In this edition of Hot 50 Tables, Chef Alvin Leung of Bo Innovation in Wan Chai takes us by surprise as he deconstructs traditional Chinese dishes while preserving their essence in an immersive dining experience
While we love enjoying an all-you-can eat feast from one of Hong Kong’s dinner buffets, and chowing down on local street food, one of our favourite treats is sitting down at a luxury restaurant to sample immaculately presented food that tastes amazing. At Bo Innovation in Wan Chai, Alvin Leung – the man affectionately known as the Demon Chef – has carved out his own unique category of cuisine: X-Treme Chinese. Diners can expect a scientific approach to old-school Cantonese dishes with an element of playfulness thrown in at this fine dining restaurant.
Signature dishes at Bo Innovation…
The experience begins with an amuse bouche called Child’s Play, a plate of bite-sized appetizers served on a colourful Go board – a strategic Chinese game, similar to chess, that pretty much every kid in Hong Kong plays growing up. We got nostalgic while having these treats, especially the Yunnan yam and spring onion egg waffle, typically eaten on the streets of Hong Kong. The next dish was the scallops, sugar snap peas in jolo Sichuan sauce with a sprinkling of woba for texture. We loved that Chef Leung used Shao Hsing Hua Tiao Chiew, one of the oldest brewed wines in China, for the excellent flavouring in this dish.
Inspired by Aberdeen and Hong Kong’s typhoon shelters, Aberdeen Floaters was another dish that truly fascinated our taste buds with the lure of Hong Kong’s homemade shrimp paste and dried shrimps. We were fascinated by this refreshing combination of kinki fish, dried shrimp, vermicelli and pickled fuzzy melon.
Even the foie gras at Bo Innovation has been given a local touch as it’s served with mui choy caramel ice-cream, green apple and ginger bread. Interestingly enough, mui choy is a commonly preserved vegetable, often used to steam with pork, but we loved its flavour infused in the ice cream which brought a heavenly taste to the dish. This was pleasantly accompanied with the Kweichow Moutai, a pricey grain liquor. We are fans of how Chef Leung transforms this Chinese liquor that typically has an ‘acquired taste’ into a frothy kumquat palate cleanser, served in a regal bowl with dragon handles.
A staple at Chinese banquets, the suckling pig at Bo Innovation is served with roasted Sichuan pineapple and Sauternes wine. The skin was crispy, the meat was tender and its flavour was enhanced by the sweet and sour caramelised pineapple and the tasty dark sauce from the wine and peppercorns.
We closed out our meal with a dessert crafted from coconut sugar, desiccated coconut chocolate, piña colada, cherry and pandan avocado that was served amid a mist of liquid nitrogen and tasted as blissful as it sounds.
In five words…
Modern deconstructed traditional Chinese dishes