[Hong Kong] Bo Innovation vs. [Sydney] Momofuku Seiobo

P1040342 Bo Innovation (BO) by Alvin Leung - This 2 Michelin starred restaurant helmed by the self-taught “Demon chef” serves extreme Chinese cuisine. Leung (An ex-engineer) is one of the two Michelin chefs in charge of a professional kitchen who did not go through formal culinary training. I met Leung in the Savour event in Singapore last year. He seems friendly and humorous despite his intimidating appearance.

momoMomofuku Seiobo (MOMO) by David Chang - Chang’s first restaurant outside U.S. located in the Star City Casino in Sydney. The restaurant was awarded three hats from The Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide and was named the best new restaurant.

THE Reservations

BO – Simple. I emailed dine@boinnovation.com to make a reservation. The contact person was responsive and my reservations were confirmed after I completed a simple form with my credit card details.

MOMO – Hard….Too Hard.  The restaurant only accepts reservations via its online tool 10 days in advance of the dining date. The weekend seats were impossible to get and we settled for a weekday dinner. This is even more difficult than the nonsensical online module bidding in college! I was not surprised that Momo makes it to the strangest reservation systems list!

THE Ambience

P1040308BO - Mostly tables with limited counter seats. We were seated near a loud noisy corporate crowd – not exactly a pleasant fine dining experience. It certainly did not help when the couple seated next to us decided to get really passionate halfway through their meal. :(

P1060209MOMO- Mostly counters seats where u will get a good view of the busy kitchen. I LIKE.

THE “Bread Basket”

P1040311BO – Egg waffles’ with Iberico ham
Bo’s version was an interesting account of the popular HK street food. The savoury ham went well with the slightly sweet waffle

P1060195MOMO – Snacks (Blood, nori, mochi, smoked eel)
Momo’s plate offered a lot of variety but they tasted very forgettable.

THE one dish you will definitely know

P1040324BO – Molecular Xiao Long Bao
I attended Leung’s Savour masterclass where he demonstrated this dish. The molecular XLB was made using the spherification technique. The concentrated pork broth was enveloped in a jelly like skin with a strip of pickled ginger right in the middle. All the flavours exploded in one bite. This is a very clever remake of the xiao long bao. WOW.

P1060204MOMO- Steamed Bun (Pork, cucumber, hoisin)
Certainly not your ordinary steamed bun next door! The quality of the ingredients and effort put in to create Chang’s signature dish was anything but ordinary. The outcome was a comforting yet alluring dish.

THE one dish you do not want to know

P1040327BO - Tomato “Pat Chun” vinegar, Chinese fermented olives & “Lam kok”
I don’t get this dish but I’m not a fan of tomatoes to begin with. P, on the other hand liked this dish and find it very sophisticated especially the marshmallow. Oh well – to each her own. :P

27MOMO -Congee (Ham, yolk)
Everything was so wrong… from the unappetizing presentation to the weird tasteless piece of orange gelatin which was supposed to be the “yolk”. The only vague resemblance was the colour.

The Good & Memorable 

P1040330

P1040333
BO
 - Suckling Pig (Sichuan vanilla, apple, peas) & Carabinero Red Prawn (“Har mi”, “Lo mein” & “Chili”)

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P1060244
MOMO – Beef (Radish, fermented black bean) & Beef (Cucumber, Antichoke)

THE Petit Four

P1040337BO – Petit Dim Sum (Eight-treasures)
Bo completely blew me away with this course. I loved how they used each of the Chinese “eight-treasures” to create these exquisite snacks. This is my favourite petit fours EVER!

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MOMO – Pork Shoulder
Yes, a fat slab of caramelized pork to end the meal and no, you are not in The Philippines. :P  The concept was truly refreshing.

THE Extras

P1040336BO does its part to give back to the society. Leung created the above dish (Sex on the beach) trying to raise awareness of AIDS. All proceeds from this dish will go towards HK AIDS Concern. This dish was crudely presented and it did not help when the waiter started laughing when explaining the dish. I was not impressed by the presentation (Who would?) nor the taste but I applaud Leung’s charitable efforts.

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And  what were “the extras” from MOMO?  Cute employees & parting kim chi packs for the guests.  :)

Overall – Both Leung & Chang served excellent food. Moreover, they managed to introduce a FUN element into the overall dining experience in their respective restaurants. TWO THUMBS UP.

BO Innovation
Add: Shop 13,2/f,J Residence. 60 Johnston Road,Wan Chai Hong Kong

Momofuku Seiobo
Add: The star. 80 pyrmont street, level g, Sydney, nsw 2009

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