Thursday, September 1, 2011

Almaty Adventure: Hong Kong Layover

We stayed at the Novotel Nathan Road in Kowloon, Hong Kong for our one night layover in Hong Kong. The hotel is easily accessible from the airport via public bus A21 and getting of the #10 stop. The hotel is located in the Jordan area giving easy access to the plenty of restaurants and shopping. The Jordan MTR is also a 5 minute walk away which would give easy and cheap access to other parts of Hong Kong.

As Aclub Gold member, we were upgraded to a room on the Premier Floor but none of the benefits like the breakfast, internet and use of the lounge that would typically come with the room. We were also provided vouchers for a free welcome drink at the hotel bar which included house wine, beer or soft drinks.

Hotel Bar

Welcome Drinks

Staying here for the first time, we couldn't tell the difference between our upgraded room and the original room we booked in. The room felt on the small side but for Hong Kong's standard, it's bigger than a room in the Ibis we stayed in previous.

Not a nice view from the room
Review of Bo Innovation by Lydia
The highlight of the layover was the visit to Bo Innovation. Bo Innovation is a restaurant that tries to do their own unique take on typical Chinese cuisine. The chef is Alvin Leung that was won numerous awards and featured on a couple of tv shows.

We rushed over to Bo Innovation right after check-in for our lunch reservation at 1.30pm. They take reservations via email. The restaurant is easily accessible via the MTR, getting off at the Wan Chai station. The restaurant’s website has a pretty good map that helped us get there without getting lost. 

We decided to do lunch instead of dinner as they offer a much more affordable lunch set menu. The lunch set menu consists of a choice of 2 starters (either dim sum or “bo-classics”) a main, a starch and dessert). The menu was only 2 pages for the set lunch menu, making the selection easy as I take forever to decide if there is a long list in the menu selection. In addition, we ordered a couple more dim sum items and the famous molecular xiao long bao.

Cheong fun with truffles - perfect texture and thickness. The truffles gave a really nice earthy flavor to the dish.

Cauliflower risotto – perfect texture – not too mushy and had just the rice amount of crush. Went well with the truffles.
The xiao long bao is one of the dishes that Bo Innovation is famous for. It’s made “molecular style” where instead of the typical flour skin you get a thin algae layer on the outside. Inside the xiao long bao is supposed to be meat but instead you get just the soup. Normally xiao long bao is eaten with rice vinegar and ginger and in place of that the chef placed a piece of vinegar soaked ginger on top of the boa. We took this in 1 mouth full and the feeling was definitely unique. It tasted EXACTLY like a traditional xiao long bao but without the sensation like one would expect from it.

The spring roll was perfect - the skin was just fried just to the right crispiness, not too thick and went well with the creamy pesto chicken filling.

The cuttlefish ball with lemon kaffir leaves sauce. This was just ok - nothing "wow!". 
Spring rolls & cuttlefish balls

The cod ball looks were deceiving. It was freshly topped off at the table with premium olive oil. After taking the first bite, we just stared at each other with a large smirk – it was simply mind blowing with the explosion of flavors, soft, creamy, unique and different. Simply WOW!
The har gau was perfect – perfect thickness of the skin (hate those that are too thick!), fresh succulent prawns and topped with truffle. This made me fall in love with har gau again after hating it as Calvin used to describe har gau as just prawns wrapped in flour which made me really hate it after that.
We had the slow cooked suckling pig and langoustine for the entrees. The pig was ok and nothing special.

The langoustine however was pretty unique. It seemed like a play on the salted egg crab or shrimp dish that we would find in Chinese seafood restaurants in Malaysia. The salted egg sauce went well with the foam and mustard sauce.

After all the mains, we were served fried rice with fish roe which felt more like fish roe accompanied by rice as there was more fish roe then there are rice. Simply decadent and so sinful!
Dessert was Bo’s take on the traditional pineapple “polo bao” buns. It consists of a butter ice cream topped with a crispy pineapple “polocrust” with 2 cubes of pineapple sprinkled with salt and pepper. Yes, you read it right there were pepper on the pineapple. This was a bit too weird for me, but Calvin thought it was nice.
All in all, we were very happy with the food and service. The experience was very unique, special and some of the dishes were simply mind blowing.  Of all the food, our favorites were the spring roll, the cod ball, cheong fun, xiao long bao (just because it gave us a unique sensation of the food) and the dessert. Eating dim sum will never be the same again!
Picture with the chef


  1. Must try this Bo Inovation when I go HK next year.. sounds like an interesting place. What was the cost for the lunch menu?

  2. It was about 800 HKD for both of us. Definitely much more affordable than dinner. Would have easily costs twice that amount.