Christmas Tasting Lunch Menu @ Bo Innovation Hong Kong
On Christmas day of 2017 in Hong Kong, we decided to have a special lunch date at Bo Innovation Hong Kong. This 3 Michelin Star restaurant serves X-treme Chinese/Cantonese Cuisine in degustation style. The restaurant is owned by Hong Kong celebrity chef, Alvin Leung 梁經倫, who also nicknamed “The Demon Chef”.
I booked the restaurant in advance online because it’s Christmas. Though the restaurant wasn’t fully packed when we arrived, I would advise to have it book in advance to avoid any disappointment. You can make reservation easily by emailing them or through their website.
The restaurant is located in Wan Chai area. You can take the MTR from your location to Wan Chai Station, and exit A3. I highly suggest using Google Map or Waze to look for the location after you exit the station. It’s located on a small street behind main buildings so it can be difficult to find if you don’t have a map or something.
Upon arrival we were greeted by a friendly wait staff and seated right after. We booked in for the Bo Innovation Lunch Tasting Menu (HKD 900+, roughly AUD 160), it is a 11 course degustation including all complimentary dishes. We were served with still water (we did not order any alcohol or other drinks) and a beautiful plate on the table as a welcome message. I remembered the wait staff told us this represent Hong Kong and their history. However, we don’t use the plate to eat. When they started to serve us food, they removed the plate with a normal white one.
1st Course – Complimentary Starter: Egg Waffle/GaiZai Peng 鸡仔饼 with Scallion
This dish represents Hong Kong’s street food. Instead of the common house bread, Egg Waffle is served to every table as complimentary side/starter. I love the unique scallion taste. The waffle was cooked perfectly, crunchy outside and soft fluffy inside with a hint of savoury and aroma from the scallion. I believe you can ask for more as I saw the table next to me asked for a second serving.
2nd Course: Hokkaido Scallop, Shanghainese Jolo, Woba, Sugar Snap Peas, Lemon
Our second course is Hokkaido Scallop, Shanghainese Jolo, Woba, Sugar Snap Peas, Lemon. The scallops are interesting and sweet. I’d say it’s sashimi (raw inside) but slightly seared on the outside. On the top it was sprinkled with rice crisps, at the bottom the scallop sat on a thin layer of lemon-like jello. The scallop was fresh and sweet and it compliments with the red vinegar just well. The sourness helps prepared my palate for the next dish.
3rd Course: Bellota Bellota, Kinki fish, Tofu, Tomato Gazpacho, Morel Mushroom, Scallion
The next course we were served with Bellota Bellota, Kinki fish, Tofu, Tomato Gazpacho, Morel Mushroom, Scallion. I believe the name ‘Bellota-Bellota’ was inspired by jamón ibérico de bellota, the finest type of cured ham produced in Spain and Portugal. The jamon (cured ham) was served in this dish along with a poached Kinki fish from Japan, small piece of tofu tempura, a dash of tomato puree and a slice of Parmesan cracker. To me, the star of the dish was the ham instead of the fish. The saltiness of the ham compliments the whole dish, but the rest seems to be there just to decorate the ham, nothing more nothing less.
4th Course: Britanny Lobster, Wonton, Tartare, Har Mi Oil, Semi-dried Tomato, Black Truffles
Britanny Lobster, Wonton, Tartare, Har Mi Oil, Semi-dried Tomato, Black Truffles. This was my man’s favourite dish out of all, especially the strong Har Mi (sun dried salted shrimps) oil. They gave us a basket full of mini bottles that filled with concentrated Har Mi oil. We took one each and we were told that it was to sprinkle onto our next dish. The Har Mi scent is very strong here as the oil is very concentrated, so I’d advise that you try it on a spoon before pouring the whole bottle into your dish, especially when you have never tried Har Mi before. If you’re a fan of Har Mi taste, this is heavenly for you.
