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Burmese Feast in Bo Laksa King’s Bubbles and Bits, East Hastings

There is something different about Bo.

I just can’t figure out why people like him so much that they are rooting for him. I have not come across any restaurateur so well supported by the local foodie community. I mean, the support came not from just any local foodie community but it came from none other than the chowhounds of Vancouver.

Maybe it is because of his food. His laksa is second to none. Maybe it is because he had carved a niche out for himself by serving the one of the kind Burmese fare. Maybe it is because of his humble nature.

Whatever it is, almost everyone I know roots for him and wants him to succeed. I think he is a very lucky guy. With this kind of support, the restaurant just cannot fail.

Ever since the discovery of Bo Laksa King almost a year ago, there had been talks about getting Bo to whip up a Burmese feast for the chowhounds. While Bo was willing, the problem was logistics. He could not host the Burmese feast in his little flagship “restaurant” … which seats a grand total of FOUR people initially. You see, Bo Laksa King has a humble beginning operating as a counter inside a convenience store. For those of you who have never been to Bo Laksa King, you gotta just read the post where we followed up on the chowhound lead and fell in love with Bo’s Laksa.

So, almost one year later Bo had finally moved in to a proper restaurant. It is a joint venture with a friend of his who had been operating a bubble tea shop called Bubble and Bits. I can’t help but notice that the words “Bo Laksa King’s” is smaller than Bubble and Bits on the signboard. This tells me that Bo is basically operating in the premises of Bubble and Bits. Not that it matters to us.

The good thing is now we can enjoy Bo’s Laksa is a more comfortable confines and he is able to expand on his menu.

So with a place able to host the Burmese feast, FMED worked with Bo to put together an exclusive Burmese Feast for the vanchow community. The moment I saw that event announced, Suanne and I quickly signed up because we know this will be a very popular event.

Indeed it was. Bo Laksa could only cater to 24 people and the places were filled very fast. Some were put on a wait list. This is despite the fact that this Burmese feast is not cheap. It is $55 per person.

Not knowing what to expect, we were quite surprised how well setup the dinner is. He he he … a few weeks earlier, the chowhounds were talking about how Bo need to move away from using plastic cutleries and serve his food in real plates. They were even talking about helping him get a commercial dishwasher too.

So we had metal cutleries, ceramic dish wares and drinking glasses. Yeah, it was things we take for granted from other restaurant but for Bo, we were somehow glad to see that. The table cloth was made of paper but at least the color matches the restaurant. :-)

Bo even printed a menu of the night too. I am a stickler for details. I saw that little crown on top of the letter “i”. Bo had told me that he wanted to have a small crown as the logo before. I was wondering how he printed that crown because I half suspect that some chowhounds help him print it the way he wants it.

A couple of words from FMED and Bo before the dinner got started. Bo came out to explain each dish as it was served. We all appreciate this because the learning is as important as the food to many of us food geeks.

The first course is called the Lahpet Thoke. This is something you could sometimes get at Bo Laksa. In English it is called the Burmese Tea Leaves Salad.

This was a lovely start. The pickled tea leaves to make this is from the hilly plateau of the Shan state in north east Burma. This dish is uniquely Burmese and is one of the national dish. It is customary that this salad is served with tea when greeting visitors.

The salad has fried soy beans which gives this salad the crunch. Other ingredients include tomato, chili, dried shrimps, preserved ginger and dressed with peanut oil. This is an amazing salad … it is crunchy, lightly sour and tasted nutty.

On the side are raw garlic cloves and Thai chili padi. We were told that the traditional way to eat this is to eat the salad alternating with biting  a small piece of the raw garlic …

… and the really hot chili. The raw garlic and the chili gives the salad an extra kick.

The Pepper Corn Glass Noodle Soup does not look like much if I must say. I mean, it does … More on following page. Click here to continue reading

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