Thursday, December 5, 2013
I was saving Burma Superstar for the last of the mohingas (good pun, eh?) but fate, otherwise known as poor planning, interceded. Burma Superstar is both the most visible and the most controversial of Burmese restaurants in San Francisco, beloved by hipsters, but meh-ed, to put it politely, by Naomi Duguid, who knows a thing or two about Burmese food. By hitting the other seven joints first, I would be better equipped to form a fair assessment of the relative merits of BSS's mohinga.
I've previously reported on mohinga from Burmese Kitchen, Sapphire Asian Cuisine, and, in passing, the Lil Burma food truck. Upcoming will be Mandalay, Pagan, Yamo and Little Yangon.
Where slurped: Burma Superstar, 309 Clement St. at 4th Avenue, San Francisco
Posted by Gary Soup at 10:42 PM
Thursday, November 28, 2013
I've established a personal tradition of having duck for my fowl of choice on Thanksgiving, and with the jury (of Shanghainese in-laws) still out on dinner plans, I decided to get a leg up at lunchtime with a trip to Hai Ky Mi Gia.
in an official blogger capacity for the mee pok, is a Chaozhou Chinese (by way of Vietnam) establishment in the Tenderloin that ranks up there with Chinatown's San Sun as one of the great bargain dedicated Asian noodleries of San Francisco. More than any other eating establishment in town, it is associated with duck legs. Though only three of the 31 soups on HKMG's menu feature a braised duck leg, nearly 60 percent (29) of the last 50 Yelpers to review it mention having (or having had) one of them. Hai Ky Mi Gia is a hole-in-the-wall-and-a-half is size and is always busy, so that adds up to a lot of duck legs. You can get the braised duck leg with wontons and noodles, ho fun noodles, or egg noodles (choice of thick or thin). You can also get a duck leg on the side, in case you want a two-legged bowl of noodles.
I hadn't bothered to check if HKMG was even open on Thanksgiving Day, but was guessing that they were. At it turned out, they were open for lunch but closing at 3:00, as were some others of their Larkin St. noodle neighbors. When I arrived at 1:30, the restaurant was packed, and I had a short wait before I was given a seat at a communal 6-top.
It took about 10 minutes for my bowl of noodles to arrive, accompanied by a small saucer of carrot shreds and cucumber slices. After tasting the broth, I added a little chili oil and a couple of squirts of what I think was oyster sauce from an unmarked mystery squeeze bottle. I eschewed the carrot shreds and chewed the cucumber slices, but declined to add either to the bowl, which was adorned well enough with my favorite rabbit food, cilantro.
Where slurped: Hai Ky Mi Gia, 707 Ellis St; at Larkin St., San Francisco
Posted by Gary Soup at 9:19 PM
Thursday, November 21, 2013
The color of the Burmese noodle soup called Ohn No Khao Swe comes from turmeric, not saffron, but eating it at Sapphire Asian Cuisine today had the 1966 Donovan hit playing in my head (where it's still playing as I write). I've blogged previously about Sapphire Asian Cuisine, the Chinese food steam table joint with a separate menu of made-to-order authentic Burmese food as a seeming afterthought, and of Ohn No Khao Swe, the dish that by all measures should be ranked a close second to mohinga, the catfish chowder considered Burma's national dish.
Here's a video lesson on making Ohn No Khao Swe, taught by none other than Yadana Nat Mai, alias June Bellamy, last princess of Burma:
[Added 24 November]
Another video lesson for making Ohn No Khao Swe from the younger generation, in the person of London blogger/author MiMi (@Meemalee on Twitter) and a favorite resource for Burmese food knowledge:
Posted by Gary Soup at 9:34 PM