Bo Laksa King Bubbles and Bits on East Hastings and Nanaimo, Vancouver

Updated: 2nd Nov 2014; Bo no longer running this restaurant.

Bo has finally taken another step to expand his little business. A lot of the fans of Bo’s Laksa had been asking Bo to open a proper restaurant so that they can taste the entire repertoire of his food instead of just being limited to Laksa, Roti and Wraps.

And the sweet thing is that you can get free Laksa and Roti Canai too. Details are at the bottom of this post.

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The restaurant that Bo is opening is called the Bo Laksa King Bubbles and Bits. It is Bo’s joint venture with Bubbles and Bits.

The restaurant is located on 2546 East Hastings. That location is just east of Nanaimo. Looks like it is a great location too. The restaurant is bigger and more comfortable.

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I was joking with Bo that with the opening of the new location, he should not ignore his “flagship” restaurant. This quaint little counter-stall is where the now famous “Bo Laksa” began.

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Bo’s Laksa reached legendary proportions when the Vancouver chowhounds broke the news of this little counter inside a Burmese convenience store serving some of the most delicious laksa that they had ever tasted. We went to check this place out and it was really good (see our blog post here).

While Bo makes great laksa, he makes a lot of good delicious food too. Earlier this year, Suanne and I had the privilege to try more of Bo’s cooking when he invited us to the Burmese New Year Water Festival. You should check out the post here where I had posted pictures of the buffet spread Bo prepared.

So with the opening of the Bo’s Laksa King Bubbles and Bits on Monday July 26th, all of us will be able to taste over … 30 different dishes on a regular basis. Here is the menu:

APPETIZER & SNACK

FISH CAKE — 香煎鱼饼 — $4.75
Boneless cod fillet, coriander, green beans, red curry paste, served with sweet & spicy sauce.

SHRIMP CAKE — 香煎虾饼 — $4.75
Shrimp, coriander, green beans, yellow curry paste, served with sweet & spicy sauce.

ROTI CANAI — 印度手抓饼 — $3.99(small)$5.99 (large)
Authentic South-East Asian pastry pancake served with curry chicken dipping sauce or condensed milk and sugar for sweet Roti.

SATAY CHICKEN — 沙爹鸡肉串 — $3.50
Marinated chicken served with sticky rice, cucumber & spicy peanuts sauce. (3 skewers)

SATAY BEEF — 沙爹牛肉串 — $3.50
Marinated beef served with sticky rice, cucumber & spicy peanuts sauce. (3 skewers)

SATAY LAMB — 沙爹羊肉串 — $3.95
Marinated lamb served with sticky rice, cucumber & spicy peanuts sauce. (3 skewers)

SUMMER ROLL — 夏日卷 — $4.50
Rice noodle, carrot, black fungus, lentil pea, lettuce, rolls in rice paper wrap, served with Hoi Sin peanut sauce. (2 rolls)

SPICY SQUID — 酸辣鱿鱼 — $5.75
Blenched squid, onion, and garlic, cilantro, tossed in house made spicy lime vinaigrette.

CHICKEN STRIP — 甜辣鸡柳 — $5.50
Breaded baked chicken strip served with spicy sweat chilli sauce.

NOODLE

LAKSA — 椰香咖喱面/粉 — $7.50
Your choice of vermicelli or yellow noodle served with tiger prawn, fish ball, tofu puff, hard boil egg, chicken and house make authentic flavour coconuts curry broth.

MOHINGAR — 鱼汤米线 — $7.50 (THE NATIONAL DISH OF BURMA (MYANMAR))
Fish broth, onions garlic, ginger, lemon grass and tender core of banana stem, served with thin rice noodle, hard boiled eggs, and split pea fritters.

PAD THAI — 泰式炒粉 — $8.75
Thai rice noodle, eggs, shrimps, extra firm tofu, Chinese chives, dried chilli peppers, banana flower, bean sprouts, preserved turnip, stir fry in house made traditional tamarind sauce.

SINGAPORE NOODLE — 星洲炒米线 — $7.75
Stir fry rice noodle with egg, shrimps, BBQ pork, celery, green onion, cilantro, bean sprouts and house made curry sauce.

MEE GORENG — 印尼炒面 — $7.75
Spicy stir fry noodle with seasonal vegetables, chicken, pork or beef with house made sweet & spicy sauce.

RICE

NASI GORENG — 印尼炒饭 — $7.50
Wok fired rice with shrimp, rump steak, shrimp paste, chilli, shredded lettuce, cucumber and fried onion.

PINEAPPLE FRIED RICE — 菠萝炒饭 — $8.75
Wok fried rice with chicken, shrimp, mix vegetable, cashews, pineapple tidbits, and house made curry sauce

THAI BASIL CHICKEN FRIED RICE — 泰式香叶鸡炒饭 — $6.75
Wok fried rice with chicken, Thai chilli, Thai basil, julienne red bell pepper, garlic and cilantro.

