As testimony to my priorities in life, our first stop in Hong Kong was Bo Innovation. A 3-michelin star restaurant serving experimental Chinese food using molecular gastronomy. We saw Mr Bo (Alvin Leung) himself – a very casual man and a far cry from the refined surroundings of the restaurant. He’s a celebrity (as a judge on Masterchef Canada) and has opened restaurants around the world, including Bo London, which has one Michelin Star in London.
We treated ourselves to the set lunch menu, which was amazing value and I’m pretty sure is the cheapest 3 Michelin star meal in the world! 430HKD for 3 courses (not including drinks)!
Appetiser: Scallion & sausage egg waffle – a complimentary snack to share – this was a savoury twist on the popular street food that is traditionally sweet. There was no filling in the waffle, but had a great, crisp texture, and was deliciously moreish. Even though there was seemingly little ingredients, the slight salty flavour from the sausage and the scallion was intense.
Starter: Foie gras – the foie gras had a thin skin from being pan-fried, and the interior had an extremely rich and slightly salty flavour. The muy choi caramel ice-cream was a creative touch, and provided a contrast of temperature and texture, but the rich flavour added too much saltiness to the plate. This was slightly offset by the cucumber foam, which was very light, and the crunchy gingerbread.
Main: Red mullet – the torched skin was amazingly crispy and created a captivating pattern. The fish itself was flaky, melt-in-the-mouth and fresh. The black bean sauce was, again, very salty, so a little went a long way. The sweet peppers were coated in a …that added texture and a powerful flavour, and the shitake mushrooms finished off the oriental theme of the dish.
Dessert: Coconut – the entertaining touch to the meal was saved to the end as the waiter brought over a bowl of dried coconut ice and dropped it onto each plate from a height, creating a waft of smoke. This provided a crunchy texture and a strong coconut flavour, that was well balanced with the light caramel ice-cream, which was not too sweet. The vivid green pandan mousse complimented not only the tropical flavours, but also the colours on the plate. The only downside was the texture of the cherry jelly which was too hard and chewy for my liking.
My parents had the following:
Appetiser: Molecular char siu bao (90HKD) – a thin layer of pastry encasing a juice with the flavours of char siu bao – we were told to close our eyes and imagine the real char siu bao!
Starter: Scallop ceviche with Shanghainese “jolo”, woba, sugar snap peas, avocado, lemon
Starter: Langoustine with black truffle, cauliflower risotto, salty duck egg sauce, pickled cauliflower, english mustard foam, duck jus
Main: Suckling Pig with roasted sichuan pineapple, pork jus
Main: Pigeon with shiitake mushroom cake, black carrot, sour plum pigeon jus
In my honest opinion, the Michelin quality in Hong Kong is not as refined as in the UK. Even though this was my first 3 star experience, I had expected more. Maybe I set my standards too high, but the food and the whole experience did not wow me. I expected more surprises, more bursts of flavour, more artistic presentation, and a more unique experience.
Price: Set Lunch 450HKD for 3 courses, $70 for a bottle of still water
Bo Innovation: Shop 13,2/f,J Residence, 60 Johnston Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong (Private lift entrance on 18 Ship Street)