The dish consist of truffle paste on the lobster ravioli, self-made dried tomato and Har Mi sprinkles on top, with Lobster tarter on the side. The Har Mi oil is sprinkled on the Lobster tartare. This dish is a great example of pairing luxurious food with cheap ingredients (Lobster and Har Mi) and created a miracle dish.
We both liked this, a lot. Because it is so unique and nostalgia with the Har Mi.
5th Course: Molecular X-treme Xiao Long Bao (THEIR BEST DISH)
Our next dish was a bit of chemistry, the Molecular X-treme Xiao Long Bao. The yolk-like gelatin was filled with X-treme Xiao Long Bao (Pork) Stock with a red ginger garnish on top. We were skeptical about this dish. Many reviewers dislike the dish despite them being the famous one on the menu.
We put the whole molecular thing into our mouth and it exploded just like how a Xiao Long Bao would with the stocks. It was SO FREAKING GOOD. At this moment I do not understand why some didn’t enjoy this dish. I feel as if I was eating 100 Xiao Long Bao in my mouth all at once. The stock in this jelly ball is no joke, full of flavours from the pork and yes, imagine putting 100 concentrated Xiao Long Bao stock in your mouth. That’s how good this dish was.
The downside would be it was gone too quickly. I would suggest you leave it in your mouth and let every single corner of your palate taste the stock and the aroma filled in your nose before swallowing it. Otherwise you wouldn’t enjoy the dish as much.
6th Course: Duck Foie Gras, Preserved Chinese Mustard Green, Walnut, Aged Zhenjiang Vinegar
Our last starter course before the main, Duck Foie Gras, Preserved Chinese Mustard Green, Walnut, Aged Zhenjiang Vinegar. A fusion of French classic and Oriental goodness. Chef Leung replaces the usual balsamic vinager with Aged Zhenjiang Vinegar. Another perfect theme of luxurious-cheap ingredients mixed in one dish. And the effect was amazing. That scope of Mui Choy in a Savoury Ice Cream form gives an earthy salty taste that compliments the fatty juicy duck liver. Both melt in your mouth and create a whole new flavourful experience.
7th Course: Palate Cleanser – Mou Tai
Before the main course is served, a bartender came and put down two empty Zhun 鐏 and started to explain the history of Zhun. It is an ancient wine vessel used by the Chinese Emperor. Yeah I have seen that on the TV before but never actually used one. So it was quite interesting to start with. The bartender then shake up a cocktail in front of us. The palate cleanser, Moutai consist of chinese wine, calamansi, and egg white.
The cocktail tasted just like a palate cleanser, but stronger. I LOVE IT, a lot. I’m a huge cocktail lover and I have to say this one was one of the best I’ve tried. It has a sour, almost lemon-like taste and slightly sweetened. Though I can’t taste the alcohol (which is good), but the drink/palate cleanser does the job for me, it’s very appetising and palatable at the same time. I wished I can have a second serve of this haha.
Many reviewers find it awkward to drink Moutai out of the Zhun, I personally enjoyed the unique experience. If this was a dish, it will be one of my favourite.
8th Course: Main Course #1 –Haida Gwaii Wild Cod, Fermented Black Bean Miso, Honey, Ginger, Indian Lettuce
Our first main course, Haida Gwaii Wild Cod, Fermented Black Bean Miso, Honey, Ginger, Indian Lettuce. Haida Gwaii is the northern pacific coast of Canada, they are popular for commercial fishing and seafood production. So the Wild Cod was caught off the coast in Haida Gwaii Canada, not farmed. It was marinated with fermented black bean miso, pan fried and served with Indian lettuce puree on the side.
The wild cod was fresh and though it’s marinated, you can still taste the freshness from the sea. I like the black bean miso, it’s a classic symbol of Chinese black bean fish where I used to eat a lot when I was younger.