DRUNKEN BEEF — 酒醉牛肉饭 — $8.75
Stir fry beef steak with lemon grass, ginger, garlic, hot pepper, basil, shitake mushrooms, and house made sweet soy sauce, served with rice.

BASIL EGGPLANT — 香叶茄子饭 — $7.75
Stir fried eggplant with basil, chilli peppers, and dried shrimps, served with rice.

BEEF RENDANG — 马来咖喱牛肉饭 — $8.75
Marinated beef slowly cooked with coconuts gravy and Bo’s special spice, served with rice.

CURRY CHICKEN — 缅甸咖喱鸡饭 — $7.50
Marinated bone in chicken slowly cooked with Bo’s special curry spice, served with coconut rice and spicy cucumber salad, served with rice.

BUTTER CHICKEN — 印度牛油鸡饭 — $7.95
Boneless chicken cooked in house made creamy butter chicken sauce, served with veggie, naan bread and rice.

PORK CURRY — 缅甸咖喱猪肉饭 — $7.50
Marinated pork belly slowly cooked in house made curry sauce, served with rice.

LAMB CURRY — 缅甸咖喱羊肉饭 — $11.75
Marinated tender lamb meat slowly cooked with Bo’s special curry spice, served with rice.

SOUP

TOM YAM — 泰式酸辣汤/汤粉 — $5.75
Your choice of chicken or shrimp in clear soup make from lemon grass, kaffir lime, hot peppers, lime juice, and mushrooms. (Extra $1.00 for adding vermicelli)

TOM KHA — 泰式椰香酸辣汤/汤粉 — $5.75
Your choice of chicken or shrimp in straw mushrooms and coconut broth flavoured with galangal, kaffir lime, hot pepper, lemon grass, and lime juice. (Extra $1.00 for adding vermicelli)

SALAD

LAHPET THOKE — 茶叶沙拉 — $7.50 (FERMENTED TEA LEAF SALAD)
Pickled tea leaf, tomato, cabbage, garlic chip, roasted peanuts, sesame seeds, broad beans, mixed together with fresh lime juice seasoning.

JIN THOKE — 姜丝沙拉 — $6.75 (BURMESE GINGER SALAD)
Pickled Ginger with cabbage, tomatoes, roasted peanuts, broad beans, sesame seeds, garlic chip and chick pea powder.

GREEN MANGO SALAD — 青芒果沙拉 — $6.75
Shredded Mango, cabbage, fried onions, garlic, crushed peanuts, roasted chilli flakes, dried shrimps, and mix with cilantro, lime, and vinaigrette dressing.

PAPAYA SALAD — 青木瓜沙拉 — $6.75
Shredded green papaya, tomato, onions, cilantro, crushed peanuts, fresh red chilli, dried shrimps, green beans, mix with garlic, lime, vinaigrette dressing.

PICKLE MANGO SALAD — 腌芒果沙拉 — $7.50
Pickled green mango mix with red onion, crushed peanuts, dry shrimp, fried onions, sesame seeds, garlic chips and chick pea powder.

I like Bo’s food like a lot of people does. That above is going to take some time to eat through the list for sure.

One thing I told Bo is that between the location and quality of food, the quality of the food is the  most important. On one hand I selfishly wanted Bo to continue to be small so that the quality doesn’t change but then I know  Bo Laksa King will need to grow.

Bo says he knows that quality of the food is the most important thing he needs to protect. We’ll see how this turns out.

The “flagship” location on Joyce will still continue to operate and no, he is not closing it down.

BTW, please remember that while I posted this ahead of time, the restaurant on East Hastings is not opening until Monday, July 26th. The restaurant will open proper on August 8th. Between July 26th and August 8th, it will be his “demo period”, trial run so to speak.

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Between July 26th and August 8th, you can try Bo’s Laksa and Roti at a discount. The regular and discounted prices are:

  • Laksa: Regular at $7.50 and Discount at $5.00
  • Roti Canai: Regular at $4.00 and Discount at $2.50

I know it is kind of strange. If you want to take advantage of the discount, you have to buy the coupons above from Bo’s “flagship” location on Joyce. You buy the coupons and then go to use/redeem it at the East Hasting location.

Let me save you some trouble. Bo gave us three and three coupons above. If you want it AND only if you can make it during that validity period, just send an email to suanne@chowtimes.com along with your mailing address and which coupon you want (roti or laksa) and we will mail it to you. Since we have only limited coupons, we will only send one per person. I think it will go very fast … so, once it is all accounted for, I will post an update here.

Update: all the coupons are accounted for already.  Thank you for the quick responses.

The rumour has been swirling around for a while already.

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  1. ooooh YUMMY!!! gonna go there right now!!!

    1. No, no, no … WAIT! It is not opened until Monday next week.

      1. Hi Ben: I went to the one by Joyce!!!

  2. Hey Ben and Suanne! I’m new to your blog and have been following in preparation for my trip up to your city in August. I love, love, love laksa… do you know if the restaurant will be open for lunch? We won’t have a car until our last day in Vancouver proper, but we’ll be leaving town around noon-ish. Wanted to grab lunch there on our way out. Thanks!

