31 August 2009

New Bo Ky Restaurant

CHINA

Emblazoned entirely by institutional fluorescent lighting, New Bo Ky is all about the soup. When something tastes good, the environment is not important, and when you have to spend less than $5 on a bowl of filling soup, you don't mind that they don't spend their earnings on decoration. You probably also don't mind the sleepy service, with waiters yawning as they bring the menus.

The entire restaurant is bilingual, with Chinese characters and Vietnamese sharing space. The menu offers quite a few Vietnamese dishes as well, and I found upon inquiry that the owners are Chinese but grew up in Saigon. Their family hails from northern Guangdong province, so their cuisine is a bit of a mix of everything.


You have a choice of noodles for any soup ordered, mixing and matching is no problem despite what any actual menu item might say. One highlight is the fish dumplings ($4.75, above, left) which is actually a bit misleading. The inside of the dumpling is normal pork, it is actually the wrapper that is fish, the same material as used for the fish balls that you might see in many Chinese and Vietnamese soups. The resulting dumpling is unique, and very tasty. I would definitely order this soup again.

The sliced pork gan cham ($4.50, above, right) I actually substituted egg noodles for (gan cham are lai fun noodles, which are called "silver needles" in Cantonese), which turned out the be a mistake. The egg noodles are of the dried variety you will find in a pre-packaged ramen bowl. The pork is also surprisingly dry, since it is submerged in the soup. The gan cham noodles actually do look like needles and are made of rice. Similar to udon, just much shorter.

The restaurant is somewhat famous for their spicy sauce (below), a mixture of pepper and some kind of shrimp paste by the taste of it. It is sold in the front to take home, but each table has its own source as well.



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