I think this is some exciting news that friends of Bo and Burmese food is gonna be happy to learn.
Suanne and I were at Bo Laksa King’s new restaurant a week ago. We were there with Grayelf and TimeToChow after the dinner at Luda where we decided to take go to Bo’s for some dessert.
End of (Laksa) Era … and Beginning of a New (Briyani) Era!
While we were there for desserts, Bo told us that he will be closing down his “flagship” counter in Joyce at the end of October.
It’s kind of sad to see that humble little counter in the Joyce-Way Food Market (original blog here). This “flagship” store is where Vancouver discovered the great laksa and other equally great Burmese fare that Bo served. It spread very quickly by word of mouth and before long people were making a bee-line to try his laksa.
That was just a little over 1 year ago when Bo was “discovered”. He had been running both the counter and the new place on East Hastings for a few months already. It is taking a toll on him and Tiffanie running two eateries. So it was not a surprise to anyone that he will have to let go of that humble counter sooner or later.
So, thinking that today is the last day I could get Bo’s Laksa from the “flagship” restaurant, I drove over to the Joyce location to get take out. For old time’s sake. 🙂
Yes, the picture above was the one I bought for lunch today.
Well, it seems like Bo had decided to keep the counter running for one more month. Yeah, instead of closing in end of October, the new closing date will be end of November.
The above is Bo’s “flagship restaurant”. LOL! Such humble beginnings.
So on the way out after getting the laksa, guess who stopped me as I was leaving the convenience store?
Earlier this year, Suanne and I attended the Burmese Water Festival where we had such a great Burmese feast (blog post and food porn here). The food was fantastic and not to mention free too! Of course the food was organized by Bo but there is another lady who played a great part in preparing the food too. Well, that same lady is the owner of the Joyce-Way Food Market convenience store.
So she stopped me as I was heading out. I was surprised that she still recognized me. Guess what she told me.
OMG, she told me that … she had plans for the counter. As soon as she said that my mind flashed back to the fabulous Chicken Briyani she made during the Burmese Water Festival. That dish was the best among all the great dishes we had at the festival.
And she said that she is going to make that spot into selling her Briyani! I think this counter has good fung sui. LOL!
She told me she is going to vacation in Burma in December and will start on converting this space for Briyani when she comes back in January next year. She thinks she will be ready to start business in February. Oh … I so look forward to that.
Am marking it on my calendar already!
An Update On Laksa Hot Pot
A couple of months ago (I think), I brought up this whole thing about having a laksa hot pot. I posted a youtube video of a popular Singapore hot pot restaurant which had people raving about their laksa hot pot.
If Singapore can have it, so can Vancouver. I wanted so much to try a laksa hot pot — not just any laksa hot pot but the best laksa hot pot. In short, I fancy a Bo-branded hot pot!
So I wrote to Bo asking if he will be interested in this crazy idea of mine. He wasn’t sure initially. As most of you would have thought too, the broth for laksa might be too thick and too rich for hot pot. There is also the question of how the various meats thrown into the laksa will alter the taste of the broth.
Bo said he will need to think about it. He said he will experiment with some ideas.
And he reported back to me that the laksa hot pot was a success! He tested it out with his staff and they liked it … a lot. So, I am closer to achieving my goal to taste a laksa hot pot!
Of course the next question I had for him is … “Bo, when?”
He can’t say. I bounced off the idea of getting his curry and going to another hot pot restaurant to eat it. But it is his laksa broth and he should have the final say on this. He can’t tell me when just yet because I think he wants to control this and wants to weigh his options. I understand that.
Bottom line, folks … It is no longer just a crazy idea. It is any day now that Bo will give me his plans and I’ll organize a chowtimes LAKSA HOT POT dinner at Bo.
Back to Our Dessert At Bo’s
Back to the dessert we had at Bo’s last week. LOL!
We did not order much. We had the Durian Semolia Cake (Durian Sanwei Makin) which is $2.
It was creamy and had good durian flavour.
We also had Black Sticky Rice Pudding ($2.50). It was served warm. It was really thick and topped with coconut milk.
But Bo loved us (no not just Suanne and I but Grayelf and TimeToChow too!) because we know him so well.
He gave us complimentary Spicy Squid Salad. It was great and I never had this at Bo’s. Yeah this is nice and I recommend you try this when you happen to be at Bo’s. It tasted refreshing and the sauce was what made this so good. The sauce is made of basil, cilantro, Thai chili, lime juice, and fish sauce.
He also gave us some Coconut Agar Jelly to try. This one is nothing special.
Actually this post is not about the dessert. I just wanted to let you know of the status of the Laksa Hot Pot plan and the new Briyani counter coming up in the Joyce-Way food market.
I am excited.
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Oh no! I don’t want to go to the Hastings location for laksa T_T
The new space won’t just be biryani (which is great) either from what I heard. The owner of Joyce-Way does a bit of catering for the Burmese community and will learn more during her trip.
