Sunday, January 10, 2010

BO Innovation *One Michelin Star*

It all started like this….

Monkey……what are the new eating places you wanna try out in Hong Kong this time around?

JS…….(without even a hint of hesitation) I wanna go to Demon chef’s restaurant!!

Rewind back a couple of years……the first time I saw or heard about Alvin the demon chef was on Anthony Bourdain’s travel program and since then, I have bookmarked his restaurant as a must try destination and this sort of fits into the theme of our HK trip this time around…, Michelin stars!

The one thing that I remember about the demon chef was his “attitude”….….and with the signature sleeveless black t shirt and tattoo on his shoulder he is also known as the “bad boy” of the culinary scene in HK if not the world …….in my opinion, being self taught was what really made him unique and being Asian added to the mystique around him.

Back to the present……anyway we soon found ourselves wandering in Wan Chai district on HK island and looking for BO Innovation on the 3rd floor of some building. As the lift door open, we were greeted by a smiling staff with an umbrella and “welcome to BO Innovation”. This was the start of an evening that I was really looking forward to……and monkey and JS was peering out to catch a glimpse of the demon chef himself.

JS…….do you see chef Alvin??

Monkey…..There is a guy with Mohawk hairstyle…..don’t think thats him…. that guy with the blond hair looks busy and must be the demon chef and if that’s him, he’s put on some weight!!

JS……..I don’t think so that's chef Alvin…….blond hair definitely not his style!!

We got a really nice table next to the full wall mirror and soon settled down and decided to go for chef menu which is like 12 courses! It took JS a while more to choose a bottle for the evening…..looking at the style of the cuisine that was to come, we settled for a morey st denis 2005 domaine verdet.

now....let the show begin.

the first mautai sour.

Basically there was some limey stuff in a soda dispenser and mautai in the glass.....good aperitif. kenot stir....just suck from the thin straw.

next was the hamachi in squid ink sauce with cold press sesame oil and ginger flakes .....
Yes, the shiny stuff is leaf! the squid ink was as fresh as it could be.

i was looking forward to the next course.....yes, noodles! squid ink noodles with canadian sea urchin sprinkled with smashed diced shrimps.
I luv pasta. i luv sea urchin. i luv shrimps.....what more can i say about this course!!

Iberico ham aged for 36 months with tung fun with foam infused with morel and onion.
so far all this courses were bite size so no complaints.

the next course is one of my picks.....cheong fun with yak milk and truffle bits.
I call this “an experience”. Well, ask yourself…..have you ever had yak’s milk before???? For most of us the answer is “NO”…so what a nice introduction otherwise one will have to travel all the way to Tibet to have Yak butter tea or you won’t know WTF to do if you suddenly find yourself holding a cup of it!!!

xiao loong pau was next....mind you, this is not the typical xiao loong pau.
Good example of innovation….., the “xiao loong pau(XLP)”……the explosion of flavors as you burst the globule with the top of your tongue and the roof of your mouth creates a sensation like you had like 4 to 5 XLPs yet you have not even chewed on a single one! For ardent XLP fans, you usually suck out the juice before devouring the rest of the XLP so trust me… this dish was created with the same effect ….just that you have nothing to chew on later and the length was amazing.

Beluga caviar served with abalone gelee and lobster congee.
what an amazing combination of seafood flavors. never knew congee taste soooooo good!

Turbot fish with wanton skin and shitake powder.
sweet bread......errrrr, not a fan of sweet bread....hehe.
duck breast with kamquats....
monkey had this course whilst JS had.....
sweet and sour Iberico pork…..there was no pieces of red pepper(capsicum) and sliced onion but you can taste all this flavors when chewing on the Iberico pork. Very clever!

now we move on to the desserts. there was 4 courses all in.....
almond ice cream with sandalwood smoke. weird combination and very oriental. the aroma gives you a feeling that you are in a temple!
this is the chocolate ganache with poached banana (poached in 53% szechuan rice wine).

the next course is my favorite dessert......

Jasmine Kiss!!!

Maltida flowers frozen by the liquid nitrogen. The third dessert was the most interesting and a real revelation…… actually don’t eat it man!!!! Like most food is meant to stimulate all or some of your 5 senses, this dessert was extreme as it soothes and calm you down after a sumptuous and memorable meal…….some call it aromatheraphy …..i find it very zen !! well, desserts are meant to make you leave the restaurant feeling relax and happy with lots of endorphins flowing thru your brains……I guess this one achieved the same effect!

chin tui with a different touch....normally it's filled with lotus seed but this one filled with valhorna chocolate!

yes, petite fours....last of the courses.....phew!!

Prognosis …..this is as fine a food you can get anyway in the world from Michelin star restaurants…… however the style differs…..subtle application of molecular gastronomy gives it a touch of “moderness” and the clever usage and creative blending of ingredients indicates that we are really into a new tradition of extreme gastronomic experience taken to the limit!

The staffs were well trained and polite. Their enthusiasm shows a high level of motivation and passion they have in their job.

I must say I am never an advocate of havin chef menu at most restaurant but this one blew me away. The portion was just the right amount. If you walk out of the restaurant after a meal and there is still room left in your stomach, for that extra bit , the chef has done really well and this was our experience at BO Innovation.

The time interval between courses was superb. I know for a fact this did not happened by chance and they got it spot on. Waiting too long in between courses leads to unwanted gas built up in the stomach which makes you feel full…..then it cause the head to keep turning to see whether the next serving is coming your way…..after a while it leads to impatience and irritable behavior and finally……..the gaseous release due to unbearable pressure built up…..come on guys….we know its true!! :)

The total dining experience was realistic and you get this feeling that you have been pampered……..they did not go overboard with molecular gastronomy applications… can almost sense that a lot of effort and thoughts was put in to maintain the style and identity of the cuisine and for us it’s gotta be of Chinese origin.

In the end we did not catch a glimpse of Chef Alvin as he was away but nevertheless we managed to catch this….

Monkey and JS definitely left the restaurant with a happy stomach and smile on their face and took back lots of new experience and memories.

As we walked towards the pier to board the star ferry, we knew this was a place that we will come back to…….on reaching Tsim Tsa Tsui, we were greeted with the familiar picturesque view of HK……we sat and watch loads of tourist snapping away with their cameras.

JS…….people never stop taking photo of this view.

Monkey……this is probably world’s top 10 most photographed view.


Monkey…..that’s why they call it the million dollar view!

Definitely a splendid way to end the evening…….with a million dollar view!!

Bo Innovation *One Michelin Star*

Shop 13, 2F, J Residence,

60 Johnston Road,

Wanchai Hong Kong.

Tel: +852 2850 8371

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