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.


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.


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.


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 … (more…)

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Seri Malaysia Restaurant on East Hastings, Vancouver

Updated: 4th March 2012; This restaurant had closed according to

Malaysian cuisine means a lot of different things. This is because Malaysia is a multi-racial country. While the Malays makes up about two third of the population, a large percentage of the population is made up of Chinese and Indians.

So when you mention Malaysian cuisine, it could mean either Malay cuisine, Chinese-Malaysian or Indian-Malaysian cuisine. They are distinctly different. Malay cooking is influenced a lot by Indian cuisine and is characterized by the use of spices.


There are many Malaysian restaurants in Metro Vancouver. Most of them are actually Chinese owned. As far as I know, there are only two pure Malay-Malaysian restaurants. Do you know why there are so few Malay owned restaurants? This is because most of the emigration from Malaysia are the Chinese and not Malays. I have a lot to say about the reasons and such but I guess this blog is just not the forum for it.

One of the Malay restaurants is Kedah House. We like their weekend buffet which is only $10. It is not a big spread but it is pretty good.

The other Malay owned Malaysian restaurant is called Seri Malaysia. We had been eating at Seri Malaysia many times already. If it had not been so far from home, we would have eaten there more. The food is authentic and good but the service is something else. Jamal, the man behind the restaurant often runs everything in the restaurant! But we expect that and have a lot of patience eating here simply because his food is good … well, most of the time.


You may click on the menu above to see a larger image. The menu is a 1-pager which includes a very good selection of Malay food.

When fmed organized a chowdown to Seri Malaysia, it was not hard to say “yes” even though the timing sucks for me. Actually, I ate there just two weeks prior.

I got to Seri Malaysia on the dot but everyone was already all settled down and ready to eat. I felt like I was late. Then I found out that all the food were already pre-ordered!

I was thinking … “Oh no, I hope they ordered my favourite dish”.



They did order the Briyani Kambing (lamb). Nine out of ten time, I would order this dish. Seri Malaysia makes this very well and is simply the best Lamb Briyani in town. While the serving is still big, I thought it used to be bigger. It was like ridiculously big that will be enough for two people. Of late the serving appears big, just no longer ridiculously huge.

Just underneath the rice is lots of … (more…)

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Crystal Mall Food Court in Burnaby

When I am in an adventurous mood for authentic Chinese food, there are two places I would go to often — the Crystal Mall Food Court in Burnaby and the Richmond Public Market. Here are two places where you will find food as it is prepared in China. These are also the places I used to call “MSG city” because I usually go away feeling thirsty after eating there.


Crystal Mall is just a short walk from my place of work. So, I go to the food court when I eat alone and can’t think of anything specific to eat. There are also other very good restaurants in Crystal Mall. For one, there is Abdul’s BBQ. A friend at work swears that is where you can get the best shawarma in Vancouver. My favourite Sichuan restaurant is also located there which serves the most amazing cumin lamb on rice. There is also the Top Gun Hot Pot which is one of the more well known hot pot places in Vancouver.

It was just a couple of weeks ago. Actually it was just a couple of days before the 8GTCC Hunan dinner. That was when the 8GTCC team members had a final meeting with Alvin Garden. After a very fruitful meeting, we decided to go to the Crystal Mall Food Court for dinner and continue with our discussion.

At the Crystal Mall Food Court, it was hard to decide what to get. There are so many choices to choose from. Dylan suggested that we try the noodles from the Huaxi Noodles Specialist.

I got the one with beef tendon to share between Suanne and I. I love beef tendon. I just love the texture and this is just perfect.

When I was young my mom told me that beef tendon is the penis of the cow. I don’t know why she told me that but it really scared me off eating it until I found out it was not true. Hmmm … maybe I’ll try telling this to Arkensen and Nanzaro and see if they believe me.

To me this noodles is perfectly done in every sense … from the tendon to the broth to the noodles. But I do think this is not the type of noodles for everybody. It does not have that appetizing look and for some the film of oil floating on top will put them off.


Today I want to tell you about a blogger unlike all that you know. Dylan is a member of the 8GTCC team and he is the only one in the team that reads and writes Chinese. The amazing thing is this — he is Caucasian!

He loves Chinese food and is very knowledgeable about the cuisine and culture. So he is a great resource when we want access to Chinese materials for our research. He has a blog where he translates Chinese literature to English. Of late, he had started another blog and this time on food!!!

That blog is called … (more…)

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Bo Laksa King’s Delivery

Updated: 17th Nov 2014; Bo Laksa King is closed.

ChowtimesNoWord32x32Full Disclosure
This post is written based on complimentary samples from Bo Laksa King’s new delivery service.

There is something really different about Bo Laksa King’s.

Some of you would remember me writing about Bo’s Laksa about two months ago. I went out of my way to check out Bo’s Laksa simply because of rave reviews from Chowhounders. It is not often that Chowhounders gets excited altogether at the same time.

