Saturday, July 13, 2013

Bo Innovation - Hong Kong

I believe that we've had one of the most epic meals at Bo Innovation self-labelled 'X'treme Chinese Cuisine'. The two michelin starred, san pellogrino ranked no.90 in the world, restaurant did not have to be an expensive affair... but it did turn out to be. They have three different menus (of different prices) but as we know the dessert chef, he booked up onto the chef's table with the most exquisite ingredients. The restaurant is 'X'treme' as the head chef (Alvin) claims to be the devil chef, and his sous chef is the ghost chef... which in chinese, makes it 魔鬼 chef... which I guess gives them a free pass to play with the food and ingredients as they wish.

First off, we were served with 'house bread' of the chinese kind. Instead of normal bread rolls and baguettes, we get the honky version of the egg waffle (雞蛋仔) with a twist of course! Inside the egg waffle are oysters, cheese and shallots. Crispy and light but super tasty! Some other tables wanted this to take home after the meal too!
egg waffle
 The first palate cleanser was the Mao Tai Sour. This was the strong Chinese liquor with a heap of lime juice and foamed up, served in a traditional cup which makes you look up at the heavens as you drink it. It was nicely soured and not too alcoholy - which was good :)
Mou tai sour

The first official food dish was actually one of my favourites. A twist on the honky style crispy taro dumpling that you would get at a yum cha place. Have to say, with a smoked quail egg, a heap of caviar and gold foil on it, it was one of the craziest crispy taro dumplings I've had. The egg yolk was runny, the taro crispy and the caviour a savoury deliciousness when you eat it all in one bite. Yup - taro dumpling on steroids.
crispy taro dumpling with caviar

The next course was very presentable. Two clear spoons with compressed cucumber, cured mackerel, sesame and 'chinkiang' vinegar atop a rose perfume smokey container. Yes - it is just for show. The foam and the smoke and the everything! Tasty though.
cured mackerel with rose
Hubby loved their play on tradition 'dan dan noodles'. All the elements were there but changed into different textures. The eggs noodles were crispified and coated with chili pepper and pine nuts, adding a bit of spice with the crunchiness. Under the noodles were piles of ikura (salmon roe), sea urchin and squid. Bits of green apple cubes were about along with a foam of preserved chinese mustard (榨菜).

dan dan noodles

The scallop dish was also yum. Large hokkaido scallops were plated with Shanghainese "jolo"sauce, crispy woba (which are Shanghainese rice crisps) and sugar snap peas which my friend claims that he spends hours and hours peeling out.
scallops with jolo and pea

Hubby also loved the next course which was abalone cooked in butter and stock for 6 hours. The abalone was really tender and full of flavour and sat on a bed of al-dente 7 years aged acquerello rice. Accompanying all this were cubed of yellow chicken stock which was full rich and tasty.
abalone with rice

The molecular 'xiao long bao' (steamed pork bun) is one of their signature dishes. It has all the flavours of a xiao long bao but it was just a small liquid sphere of broth which exploded in your mouth. The flavour explosion was quite spectacular and mind-blowing.
molecular xiao long bao
The next course was hitting one of my nemesis - the Tomato. And the tomato it was! It was tomato cooked THREE ways! One was tomato shrunk in 'pat chun' chinese vinegar, cured for hours and hours til all the flavour was intensified. The middle was a small slice of tomato with fermented chinese olives ('lam kok'). The last one, which bought along with it really strong flavours, was the marshmellow of tomato - made from the consomme of tomato - crazy concentrated!
the 'Tomato'

The black truffle "chian dan chee" was also spectacular! 'Chian Dan Chee" literally translates to 'spam egg sandwich' and is a classic dish for honkies.  Of course, they had to put their own spin on this classic honky dish. The spam was dehydrated to a thing crispiness, the scambled eggs were crazy fluffy and cooked in truffle oil, and the toast was buttered and rich. To top it all was a huge pile of shaved black truffle (apparently originating from Tasmania). Yup - could eat this one for breakfast everyday!
truffle chian dan chee

