Friday, December 7, 2012

Smells of Victoria Harbor at Bo Innovation in Hong Kong



In Hong Kong on Monday, living a TRAVELIFE, I had the 15-course dinner at Bo Innovation, Hong Kong’s Michelin-starred cutting-edge molecular gastronomy restaurant in Wanchai.

I’d had the tasting course here earlier this year on a last foodie trip to Hong Kong – but then I'd had a different tasting course. I’d enjoyed it so much that when someone asked me where I wanted to eat on my last night out of three nights in Hong Kong, I chose Bo Innovation.

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So he’d booked us the chef’s table and we’d had a very nice three-hour dinner seated at the counter, watching all the action and talking to all the chefs. We both like talking to chefs a lot, and the guys at Bo Innovation were happy to indulge us in between all their hard work.




RAW FISH 
AND THE SCENT OF THE HARBOR

For our second course at Bo Innovation, we had saba (mackerel), served rare and in a cloud of ponzu, which is a Japanese lemon.



The chef placed it on tasting spoons so that we could have it in one gulp, and then set it atop something that looked like a stainless steel Japanese hibachi grill. They’d put something inside this grill – dry ice and flavoring perhaps – so that the dish arrived literally smoking.


“This is the scent of Victoria Harbor,” the chef said. “But it’s the scent of Victoria Harbor about 30 years ago, when the harbor still smelled of roses.”

I’m partial to very rich tastes so this course was very good, but it wasn’t my favorite. But my companion just loved it.


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JUST IN TIME FOR HAIRY CRABS




The next course, however, was among my many absolute favorites.

It’s the tail-end of the hairy crab season in China, and Bo Innovation specially ordered hairy crabs from Hangzhou and created a soufflé of hairy crab which was then seasoned with deeply flavorful aged chinkiang vinegar.



We had this course with a very dry French wine, vintage 2004. It went extremely well with the hairy crab souffle. Interestingly, it had Chinese writing on the side that actually says "crab," and this is one of the reasons why Bo Innovation's sommelier chose to pair this course with this wine.



They use flavors and a bit of humor, as well, when pairing wines and dishes.

This hairy crab course was certainly rich, exactly as I liked it. And a very promising start to the 12 courses yet to come. Stay tuned for the rest of our 15-course meal at Bo Innovation in Hong Kong.





The Chef's Table menu at Bo Innovation:
15 wonderful courses over three hours.
If you eat here, you should definitely do this.

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