It is definitely a find. I think it’s because Bo Laksa King’s has this certain element of surprise because they operate in such humble setting. You will never expect to find a laksa counter inside a convenience store anywhere else.


Not only is the laksa great, both Bo and his wife Tiffany are genuine people. People do find them very approachable. I remember Michelle telling me during the 12B dinner that they had such a great time chatting with Bo for TWO hours! They are obliging and can easily relate to just about anyone.

A lot of people are rooting for Bo. I sense a lot of support for him to expand his business. Well, he had finally done so — but said that he wants to not grow too fast and have the quality of his food suffer. So he had decided to start a delivery business — with an expanded menu. He just started the delivery business earlier this month.

Last week, Bo wrote me an email asking us to provide him our home address and phone number. The reason is he wants to send some samples to try. We were hesitant to accept this because we live in the south end of Richmond and he operates from Vancouver near the Joyce SkyTrain station. It is a long way to do delivery.

But he was very persuasive and seeing that Bo and Tiffany are such great people, we did not hesitate to help him promote his business to chowtimes’ readers. The only condition is that he must send us his Laksa! Other than that he can send us anything else he wants.


The timing were perfect. Bo sent the samples to us just in time when we  were about to get settled down to watch the Vancouver 2010 Opening Ceremony on TV. We love it and certainly very different from getting pizzas for sure.

Bo’s Laksa is second to none. It is still the same price ($7.50) and equally as good. The laksa soup was still really warm when we got it and he delivered this in two containers … one for the soup and the other for the noodles. This is a good way to prevent the noodles from getting too soggy. We like our laksa soup really hot and went to microwave it really hot.

From just serving a few dishes at his counter on Joyce St, he now has 33 items, many of them new. You can check all of his offerings on his new website:


After the Laksa, the next thing we tried was the Papaya Salad. We had heard also good feedback of his papaya salad but have never tried it before.

Bo’s Papaya Salad is $6.75 and consists of shredded green papaya, tomato, onions, cilantro, crushed peanuts, fresh red chilli, dried shrimps, green beans, mix with garlic, lime, and vinaigrette dressing.


What we like best about the Papaya Salad is that it has a lot of dried shrimps and a few chili sprinkled throughout that gives a bit of heat in some bites. It was crunchy as we munch on it. Taste-wise, it has a pleasant sourness and spiciness to it.


The Pan Thay Stir Fry is $7.75. This is described as … (more…)

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Bo Laksa King’s on Joyce and Wellington, Vancouver

Updated: 1st Feb 2011; This location had closed according to Bo is now located at 2546 E. Hasting, Vancouver.

I just gotta see for myself what this hype was all about.

When a group of pro chowhounds goes crazy in the forum over a particular food, it has to count for something. After having tasted something that costs about $5, they are yearning for more. They are even talking about throwing in $50 each to the chef to cook for them.

From the way I read it, everything that the chef creates, will turned out to be a winner. They had already been surprised by the chef weekend after weekend when the chef concocts something new.

So … I just gotta see for myself what this hype is all about.


And all these is happening in the most unlikeliest of places. All these is happening starting from one dish — Laksa.

Unless you live in the neighborhood, you will never walk into the Joyce-Way Food Market to buy your grocery. Even if you do, you will not even think they have an eatery in it.

This convenience shop is located on Joyce in Vancouver. It is just a short walk north of the Joyce Skytrain station. Word has it that some Aussie chowhounds stumbled upon this place and before you know it, the Vancouver chowhound community were scrambling over each other to check it out. All came out liking what they tasted.

IF … Even if … even if you went into this convenience shop, there is not sign of an eatery. It is tucked in a hidden corner. You gotta walk around some of the grocery display to see it.

The only hint you will see here is the orangey sign outside that says “Bo Laksa Kings’ – Famous Laksa and Wraps”.


The Bo Laksa Kings’ name got into the chowhound circuit initially because of their Laksa. No one really cares for the wraps. What really gets the chowhounds interested is what that is not on the menu.


Ladies and gentlemen … presenting, Bo Laksa Kings’!

Oh yeah, it is just a counter. It is mostly mean to be a to-go place. After all this is in a convenience shop. For good measures, they have two tiny round tables with four folding chairs if you so chooses to eat in. There is even ONE stool by the counter.


Even the cutleries are cheap looking. I was looking at the spoon and thinking to myself that it’s too small for Laksa. All these add to the intrigue of Bo Laksa Kings’.

Chef Bo was not around. His lovely wife was. It was just slightly past 4PM when Suanne and I were at the counter. We only planned to get a bowl of Laksa to share between the two of us. We just wanted to try the Laksa and the go for a real dinner afterwards.


