Tuesday, December 09, 2008

A New Must In HK - Bo Innovation

If you are like me, having to go to HK a few times a year, here is a new, something brilliant, decadent, yet enthralling place for your senses. The restaurant is called Bo Innovation. It was featured elaborately in Anthony Bourdain's show when he visited HK.

The place is not easy to find if you are not familiar with HK. Ask your concierge, its on Ship Street, off Johnston Road. The restaurant basically is similar in many ways to the brilliant molecular gastronomy expert Adrian Ferria - Ferria operates El Bulli in Spain, also featured by Anthony Bourdain. Some of Ferria's creations: skinless ravioli, the carrot and parmesan foam, etc...

Yes, it is bloody pretentious. Those who support the movement says it is deconstructing a dish and its ingredients, and rebuilding the ingredients in another form - but why???
OK, I can understand the fun of it, playing around with your food. I think once in your lifetime is sufficient, just to say you have sampled it before. Try not to take it too seriously, its fun with friends.

Trickery and surprise aside, the food is very good. I mean if you like hairy crab, which goes well with Jiangsu vinegar... but you will never get it in the form of a Hairy Crab Souffle with the vinegar. It surprises you, and because when you deconstruct, you are basically "alienating and preserving" the vital essence of those ingredients, thus when you reconstruct the dish in another format, the flavours and tasting experience are "enhanced"... i hope I am putting this correctly.

Bo Innovation is helmed by Alvin Leung, my kinda guy, cooking and supervising with a cigar lighted up. Irreverent and noisy, and Alvin is a pretty funny and loud guy which adds to the atmosphere, and service is par excellence. The food is a fixed menu de`gustation @ HK1,080 pp or HK1,680pp with wine pairing. When you are paying those prices, pleaasseee go with the wine pairing for a complete experience.

Awarded 5 Stars - By South China Morning Post
Awarded 5 Stars - BC Food Guide
Best New Restaurant in Hong Kong - Food and Wine Magazine

I doubt I will be going to Spain to purposely sample Adrian Ferria's concoctions. I am quite fascinated with Alvin's presentations though, not too out there or weird like Ferria. His is more a deconstruction and reconstruction process, showing his innate understanding of ingredients and how they interact. If you click on his menu, you will find a dazzling array of dishes being served your way the whole night.

Is it pretentious? Yes, certainly. Is the food good? Pretty exceptional, considering the hype. In fact, Alvin could do very well as a traditional chef probably anyway. Its fun, its a celebration of human ingenuity and creativity - live a little.

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