A Beguiling Ode to Great Britain at Alvin Leung’s Bo London

Bo London baijiu cocktail

It’s been a little over a month now, yet I still find myself carrying on about how lovely my dining experience at Bo London was. I’ve enjoyed a fair number of fine meals since but, still, something about my time there lingers. Odds are my dinner will go down as the best meal of the year. And if not, well then, the rest of 2013 promises to be one of exquisite culinary delight.

Newly opened Bo London is the second restaurant of engineer-cum-chef, Alvin Leung. Born in London but a long time resident of Hong Kong, Leung is infamous for wowing critics and subduing cynics with unconventional dishes at his original restaurant, Bo Innovation. Located in HK’s affluent Wan Chai district, Bo Innovation received two stars in the Michelin Guide’s inaugural 2009 Hong Kong and Macau edition and is a fast rising star on San Pellegrino’s list of the World’s Best Restaurants.

During my visit, I indulged in Leung’s 12 course Ode to Great Britain tasting menu. Subtle, gracious and gorgeous, each of the dozen dishes amazed my palate and built gradually upon the strengths of what came before it. My first time tasting anything from a Leung kitchen, this was seductive dining at its best and at times presenting a wonderful overload of the senses.

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A tip of his chef’s hat to the best of British cuisine, Leung’s ode is as cheeky as it is inventive. For example, his send off of pub grub classic, Toad in the Hole, offers a rather literal interpretation of what its name suggests: a frog sausage served at the bottom of a deep dish of bone marrow with so called Chinese Yorkshire pudding, lotus root and more. Boasting no frog sausage as an ingredient but just as remarkably beguiling are Cloud (black sesame, ponzu, mackerel, ginger, rose) and English Mustard (langoustine, preserved duck egg, red cabbage, cauliflower, black truffles).

The Ode to Great Britain menu costs £98. Compared to much what I’ve tried at other upscale London establishments, this menu yields excellent value. Every dish featured is an absolute lip smacking delight and worthy of much contemplation. No dead air in the conversation during this dinner either! My guest and I had plenty to chat about in what was laid out before us. Accompanying wines and a starter baijiu (wheat based Chinese liquor) cocktail were wisely selected for us and always appearing at just the right time. Service was especially cordial and efficient.

The restaurant has a comparably priced 14 course Chef’s Dinner as well as a ten course set lunch and a dim sum menu served at the bar.

Bo London is located at 4 Mill St, London W1S 2AZ. Find out more at bolondonrestaurant.com.

Written by Chris Osburn