Hi el_lobo_solo: I double checked with fmed yesterday and he confirmed that you’re the first chowhound to broke the news about Bo on the blogosphere. He he he … so, we are all relying on you to keep an eye on the space in Joyce-Way and feed us with whatever news that comes out. What’s the store owners name? I forgot but her briyani was absolutely fabulous. Ben
Her name is Moe Moe (said “Mu Mu”). I’ll miss the convenience and immediate faluda-laksa-tea leaf-roti canai-beef rendang-fixes of BLK Joyce.
What a shame!! I will miss going to Joyce-Way for laksa. Guess I’ll just have to make a special trip out to Hastings Street. I’m also looking forward to the biryani!!
Love the Laksa hotpot idea, Ben! Just proof that “Ask, and you shall receive”. I look forward to try more of Bo’s offering at the Hastings location and the chicken biryani at Joyce. Thanks for the tip!
No more laksa and roti on the way home…aww. I’m sad.
I went to Bo Laksa on Hastings two days ago and thought I’d tell you about my experience. Maybe I went in with a lot of expectations because of what I’ve read in your posts and other people’s comments but I don’t think it really wowed me as it did others.
I had the Laksa and it is definitely way spicer than I had expected. The bowl was pretty much 1/4 covered in chili oil. It was sad because I had to take the noodles out onto another bowl to eat and it wasn’t as tasty 🙁 The waitress said I should try it without the chili next time. The noodles also weren’t really cooked to the texture that I liked. It seemed kind of undercooked but overcooked at the same time. Kind of like when you have undercooked noodles and it is left over and you heat it up again later on it’s not undercooked anymore…but it’s almost overcooked. Does that make sense? I guess I was expecting something that was a little more chewy.
My friend had the pad thai and she did not like it at all… she couldn’t even finish it. It is different than your traditional Thai pad thai… it had a winey taste to it? I’m not sure what it was. I didn’t mind it and found it to be better than the laksa. I’m not sure what else she didn’t like about it… she just said it was different and left it at that.
All in all, my experience wasn’t a good one and I don’t think my friend liked it either 🙁 I know some other friends who want to try it so maybe if I go back with them I will try something else (like their butter chicken or roti wraps) and let you know 🙂
Hi Julie: What noodles did you get? I always had the vermicelli and never tried the yellow noodles before. To tell the truth, the laksa at Bo’s is not consistently great. Sometimes it is great and yet at time I tried it, it was just so-so (like the one I had yesterday). Take a look at the picture of the laksa broth in the second picture in this post. Is your laksa broth more oilier than mine? I am curious because 1/4 of chili oil is just disgusting. On the roti wraps, I don’t fancy Bo’s. Butter chicken is OK. I like you to consider trying the Pork Curry if you don’t mind the fat — they are great but eat with rice (too salty eaten on its own). The salad is great … get either the fermented tea leaf salad or the spicy squid salad.
Oh but the laksa hotpot sounds like a good idea!
Ah, expectations, so hard to manage! I love Bo’s stuff but even I don’t love every morsel that comes out of the kitchen. I’ve never been a fan of his roti canai dipping sauce, for example, but I can eat the roti itself till the cows come home.
I’m also less enamoured of his “stewy” dishes in general, finding the meat is sometimes a bit dry. Flavours are always good though.
I am not a fan of the butter chicken having only tried it once.
I have never had a weak laksa there, and I think the pad thai is my favourite in the city but it is definitely not the usual ketchupy one, using tamarind and traditional veggies instead. The chicken Thai basil fried rice is top notch, as are all of his salad-like offerings. That squid dish was delectable, with the tenderest squid bits I can remember eating. For sure you need to order right, the same way as you do at most restos in my experience.
One more thing to note: Bo is coming out with a new menu in Januaryish.
Great that you mentioned laksa hotpot! I’ve tried that many times at home and it’s good. However, if you use Bo’s kind of laksa sauce, I think you’ll find it tasted more like curry. I prefer the M’sian prawn noodle sauce or the Sarawak laksa sauce for the hotpot, much lighter. All you have to do is buy the packaged ingredients (rempah), add chicken stock & coconut milk and you’ll have a delicious hotpot base! Looking forward to try the briyani once it opens!
I too tried Bo’s Laksa in summer after reading about it so much. I didn’t like it at all. It tasted like a weak malaysian curry laksa. Say Ben. Where can I find more info regarding the Burmese New Year celebration? I want to attend it next year.
Hi Lissa: The Burmese Water Festival is held in the dates around April 13th every year. So, I guess the best way is to get to know the details is to check with Bo the week or two before then. Bo used to pass out the invites at the Joyce-Way location. Ben
is my computer tripping out or is that picture of the black sticky rice pudding moving?
Hi Grace: It happens sometimes on chowtimes. When there is an abundance of goodness, the pictures of the food does seems to the readers as moving, particularly if you had not have dinner yet. 🙂 Ben