Food Design: Bo Innovation and the Arrival of Molecular Gastronomy

Asia Scout | April 26th, 2010

Lately, molecular gastronomy restaurant, Bo Innovations has been making noise with its clever blend of familiar Chinese flavours with western style presentation and cuisine. This is no cheap meal, but it’s certainly an experience to try at least once in your life. The menu (above) looks baffling, but when the bite sized courses melt on the tongue, the whole thing makes wonderful sense. Chef Alvin Leung is known for his El Bulliesque cooking techniques (as well as his Mong Kok gangster look), using methods traditionally used in the laboratory to extract flavours and putting them into other foods, which creates surprising textures.

This dish (below) is  frog leg with golden pin and white chocolate with golden pin essence. Another dish is called “yak and mac” and is Leung’s take on the ultimate comfort food, mac and cheese, only with “cheung fun” (rice sheet rolls commonly found in dim sum), black truffle, and yak cheese. Wow.

Bo Innovations isn’t the only restaurant performing molecular gastronomy, although it is the only one that makes a theme out of fusing east and west. Chef Uve Opocensky at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel is also renowned for his foamy creations, masterfully made to look more like pieces of art than food. Here I am with one of his famous desserts, the CandyShop — the “cigar” between my fingers is made entirely of chocolate and biscuits. How fun!
There are moments, however, when enough is enough. FINDS, a bar near Lan Kwai Fong, tried its hand at molecular mixology (alcohol + things like liquid nitrogen, whipped egg whites, marshmallows, tapioca, and sorbets to create different textures and flavors). They offered me their “smoking” cocktail, which was made from flavours extracted from cigar smoke and injected into the vodka. All I could think of while sipping this was “I thought the indoor smoke ban came into effect years ago!” Bleh!

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