9th Course: Main Course #2 – A3 Saga-Gyu Beef, Black Truffle, “Cheung Fun”, First Press Superior Soy
Our second main course, A3 Saga-Gyu Beef, Black Truffle, “Cheung Fun”, First Press Superior Soy. First Press Superior Soy (头抽) is a light soy sauce made from the first pressing of the soybeans, also referred to as premium light soy sauce. Similar to extra virgin olive oil, the flavour of the first pressing is considered superior. The delicate flavour of First Press Soy is used primarily for seasoning light dishes and for dipping. It enhances the flavour of any dish beautifully.
A3 Saga-Gyu Beef is of course from Japan. I like the cut of the steak and A3 is perfect, the marbling fat was just nice and not too much like an A5.
I am a Cheung Fun (Rice Flour Rolls) lover, it is a childhood comfort food. We eat it for breakfast or even for afternoon snack. Personally I like eating the Cheung Fun and the A3 Saga Beef separately in this dish. I don’t think they matches each other well when eaten together, but when separately consumed, they shined in their own unique way. They both have the black truffle soy sauce dripping from the Saga-Gyu, though I feel the soy sauce has kind of overpowered the Black truffle slightly, but overall it was a great dish.
10th Course: Langoustine — Black truffle, cauliflower risotto, salty duck egg sauce, pickled cauliflower, english mustard foam, duck jus
Our last savoury course before dessert, Langoustine — Black truffle, cauliflower risotto, salty duck egg sauce, pickled cauliflower, english mustard foam, duck jus. The tempura langoustine was served with the popular salty egg sauce and foam of English Mustard. Underneath it was the cauliflower risotto with pickled cauliflower on the side. I like how the pickled cauliflower balanced the whole dish with its sourness.This was the least memorable dish of all, not saying that it’s not great, but nothing in this dish caught my attention.
11th Course: Dessert – No Shark Fin, eggnog, white chocolate, cranberry, chestnut and agar agar strips
Shark Fin was (or still?) a popular luxury food in the Chinese menu. Though I haven’t had one for years now, I was guilty of enjoying a bowl of Shark Fin since a young age. Even though there’s anti-shark fins movement in Hong Kong, many restaurants still serve shark fin soup with an exorbitant price tag. It’s good to see that Bo Innovation has taken the dish off the menu and recreate one “No Shark Fin” to bring awareness. The dessert No Shark Fin, was a made with eggnog, white chocolate, cranberry, chestnut and agar agar strips and served in the traditional shark fin soup bowl.
I like the concept of No Shark Fin dessert, but the dessert was a bit disappointing. I expected a bowl full of impactful flavour and refreshing ingredients to finish the course. The agar agar strips does nothing but just being presented in the bowl to represent the “shark fin”. The only ingredient I enjoyed in this dessert was the cranberry in a jelly gel form. The rest I can’t recalled anymore.
The Verdict – Bo Innovation Hong Kong:
Overall it was a pleasant experience in Bo Innovation. I like the concept of X-treme Chinese cuisine in a modern way. The star dish was definitely their Molecular Xiao Long Bao, followed by the Brittany Lobster. The rest was great but they were not as unique as the two.
Generally I’m not too fussy with service, as long as they have the right professionalism and serve in an appropriate manner. Overall I am satisfied with the service here in Bo Innovation. Though the server didn’t perfect the explanation of some dishes, it was not a big deal to me. Many some food critics will find it unprofessional. I am here to enjoy the food, not to be a food critics, so as long as the food is good, everything will be good.
Finally, is it worth visiting and splurged almost HKD1000 on a lunch date? This is highly subjective. Personally I’d like to say it’s a great experience. Though I am not an expert in fine dining/degustation, I like the unique concept that Bo Innovation is creating here, it’s like a journey back to ancient Chinese era, highlights of Hong Kong and mixture of modern taste. It’s worth it if you’re here for the experience, especially for a special occasion.
I am happy and satisfied with my lunch date here at Bo Innovation, Hong Kong.
Bo Innovation (Michelin 3 Star Award 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017)
J Residence, Shop 8, J Senses Entrance on Ship Street, 60 Johnston Rd, Hong Kong
Phone: +852 2850 8371
Thanks for stopping by!