constantly making tweaks to his dishes and their presentation, so don’t be surprised if you find yourself sitting down to something slightly different to what’s described here. We got to try several of Bo Innovation’s other famed dishes off-of-menu, like the caviar taro puff pictured above. You have the option to add some of these to your menu, including the famous molecular “X-treme xiaolongbao” ($90).
Meet the Chef: Possibly one of the most famous chefs of Chinese descent worldwide, British-born, Canadian-raised Hongkonger Alvin Leung is renowned for his molecular approach to Chinese food. Running restaurants globally — in Hong Kong, Shanghai, Toronto and Taipei to name a few — he’s also known for appearing as a judge on Masterchef Canada. Leung recently released a new cookbook, “My Hong Kong,” documenting Hong Kong’s food history and recipes for some of his greatest dishes, including the infamous “Sex on the Beach” plate, which is made to look like a used condom on sand.
Great For: Special celebrations. Visitors (for whom money is no object). It’s a great, fun way to explore Hong Kong’s culinary traditions.
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