    1. Hi Mooweisqrd: The new Bo Laksa King location on East Hastings will be opened from 11AM to 11PM. Ben

  3. The Joyce location is close to Joyce SkyTrain Station so no car is needed. No excuses to miss it! go go go!

  4. Thanks for posting the menu details, Ben — I’d heard about the opening on Chowhound but am thrilled that Bo will be offering his pan-Asian menu in a sitdown environment. The takeout option from the original store never panned out for us Westsiders :-). I’m keen to try his mohingar, and of course all of his lovely Burmese salads are already high on my list of favourite things to eat. The new location is also 100X more convenient for me so that is a big bonus. I will Bo and Tiffanie the best of luck in their new venture.

  5. Can’t wait to try it!!

    1. Went with a bunch of friends yesterday. I tried the pickle mango salad as well as Laksa and Roti. All very flavourful and was enjoyed by everyone. Laksa was as delicious as when I had it from the Joyce location…medium spicy to me but worth the burning!

      Roti was very good, with a nice crust on the outside and tender layers inside. The accompaying curry dipping sauce was a bit soupy, but we discovered at the end that it needed to be stirred up first. Pickle mango salad was interesting in textures, but slightly too salty (probably from the brine?) for my tastebuds. Maybe next time I’ll got for the tea leaf salad or fresh green mango salad.

      I hope Bo gets real dishes as everything came in take out/plastic ware and made it hard to eat. Decor was simple and homey.

      We were the only table there and Bo even came over to chat with us! He told us he will be importing a special fish from his home country later in August and invited us to come back to try it.

  6. New Hastings Location

    I’m not sure what I expected, but what I got far exceeded my expectations. I just got in from a preview at the new Hastings location and everyone in my group of 20 was more than pleased with their meal. Amazing flavours — so tasty, great prices. We are an international group who love good food. Thai, Indonesian, Indian, Pilipino, Chinese and Canadian all found food that they loved! Stephe, Bo, Tiffany thanks for a great evening of wonderful food and a friendly place to enjoy it. We will be back! I promise! We’ll probably be bringing friends in this week.

    1. Hi Glen: What are some of the food you had that you found particularly good and worth calling out? Ben

      1. I had the Drunken Beef and tasted the Roti Canai as well as the Laksa. What really got me was the Indian guy I was with wanting to know how they made the Roti and the Indonesian guy inhaling the satay. Everything seemed to be authentic and really well cooked.

  7. I think Bo’s laksa is the best I’ve had in Vancouver, not that I have any expertise. My mum, who’s been to Malaysia and Indonesia, is a fan also. And the roti canai is very very good at their original store, so if they’re doing it the same way (a la minute and fresh) then I’m not surprised your friend was inquiring :-). I’m already dining out four times this week or I’d be there!

  8. If I were to give constructive feedback to help this restaurant grow is to let the team know that it is absolutely critical for Bo to choose & hire keen staffs to handle the original store at Joyce to ensure quality of the food served is at par with what it used to be served by Bo.

  9. I had the tea leaf salad and monhinga, dishes that are quite unique to Burma. The food was excellent because it was prepared with the correct ingredients, the way it is done in Burma. I had a chat with the chef and he told me that his main goal is to prepare food in an authentic manner without making compromises. He is a man of principles! The service was very friendly and relaxed. By the way, I was born in Burma.

  10. We hit up Bo for his pork belly curry and pad thai tonight. He was out of the Burmese specialties Kenneth tried which was too bad (I’ve had the tea leaf salad a few times and it is excellent) but we were very happy with our meal. Roti canai was excellent as usual.

  11. Read that Bo has proper cutlery and dinnerware now, woohoo!

  12. What happened to Bo Laksa?!!?

    I was there last Saturday with another couple after the Whitecaps game and that has to be the absolute worst service I’ve experienced in a long, long time. The took over an hour to serve a pad thai dish. they totally messed up with the orders. The laksa was so unlike the previous time I had it.It was a cheap curry version. Others who came much later had their pad thai served before us. They completely forgot our order although the waitress kept saying that it was being prepared.

    I would not recommend this place.
    Terribly disappointed.

  13. Hey, I think I saw an ad that this location is for sale… anyone know the story behind that, and if Bo may be moving on to other ventures or other locations?

  14. My sister’s been telling me about Bo’s when it was situated in Joyce. I was planning to make a trip to their Hastings location Bo’s but according to Urbanspoon, the restaurant is now closed. Does anyone know if Bo relocated to a different spot?

  15. Does any one what happened to Bo Laska King’s Hastings location. Went there the other day and apparently Bo sold the business months ago….if you know, I’d be interested to know what happened?!? Thx in advance.

  16. I understand Bo has gone back to Myanmar. Last I heard He was working with refugees on the Myanmar Thailand border. The new owner is still doing the same dishes but personally I don’t think as well.

  17. Hmm, I bumped into him a month or so ago and he was working as chef at the newish outpost of Jethro’s on Fraser…

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