I would never have known about this little gem hidden in the Joyce-Collingwood neighbourhood if it wasn’t for Chowtimes. Ben & Suanne have consistently shown why they are the premier source for food recipes and restaurant reviews in Vancouver. How many years has it been? They’re still on top of things!
After a horrifying shopping experience at Metrotown amongst the crowds, I had my mind set on getting some Laksa for dinner. Accompanying me was Jeff and Fatty. Stupid me, I knew the location, but I didn’t realize it was that close to the Joyce skytrain station. We waited 15 minutes for the #27 bus to take us 2 blocks north up Joyce. We could have walked there in 2 minutes…….dur.
So, Bo Laksa King’s is located just inside the Joyce-Way Food Market, and you should be able to see their sandwich board outside. If not then..you’re probably in the wrong area.
So, probably the last time that I had Laksa was at Ellie in Richmond, which has been closed for a while now..but I love how it’s basically, curry with noodles. We were just standing outside the market when Bo opened the door and invited us in from the cold to take a look at the menu and decide. How warm and inviting, I thought.
So without even any prompting, Bo and his wife began to describe their Laksa and the other items on their menu. I already knew I wanted Laksa, but it was good to hear them describe how they make it, what goes in it, etc. Bo even ladled some of his laksa soup into small cups for us to try before deciding. Now that’s good customer service! It has a nice mild spicy to it, and is rich and creamy without being heavy.
So Fatty and I both went for the Laksa, while Jeff, graciously and thankfully decided to get something else and try the Burmese Coconut Rice w/ Curry Chicken & Spicy Pickle Cucumber Salad. Both are priced at $7.50.
The setting is a little strange, it’s two tables & 4 seats, and ONE single stool at the counter. All this tucked away into the corner of the grocery store. Who cares though? You can go to Taipei or any other Asian country and eat the BEST. FOOD. EVER. from street stands, while the poor tourists are paying out their ass in fancy restaurants.
Oops, what a tangent. Our bowls of Laksa arrived and it was exaaaaaaactly what I wanted. A bowl of piping hot soup, and another bowl full of ingredients.
I had the yellow noodles while Fatty had the vermicelli. Each comes with prawns, chicken, fish balls, tofu puff, boiled egg, onions, cilantro, peppers and lime.
I was worried that I would make a mess when I had to pour the soup into the noodle bowl, so I had Fatty go first. No spillage? Great! Now I could pour mine without worrying.
Jeffs Burmese Coconut Rice w/ Curry Chicken.. I think this is a very generous serving!
Look at the layer of oil on that curry. Deliiiicious. Also, the many chunks of chicken. I tried a bit of it, and I loved how the meat was just fall off the bone tender. Bo described how he made it, but all I can remember was “slow cooked” and “special curry blend”. Sorry..it’s hard to focus on eating and listening at the same time.
So Bo also told us about Burmese Tea. He brought over a container of Burmese tea leaves, which were very fragrant. Similar to milk tea, the tea is brewed & then condensed milk is added. Then it is “pulled” from cup to cup, to make it foamy and frothy. I should have taken a video of this instead, was pretty coool.
Foamy and not too sweet, at $1.50, forget about getting milk tea for $3.50+… get this instead!
I gotta say, I wanted to try everything on the menu but Fatty was nearly entering a food coma. However…I got suckered in and I really wanted some Roti Canai. Bo described how it can be both savory & sweet, and so I asked if he could prepare it both ways.
Here he is, flattening and spreading out the roti dough. At one point, some of the ghee (clarified butter) squirts out. This is what makes the many layers of the roti canai.
After the Roti cooks and gets all nice and oily & crispy on the griddle, Bo claps the roti to give it a fluffy and crispy texture. Then he pours condensed milk on top… mmmm can you taste it already?
Finally, he tops it up with sugar and rolls it up.
The savory was awesome, sweet but not too sweet, and full of layers & buttery goodness.
Loved everything that we ate, but I just couldn’t eat anymore. I will be back again to try out the pickled tea leaf salad. Even asked Bo if I could get a picture with him! He told me that in the new year, they’ll set up a website for delivery and all that jazz…so keep your eyes peeled.