Thursday, March 14, 2013

MC Kitchen by BO Innovation - (Hong Kong)

  Of 2 Michelin Star struck status in their HK sister shop Bo Innovation,  which I have already been 3 times but only blogged about once,  the real measuring stick is what customers think come the end of the meal.   Bo has a tendency to polarize people indeed.  It gets much more praise from expats and overseas diners or chefs for a reason -  his unconventional interpretation of Chinese dishes might strike gold with those not already familiar with Chinese food but for the locals it is just a re-jiggling of well known flavours.    Demon Chef-Owner Alvin Leung and partners recently expanded into a new salad business at Beautifood which after canvassing I must say I thoroughly enjoyed and they have also opened a branch of Bo Innovation in London.   Over here at Kowloon side at an industrial side of town the group also came up with  a more approachable version of their hardcore extreme Chinese Cuisine adventures.    This preview meal was organized by my friend @Jamel’s Blog and despite really cutting back on attending invitational events by a ratio of 1 to 10 lately,  as I really didn’t started blogging as a tool for marketing restaurants for free,  the philosophy behind their toned down extreme Chinese food here really got the curiosity of me..




Surprised Location -
It’s found in an Industrial area of town not known for High End cuisine.   People in this area expect to pay 1/5 to 1/10th for a normal lunch session. 




All the Serious Equipment needed to make your best Soups,  Doughs & Ice Creams -
Plus plenty more hidden in view.   You naturally won’t expect anything less from a currently Michelin 2 Starred Kitchen’s sister shop..




Kaffir Lime Leaf & Fermented Tofu Dip with Bread -
I have recently visited the Bo Innovation staple 3 times and the Kaffir Lime leaf has made 3 various appearances.  This time it’s paired with a salty fermented bean curd.  I think I like this but with a bread which is too limpy,  it didn’t hold up to the very herbal and salty spread as a package.  As a side note,  I find that Kaffir Lime really kills all wines that you drink afterwards.   ~  6.9/10


Black Truffle and Mushrooms Spring Roll -
They arrived flatter than as served at Bo Innovation but equally with Japanese purple shiso leaves for garnishing.   This was lovely but you know how Black Truffle paste vs real diced Black Truffle is quite different in resultant taste,  to me this was somewhere in between.  Which personally is a good thing.  My vote goes to the more meatier Spring Rolls served at Bo Innovation side still.   ~  7/10



Fries with Truffled Mayo Dip -
These were quite good within HK context,  but if you have ever had real triple-fried chips or goose fat fries in Europe,  you can still instantly pick out that taste difference.  At least these were crunchy,  not hollowed powdery and not oily on the surface.  Yum!   But that truffled mayo is too weak compared to say GOLD by Harlan’s version.      ~  7/10 




Japanese Hamachi with diced Cucumber,  Wasabi foam,
Green Apple Granite & dehydrated Green Apple Crisp -
In theory this combination isn’t mind blowing and daring enough for me at all.  But the execution and balance was spot on for once and the refreshing cucumber and green apple bits were just right,  so was the packed-in-flavour fatty fish.  Very memorable as an overall package actually.  ~  10/10



Food & Wine Pairing with a Minerally and Crisp Italian Prosecco -
To me, a majority of Proseccos are quite feminine.   But on certain encounters they can be as interesting as a top grade Champagne or a Cremante made very well.  This selected sparkling was definitely not your expected,  pedestrian Prosecco.  Quite sophisticated.



