Bo Innovation, Hong Kong

I had seriously been looking forward to our meal at Bo Innovation in Hong Kong. Apart from its numerous accolades like 2 Michelin stars and being ranked as the 52nd best restaurant in the world, I was particularly intrigued by chef Alvin Leung’s “X-treme Chinese” cuisine. The “X-treme” cuisine label is enough to make me sceptical, but I was surprised by how traditional Chinese dishes were given a modern twist with molecular gastronomy techniques to create a unique and innovative dish.

Bo Innovation Dining Room

The elevator that takes us up to the dining area opens up to a small balcony garden where diners can sit and enjoy the sunshine. We’re taken to a table in the inside dining room, which features white tablecloths, sheer satin drapes and an open kitchen where you can see the chefs at work. For lunch, there are two menus on offer: the Lunch Chef Menu which is a degustation affair ($HKD780; around $AUD97 at the time) or the Bo Set Lunch which allows the diner to choose an entree and main, and includes a set starch and dessert ($HKD228; around $AUD28 at the time). We opt for the latter, and choose different dishes so we can sample as much of the menu as possible.

Cauliflower risotto, black truffle, duck jus

We are allowed to select 2 items per person from their list of Dim Sum or Classic “Bo” Dishes as an entree. We indicate that we are sharing the entrees and the waitstaff kindly bring out some small plates, chopsticks and a knife and fork for us to split the dishes. The cauliflower risotto is quite unexpected as the waitress explains that the risotto is actually little nubbins of cauliflower. Bits of black truffle are mixed throughout and the risotto sits in a pool of rich duck jus which provides most of the flavour of the dish.

Black truffle 'cheung fun'
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Bay Tinh, Crows Nest

I’ve been spoilt when it comes to Vietnamese food, since I’m lucky enough to have Vietnamese friends who have taken me to restaurants around Cabramatta and Canley Vale, brought me along to all you can eat picnics run by the Vietnamese community, and invited me to their houses where I’ve had the pleasure of eating food made by their parents.

Ca phe sua da - $4.50 and Lemon soda - $4.50

So I rarely go out and seek Vietnamese food around my area (with the exception of a steaming hot bowl of Pho every once in a while) and I was surprised to find Bay Tinh – a restaurant which I must have walked past a thousand times on my way to a ramen fix at Ryo’s. We start with some drinks – a ca phe sua da (Vietnamese iced white coffee) for me and a lemon soda with sugar for Sir D.

Heo Nuong (Grilled pork skewer) - $12.80 for 4 pcs

The menu is extensive, with several pages of entrees and mains alone. We want to try lots of different dishes but since there are only two of us, we stick to the well-known favourites as well as some of Bay Tinh’s signature dishes. The grilled pork skewer doesn’t arrive as a skewer as I would have thought, but is already pre-cut into pieces and arranged onto lettuce cups with rice noodles, pickles and fresh mint. The pork is fragrant with lemongrass and is wrapped up in the lettuce leaf, dipped into a nuoc cham dipping sauce and eaten along with the other accompaniments.

Goi cuon (Fresh prawn rolls) - $6.90 for two
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