Bo London to take diners “right to the boundary”
Alvin Leung, the self-styled “Demon Chef” and creator of “X-treme Chinese cuisine” is promising to take diners “right to the boundary” when his Bo London restaurant opens next month.
This will be the first overseas venture for London-born Leung, whose Hong Kong restaurant Bo Innovation currently holds two Michelin stars and was ranked 52nd in this year’s edition of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants.
He indicated that the launch would be supported by a London series of his TV show The Maverick Chef, which sees Leung go on a gastronomic tour of cities, guided by a “female celebrity foodie friend”.
Although praising London’s “sophisticated” restaurant scene, which he feels includes “some of the best Chinese restaurants in Europe”, Leung told the drinks business: “I don’t think anyone is going to the extreme. I’m going right to the boundary where you will get the excitement and the exotic.”
Despite his use of molecular techniques and confirmation that the Bo London menu will incorporate inspiration from UK ingredients and culture, Leung rejected the terms “fusion” and “molecular” for his cooking style, “not because they’re bad, but because people have misinterpreted them.” Instead he summed up his “X-treme” approach as “exciting, extreme, exotic, experience, expensive”.
Insisting that “I get inspiration from culture, not just food”, Leung was full of praise for the opening and closing ceremonies of this summer’s Olympic Games. “After seeing that it provides me with even more inspiration,” he observed. “I want to be out there with McQueen and The Beatles.”
For the moment, however, Leung remained secretive about the menu for his Mayfair restaurant, saying only: “There’ll be flavours you might have had in London, but I’m going beyond bok choi with ginger. There must be a bit of mystery to the dish.”
As for his wine list, Leung noted: “We’re known in Hong Kong for our wine pairings,” indicating a focus on “restaurant friendly wines, notably Pinot Noir.” Despite professing a personal passion for Bordeaux, Leung said of Cabernet Sauvignon: “If you have a wine that takes three hours to breath, I don’t think that’s restaurant friendly.”
Bo London will also carry Leung’s own-label range, “The Demon”, which features a Bordeaux blend, Champagne and Riesling.
As for China’s own wine production, Leung said: “We will have Chinese wine on the list, but don’t expect five pages.”
An extended version of this interview will appear in a future issue of the drinks business.