Chicken Soup (Chinatown Style) at Bo Ky – NYC
I’ve been slow posting as of late due to a heavy workload at my job compounded with a cold I caught working late every day for two weeks in a row. I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised. Of course, the fact that my apartment didn’t have any hot water on Friday didn’t help matters. However, I realized cold water shouldn’t be taken for granted when running water stopped completely on Sunday. Sheesh, what a nice weekend.
Fortunately, my cold isn’t that severe, and I am somewhat functional except that I’ve lost my appetite entirely besides a strange craving for a Burger King Whopper. However, I am not one to give in to the nonsensical wonts of a terrorizing virus, so on Saturday, I decided I needed some chicken soup, specifically Curry Chicken Noodle Soup from Bo Ky.
Bo Ky is currently one of my favorite noodles places in Chinatown. It’s a no-frills Chinese restaurant that specializes in Chuichow cuisine. Usually when I go to Bo Ky, my go-to dish is the Fish Dumpling Soup with Flat Noodles (Ho Fun). As I mentioned previously, similar to the dumplings at Sheng Wang, the fish dumpling wrappers at Bo Ky are very dimply, which doesn’t seem odd if you trust Wikipedia (“Chaozhou cuisine is closer to Fujian cuisine and even shares many of the same dishes.”). (UPDATE: The dumpling skins are made from fish and the literal translation is fish skin dumplings.) The unusual dumpling wrappers aren’t the draw for me though, I like the fillings and the rich soup. The fillings, although you would think would be overly fishy, aren’t, and are very mild and don’t overpower the dish. The seafood broth is simple yet full of flavor and doesn’t need much of the condiments on the table, but maybe a dollop of chili oil if you need some heat.
The Sliced Beef Noodle Soup is another popular dish at Bo Ky. You’ll see a lot of people eating it around you every time you go there. Personally, although I love soft and sticky tendon, I find the soup a bit heavy and too sweet for my taste. It’s more of a sweet beef stew with a lot of gravy than a soup. If you are into that type of thing, this is the dish for you. If not, skip it.
On Saturday, I had the Curry Chicken with Flat Noodles. The curry is coconut milk based, which was a nice surprise, and came with eggplants, chicken, mung bean sprouts, and potatoes. The eggplants, as you can see, look slightly obscene in the photo but were nevertheless good. I would have preferred smaller cuts of eggplant more infused with the coconut curry flavor, but this was solved quickly by ripping the two large pieces of eggplant apart with my chopsticks and then letting them sit in the soup a bit. For those who like white meat, you may be disappointed as there were only bone-in legs and thighs, but I prefer dark meat and I don’t mind fighting with the bones. In fact, I usually prefer bone-in meat as it usually has more flavor. The chicken legs in this dish were packed with rich umami-goodness and were fall-off-the-bone soft. David ordered the Curry Chicken over Rice which was basically a thicker version of my order over rice. He liked his dish a lot, especially the tender chicken, which is saying a lot considering he doesn’t like meat in a lot of restaurants (he’s a former-vegan).
I’d like to say the Curry Chicken Flat Noodle Soup cured me and I magically jumped to my feet and later painted the town red, but in reality, I dragged myself home and watched Music and Lyrics on HBO. After which, I, in all honesty, declared to David that Music and Lyrics was indeed fine cinema. He promptly felt my forehead and told me I was burning up with a fever. Noodle soup at Bo Ky may not be a cure to the common cold, but it is a nice and tasty respite from an otherwise miserable day.
80 Bayard St (Btwn Mulberry & Mott St)
New York 10013