During a weekend passing through Hong Kong, I had the chance to dine at BO Innovation last Saturday night. I was on my own and had an early seating at 7 PM at the Chef’s table. Feeling especially indulgent, I opted for the wine pairing.
I was not disappointed, and in fact, the evening was completely enjoyable and satisfying: across the food, presentation, wine, service, atmosphere, and attention to detail, BO scored high. I was hosted by Sammy Lee, the assistant manager (Chef was in the U.S. for a special event), and engaged actively throughout my dinner with Danny and the kitchen team.
Chef’s table menu.
• Moutai sour. …Sort of a whiskey sour amuse bouche in a shot glass.
• Sea-urchin. Compressed watermelon, wasabi corn.
• Caviar. Smoked quail egg, crispy taro.
• Oyster. Spring onion, lime, ginger snow.
• Toro. Foie gras powder, freeze dried raspberry.
• Sea bream. “har mi” oil, sweet soy.
• Iberico 36. Morel, vermicelli, onion foam.
• Foie gras. Sichuan “jo lo,” woba, peas.
• Molecular. “xiao long bao.” …A spoonful of Chinese dumpling soup in suspension.
• Shangri-la yak’s milk. Cheese, “cheung fun,” black truffle.
• Crab. Roe soufflé, marinated star fruit, aged chinkiang vinegar.
• Ocean trout. Fermented black bean and honey miso, picked “bak choy,” ginger pellet.
• Sweet bread. Enriched oyster sauce, watermelon, dragon beard, artichoke.
• Iberico secreto. Crispy sweet and sour, lychee jelly, dehydrated pineapple.
• Cheese. Blue cheese, braised lotus seed, lanzones syrup.
• Almond. Sandalwood.
• Shui jing fang. Poached caramelized banana, dark chocolate ganache, jasmine kiss.
• Chinese petit four.
I thought the caviar, oyster, molecular XLB, sweet bread, and iberico secreto courses were particularly noteworthy. My understanding is that the menu changes frequently depending on what’s in season and available, although certain courses are “signature” and I believe usually included. I didn’t take notes, so I don’t recall the specific wines, but the pairing included: a champagne, an Australian chardonnay (disappointing), a reisling (enjoyable), a US lemberger (good), another red, and a moscato with dessert.
In a bit of irony, the couple seated next to me were from New York City (I’m from New Jersey), so that was a little taste of “it really is a small world after all” for the evening. And I was able to compare notes with the BO team behind the counter on the New York, Los Angeles, and Toronto chowhound scenes.
Of course, the bill for all this is not for everyone: for one person, HK$ 2200 (US$ 284) for the food and wine pairing, including tax and service.
I’d encourage potential diners here not to be looking for high-end Chinese or molecular cuisine, because it’s not... But it is very interesting and original, and in my opinion, worth exploring and having some fun.
60 Johnston Rd, 2/F
(entrance via private lift at 18 Ship St
)Wan Chai, Hong Kong
Lunch, Monday-Friday: noon to 3 PM, last order at 2 PM
Dinner, Monday-Saturday: 7 PM to midnight, last order at 10 PM