Laksa Bouillabaise with Lobster, Wild Sea Bass and Hokkaido Scallops -
Served with a Kaffir Lime paste & Prawn Roes on toasts as a variation to the traditional garlicky Marseille rouille.  I actually enjoyed this,  but the Kaffir Lime input was again wreaking havoc on my senses and this was the 4th time in 3 separate visits to their shops when this always happened.   The rest were done well but this single Kaffir Lime component totally killed my palate.  It desperately needs addressing as it is potent..  ~  7/10



French Goose Foie Gras “Sang Choi Bao” with a sauce of Black Rice Vinegar,  Miso & Saffron -
I was really surprised as many foie gras dishes don’t exhibit this creamy and livery taste locally.  I also enjoyed the overall sauce composition even if one cannot detect them separately unless reading directly off the menu.  You could call it balanced or it could be a tad stronger still individually.   I just know I really enjoyed this dish even if it sounded more than the sum of it’s parts.  ~  9/10



German Diel x Bo Innovation Demon Riesling -
Bo Innovation always made sure it developed it’s own wines and blends for exclusivity.   Here they are limited to 666 production bottles per year.   I liked this for crispness and fresh grape freshness,  it’s treasurable because it’s nigh on impossible to find this style of Riesling in HK.  Most are quite sugary and petrol-like,  and you can tell by the colour within the glass…  ~  8/10




Home Made Egg Pasta,  Spanish Carabinero Prawn,  Crustacean Oil & Dried Powder, 
Chinese Mushrooms,  Crab Eggs served raw & cooked with Spring Onion -  
This was my 2nd time eating this at their different venues,  and this tasted tremendously better.  This was really amazing in it’s thoughtfulness as well as the final taste.  Really couldn’t fault it.  Even the prawn quality is as usual super fresh  ~  12/10




More Champagne -




Salted Dried Plum Granite & Yuzu Powder -
This polarized people.  Some thought this was too intense and salty.  For me at least it wasn’t icy and was detectable.  Really liked this idea but yes it was kinda intense but I can cope? ~  9/10



Chinese Salted Fish Potato Mash -
So smooth and potato-y,  garnished with dry-shaved Chinese salted fish floss.  Really amazing a dish and balanced with chopped French chives.   I would eat this over the very seriously over-rated HK Robuchon L’atelier’s mash any day.  ~  10/10




Sweet & Sour Berkshire Pork -
With crispy wonton skins and hawthorn berry sauce.    I really didn’t liked this dish if I allow myself to sound mean.  Sweet and Sour Pork should be interlaced with marbled pork with a strong pork’s taste,  and even if this was really Berkshire pork it just made itself doubly unimpressive in the end,  lacking any real Berkshire pork taste.   On top of all of these small faults,  the expected crispy skin coating is presented as some fried crumbly bits on the bottom instead,  tasting like fried wonton skins.  I totally didn’t get this dish to be frank.  ~  4/10




Poached Black Rice mousse,  Coconut Pearls, 
Mango & Gelato,  Dried Raspberries and Pistachio -
A trusted flavour combo in Chinese and Thai desserts,  this is a re-invented version.  I think this is fun rather than ingenious.  Texture wise this is not better than the original version I think?  ~ 7/10 



Moon Cake -
With Salted Egg yolk sauce,  Moon Cake Crumbles,  Lotus Seed Paste Ice Cream and Dehydrated Star Fruit.   And Chinkiang vinegar macerated Strawberries.  Fussy,  but  I actually liked this dessert.  If you ask me why I prefer this over the above dessert – I would simply reply that in this version at least you can identify each of the separate components correctly using your senses.   Interesting indeed!   ~  8/10



Petits Fours -
The kitchen became more game towards the end of the night and asked the customers what we thought this tasted like.   Although more than one person guessed right,   let’s not give out the spoiler.  I really liked this Dinner Tasting menu – it is not perfect as yet but that is only according to my own judgment.  But it was definitely engaging and exploratory,  perhaps with the exception of that Sweet and Sour Pork dish which was outright disappointing on a personal scale.   Smile





Price:   Around $700 - 800 HKD
Ease of Access:  4/5
Food:  ♕♕♕♕ to ♕♕♕♕♕

Opening Hours:
Mon to Fri 11:30-22:30pm
Sat to Sun 15:00pm - 22:30pm

Address:  觀塘巧明街100號AXA Tower地下
G/F, AXA Tower, 100 How Ming Street, Kwun Tong
Ph: 3758 2239

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