Bo Innovation , Xtreme-Chinese Cuisine, Hong Kong- 4/11/13
Tonight is our third night in Hong Kong and after eating lots of traditional Chinese food I am ready for a change... at that change is Bo Innovation.
Executive chef Alvin Leung a.k.a "Demon Chef” is known for molecular gastronomy in Asia and he likes to deconstruct traditional Chinese classics by a simplification of these dishes along with simultaneous complex preparation. Chef Leung's cuisine is a combination of French cooking techniques with the essence of Chinese cuisine. Chef Leung quickly became the toast of the town amongst the Hong Kong elite and Bo Innovation started winning awards and entries into the city’s most coveted restaurant guides. Food critics came from all over the world to try Alvin’s X-treme Chinese Cuisine and left behind a trail of reviews heaping praise on his new type of modern Chinese dining. Fame followed and celebrity chefs like Martin Yan and Anthony Bourdain requested appearances from Chef Leung on their television show. Chef Leung does not like to call his cuisine fusion so he pioneered the term "Xtreme Chinese cuisine". The next question is what does Xtreme Chinese cuisine means?
In his own word: " X-treme Chinese is a term I developed to isolate my cuisine from the terminology “fusion” and “molecular” gastronomy. The ‘’X’’ stands for modern, exciting and pushing to the limit as in X-sport, X-factor. X also represents experience, which I wish to take my clients through in a new innovative interpretation of Chinese cuisine."
The second question I have is why did Chef Leung named his restaurant Bo Innovation? The answer is fairly simple. Chef Leung took over a speak-easy (bar) called Bo and then added Innovation to symbolize Bold Innovation.
The next logical question is why is Chef Leung calling himself the Demon Chef? Here is the answer from Chef Leung: "Well, Demon is a word derived from the Greek word “Daimôn” which literally means ‘’good-spiritedness’’, and is a term for happiness. I chose ‘’Demon Chef’’ to show my cuisine follows the same principals of applying happiness to people. The tattoo on my arm represents a long term commitment to do what I am doing as it was painful to put it on and probably more painful to remove it."
Located in the bustling Wan Chai district of Hong Kong. We found easily Johnston Road but could not find # 60. After looking around and asking people we realized that the restaurant is located in a residential building and the entrance of the restaurant is located on the back side of the main street.
Located on the second floor so you have take the elevator or stairs... We opted for the elevator.
On the 1st floor is Kho Thai restaurant. The stairs are pretty steep and they are pretty elevated!
Bo Innovation is on the second floor, way on top of the picture.
As soon as you get off the elevator this is what you see. A long open deck with outdoor seating. They also have heaters for cold nights.
A large self portrait of Alvin Leung made with floor tile is in full display next to the entrance of the restaurant.
Open kitchen concept! On the left is Sommelier Ming Ng.
Look of top of these 2 pictures and you will see bird cages hanging from the ceiling! They are use in the last course as a platter for the petit-four (you will see the cage at the end of our meal).
The main dinning is fairly small with a maximum capacity of 60 people + more tables on the terrace when weather permits.
The wallpaper featured blurred vivid scenery of Wan Chai’s neon lights. If you look closely you can see the metro label, Wan Chai, and old guys with bikes on the streets. The décor reflects the personality of Chef Leung's cuisine which is innovative but retaining the Chinese traditions.
We were seated in far end of the dinning room tucked away in the corner. I actually liked it because it is private and very cozy.
Our waitress welcoming us to Bo Innovation.
I asked if Alvin Leung was around tonight but she told me he is in Singapore doing demonstration... Too bad! I would be really fun to have him around.
You usually find chargers in fancy restaurant but here they are replaced with a circular custom made mat with fine marble. The marble mat would remain in place for the entire dining service, serving as place mats for every dish that came out for dinner.
Close look at the circular marble mat.
View straight ahead from our table.
View from our table to the main dining room.
I ordered some water and they put it in an ice bucket after pouring it.
We arrived a the restaurant 15 minutes earlier so that Hoa can have a cocktail!
Hoa ordered a Grey Goose Martini and said it was very good!
There are three menu choices at Bo Innovation.
1-The standard tasting menu offers 10 courses, including a choice of 7 appetizers, a main dish and two desserts, priced at HK$980 (about $120).
2-The 2nd choice is 13 courses (all bite size) at HK$ 1,580 (about $205)
3-the 3rd choice is a 15 courses (all bite size) priced at HK$2080 (about $270) (picture below)
The chef's table menu is the most expensive one.
After looking at the 3 options we decided to go with the tasting menu (the 1st one)
Next.. Tasting Menu