Thursday, September 9, 2010

The Famous 'Sex On The Beach' At Bo Innovation

When I told some friends that I will be checking out Bo Innovation in Hong Kong, one of the comments I got was "Oh, I heard about the 'Sex On The Beach'. Tell me if it's good." So, here I am sharing my gastronomic encounter at BO Innovation, with "Demon Chef" Alvin Leung at the helm.

Never judge a book by its cover, never judge the cuisine by the way the chef looks. Chef Leung's alternative rock look is a far cry from the usual picture you get when you think of a chef. Colourful streaked hair and tinted glasses, along with the in-your-face tattoo that says "demon chef" in Chinese characters. Born in London, raised in Toronto, based in Hong Kong, Chef Leung is a self-taught chef and well respected by his peers. Well, not surprising as Bo Innovation is the only independent restaurant in Hong Kong to be awarded two stars by the prestigious Michelin Guide.

Now back to the dining experience. It started out wrong, very wrong. I got there on time at 830pm for my dinner, only to be told they don't have my reservation (I really don't know how the screw up happened when the reservation was made three weeks before). Fortunately, they have a table (a very crap one) available at the terrace. It didn't help that the weather was hot and humid, and the only view I got was the back of a residential block and I actually saw people in their PJs watching TV. I was starving, fuming mad and super pissed off. I would usually just walk away in such situations, but the fact that Chef Leung came out to apologise made me stayed on.

After an hour at the al fresco table, we finally got a table inside the restaurant. Do bring something to keep you warm as it is freezing indoors. I don't know why they don't adjust the air conditioning to a comfortable temperature.

We opted for the Chef's Menu. Priced at HK$1,080 for a 12-course menu, with 2 optional courses (Dragon Eye and Sex On The Beach).

#1 Course - Green Onion

Oyster with lime sauce and ginger "snow". A refreshing start to a great meal to come.

#1 Course - Dead Garden

If you don't eat oysters, this is what you get. Morel, caterpillar fungus, lime and green onion. It looks gross, but it tastes really good. The edible soil adds to the crunch. It was served in a Jenaer Glas egg coddler. How cute is that?

#2 Course - Har Mi

Carabinero prawn on a bed of capellini tossed with chilli and sage. I love the golden brown powder made with "Har Mi" dried shrimps. This is an excellent pasta dish that I would like to eat again.

#3 Course - True 8 Vinegar

Tomato, pan fried foie gras, and ginger in a soup of vinegar. This dish reminds me of the traditional Chinese dish of braised pork trotters with vinegar. This is the first time I am having pan fried foie gras in this state. Very innovative and delicious. The waiter came by to tell us not to drink up the vinegar, as there's a part 2 to this dish once we ate the tomato and foie gras. The part two was when they added in ginger parfait to our leftover vinegar soup.

#4 Course - Scallop

Scallop on a potato with kaffir lime sauce and mango sauce on the side. Finally, Kyoho grape jello to add a sweet touch after the savoury taste.

#5 Course - Iberico 36

A slice of Iberico 36 ham wrapped around morel and vermicelli, topped with onion foam. Very creative and unique.

#6 Course - Molecular

This is Xiao Long Bao in molecular cuisine. A burst of Xiao Long Bao flavoured soup exploded in my mouth when I bit into this yolk-like jello. The thin red line is actually a slice of pickled ginger.

#7 Course - Hunan Ham

Thin slices of honey compressed winter melon topped with Hunan Ham powder and served half onion with Hunan Ham broth foam.

With complement from the chef - Caviar

Smoked quail egg on crispy taro, topped with caviar and gold leaves. Decadent!

#8 Course - Black Sesame

Hamachi cubes and sesame jello on a lettuce bed.

Palette Cleanser - Ginseng Sorbet

Clever idea but I hate ginseng, so had to give this a miss.

#9 Course - Squid

I was expecting grilled squid or squid meat balls, but I was so wrong. I was presented with a yakitori sweetbread ball and a piece of fried tofu on a bed of greens, only to be topped with squid soup. The best sweetbread I ever had.

#10 Course - Sichuan Vanilla

A chunk of suckling pig, peas and apple cinnamon ice cream on a slice of toasted man tou (Chinese bun). Chef uses a special way of cooking to remove the lard from the suckling pig so you can eat it guilt-free. Alright I confess, it is still fatty, just less fatty. There's no such thing as a healthy suckling pig.

Drum Roll... Here comes 'Sex On The Beach'

Holy sh*t! It's literally sex on the beach. The pink "condom" is edible and filled with condensed milk to resemble the remnant of a very good shag on the beach. It made me laugh when I ate the "condom".

#11 Course - Sandalwood

This dish was served in the Jenaer Glas egg coddler but with the lid on. Once you remove the lid, you will can see and smell sandalwood smoke. A pity I couldn't capture it on picture. Almond pudding with hawthorn.

#12 Course - Shui Jing Fang

If you are wondering why the dish is called Shui Jing Fang, it is because it had the Chinese white spirit named Shui Jing Fang in it. Thin slices of banana, vanilla ice cream, caramel sauce, and raisins soaked with Shui Jing Fang.

Petit Dim Sum

Love the presentation of the petit four in a traditional Chinese basket.

I highly recommend for you to check out this restaurant if you are in Hong Kong. Chef Leung termed his cuisine as "X-treme Chinese" as he modernises old recipes with modern cooking techniques and ingredients. It is definitely an experience dining at Bo Innovation.

Official site :


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