I have to say that I don't remember the next dish much. Perfectly cooked red fish with yunnan ham (a super prized and expensive Chinese ham), mandarin peel, potato, and a dehydrated slice of shiitake mushrooms. An onion puree was poured over it all to round up all the flavour.
red fish with yunnan ham and shitake
We had the foie gras next. This was super duper delish! Soft and creamy and really flavoursome. It came with a dehydrated slice of mui choi (梅菜) and a mui choi icecream . Who would have thought that the sweetness of the mui choi went so well with the sweetness of the foie gras?
foie gras

With everything we've had so far, the lobster became like just another dish. Still, being a precious ingredient, it did excel in flavours when combined with a sichuan chili hollandiase sauce. The lobster came with a chinese leek dumpling and bits of charred corn. The shell-fishy broth was also deliciousness. Well-rounded flavours but not as stand-out-ish as some other courses we've had so far.

lobster with spicy hollandaise sauce
The next course was a play on the Taiwanese beef noodles. They definitely upped the ante with this one with super marbled beef and a crazy flavoursome and tender truffle infused beef tendon in an aromatic consumme. Instead of normal noodles, there were two 'squares' of specially made noodles - one of chinese chive (was green ish) and the other made of daikon raddish (white and spotty ish). YUM!
Taiwanese beef noodle soup
Dessert time was next. The first dessert was a lemon curd cake with a 'baijiu' (白酒) jelly. It was served with a hazelnut chocolate crumble, caramel and a banana yoghurt. Those who know me know that I don't do banana. And this yoghurt was done sooo well, it was soooo full of banana flavour that I had to avoid it like the plague.
lemon curd cake with banana yoghurt

The coffee souffle was a bit better. Freshly whipped up and freshly baked, the coffee souffle was served with chestnut icecream and caramelised water chestnut. Our friend dished this up to us with extreme care.
coffee souffle with chestnut icecream

our friend pouring the syrup on

Being our friend, he shouted us an interesting complementary dish - the 'sex on the beach'. Created by accident by their sous chef, it was a condom shaped jelly with a condensed milky substance in it. The jelly was absolutely tasteless but was had the texture of that thin latexy stuff. Ugh. The used condom was sitting ontop a bed of 'sand' which was sichuan peppered digestive biscuit crumbs, giving it a bit of spice. The sand covered this strawberry jam thing... I guess that's for flavour?
'sex on the beach'
Last but not least was the 'petit fours'. Our dessert chef friend had spent ages inventing this from the Chinese traditional 'eight treasure tea'. (our friend, by the way, is now heading to the Fat Duck and will no longer be at Bo... for a while at least). The eight treasure tea (八宝茶) is made from 8 chinese ingredients said to be Empress Dowager Cixi's secret recipe for beauty, longevity and youthfulness.

The 8 desserts are as follows:
- There was a coconut sphere (molecular gastronomied) sweetened with dragon eye syrup.
- My hubby's favourite steamed sponge cake flavoured with osmanthus.
- Macaron which was rose flavoured, with a lychee and white chocolate filling.
- A chocolate and sticky rice dumpling with lotus seed.
- Chocolate truffle with mandarin peel.
- A marshmellow with crazy red date flavour.
- A tian jin pear crystal bun with blue cheese and wolfberry - an interesting combination.
- And last but not least, one of my favourites of the lot - a chrysanthemum creme brulee.

Of course, there's also the actual 8 treasure tea that went with it all!
8 treasure tea
It was an extravagant meal. Amazing YES! But I think we have to steer clear of epic degustations for a while! (for the sake of our stomachs and our wallets).

We have to say a massive thank you to our friend for serving us a crazily fantastic meal! And best of luck for him at the Fat Duck!!!

Food - 9.5/10
Service - 9.5/10
Ambiance - 9/10
Value for money - 8.5/10
Overall - 36.5/40

Bo Innovation
J Residence  60 Johnston Rd, 
Hong Kong
Tel: +852 2850 8371

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