NOT what you'd get if you ordered 'sex on the beach' in Leung's restaurant — Photo courtesy of benjamin.nussbaumThink an edible 'used condom' on a bed of 'mushroom sand' entitled 'sex on the beach' and you might start to understand Alvin Leung's style of cooking. That particular dish is only available on special order now, but in Hong Kong where it was on the menu, it helps raise funds for AIDS awareness charities.
Leung is self-taught, like another famous UK chef, Heston Blumenthal, and like Heston, he also includes "serious experimentation and molecular art meets science" in his repertoire. But this is molecular cooking Chinese-style.
For his London restaurant called Bo, Leung, according to critics who have already been lucky enough to get a preview, will be doing Chinese twists on British classics. So what the Brits call 'toad in the hole,' normally a batter pudding filled with sausages, will be a frog's leg. And steak and kidney pudding will come in the form of a Chinese steamed bun. These two dishes will reportedly be available on his 98 pound menu, "Ode to Britain."
Cooking with liquid nitrogen is a hallmark of molecular cuisine — Photo courtesy of Stefano MaffulliThis is expensive cooking in an expensive part of town: Mayfair. And Leung has sunk over a million pounds into this new venture, much of it apparently of his own money. He calls himself the 'Demon Chef' and has a tattoo to prove it on his arm. Like many of our chefs nowadays, this guy is rock and roll, dressing in black 'whites' with expensive, cool blue-tinted glasses perched on his nose and a snippy modish haircut.
Fifteen-course chef's menus will cost around 138 pounds, and even his dim sum is about 6 pounds apiece. But he's not worried about the prices. With his own TV show, 'The Maverick Chef' and a healthy tranche of rich, food-savvy people in London, this should be a success in foodie heaven.