It was an odd setting. You can see for yourself what the ambiance and decor Bo Laksa Kings’ has to offer. The odd customer walking into the last aisle ends up … (more…)

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Kari House Restaurant on Bayview St., Richmond

When Polly and I took a walk at the Steveston Harbour after dining at the Steveston Cannery Cafe, we walked pass this Kari House Restaurant by the water on Bayview & No. 1 Road in Steveston Village.  Polly had eaten at this Malaysian restaurant before and she enjoyed the view from the restaurant.  I have never dine here before.


What caught our attention is the new dishes brochure displayed on the front glass panel besides the lunch special for only $6.95.


Polly loves black vinegar pork knuckle.  It looks so scrumptious and makes ones mouth watering just thinking of the sourness of the vinegar.  So, we return to Steveston Village the very next week to try out this dish.


Kari House Restaurant has a very nice spot with a great harbour view.  The decor is very tropical with a wall painted with coconut trees and tropical scenery and the ceiling is covered with some fishing nets.  It is very bright with ceiling to floor glass panels facing the harbour.


Without hesitation, we ordered the Black Vinegar Pork Knuckle which priced at $12.95.  We ordered a bowl of rice to with this dish.  We were a bit … (more…)

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Complimentary Dessert from Tamarind Hill in North Vancouver

Hi All:

How would you like desserts like this … for free?

Coconut Crepes from Tamarind Hill
Coconut Crepes from Tamarind Hill

Tamarind Hill will be giving a complimentary dessert for every $35 spent in their new restaurant in North Vancouver.

We visited the Tamarind Hill on Lonsdale Ave about two months ago mainly because we wanted to check out if this new restaurant was as good as the popular restaurant in New Westminster. It was … even though the North Van restaurant is smaller than the first one in New West. We had blogged about our experiences here:

I wanted to let you know that our visit to the Tamarind Hill in North Van was unannounced. The staff did not realize who we were during the visit even though they noticed our camera. I think they assumed we were tourists because they asked us where we were from.

We paid for our meal. We are not paid in kind or money for this arrangement. We did because we wanted to give value to chowtimes readers — that reason and that reason only!

Tamarind Hill only realized that we had visited their restaurant after we posted our experiences on chowtimes and wrote to us about it. We took the opportunity to propose something that will benefit all parties … a free dessert to drive chowtimes readers to go out of the way to give Tamarind Hill a chance to show what they have to offer.

The details are simple: … (more…)

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Tamarind Hill on Lonsdale Avenue, North Vancouver

Everyday Friday Suanne and I go out for dinner just by ourselves. We leave the boys at home. They are happy to get rid of us, just as long as they get to play the PS3 and hog the computers. They appreciate time away from us as much as we do them. They think we don’t know but I know they practice wrestling moves with each other at home. When we are at home, we forbade the boys from strangling each other blue. Nanzaro especially, is a wrestling nut and is totally addicted to everything wrestling. I don’t know what to do with him really. He just loves that barbaric sport. He knows every wrestlers name and can even describe their outfit down to how many loops of shoe laces they wear.

But last Friday, Nanzaro decided to gatecrash our Friday dinner. As soon as he heard that we are going to the new Tamarind Hill restaurant, he decided to hang out with us instead of his ko-ko (older brother).

Logistically, it was going to be difficult. I would get off back from Burnaby, drive back to Richmond to pick Suanne and Nanzaro up and then on to North Vancouver. Believe it or not, that is almost 90km round trip! And you know how bad Friday traffic could be.

So we decided to try using the new Canada Line instead.


I bet you remember of the lines on the first day of service when rides were free. People are mad enough to wait up to 3 hours in line to get on the train. Crazy!

Well, my dear son was one of those crazy folks. Nanzaro went with his best friend and his dad to catch that free ride. They waited for 1.5 hours at the Lansdowne Station and then gave up. So Nanzaro was glad we are taking the train. It was rather confusing using the machines when Suanne insisted on using her FareSaver as part payment. Translink ticket machine is not some of the easiest to use if you ask me.


We met up at the Station by the River Rock Casino. They have free parking for now. Even though it is free, there were lots of spaces left in the multi-storey park and ride. I expected that a lot more people would have use the park and ride. Anyway, come Sep 8, they will charge $2 for parking.

I was not too impressed with the Canada Line. The cars we were in had too few seats. Almost 1/3 the train was a big empty standing only area. I realize that they did it that way because this line goes to the airport for baggage lugging passengers too. I noticed that the stations were designed just to fit the existing configuration of four cars. I would have thought that they would have built the platforms longer in case they need to extend it someday.


The best part of the journey is taking the seabus to North Vancouver. For those of you who had never been to Vancouver, the Seabus is the cheapest harbour cruise here. I always recommend visitors to try take the seabus. I am not sure what the fare is for the two-zone ticket … $4?

Vancouver is simply stunning viewed from the Burrard Inlet.


We took the connecting bus on Lonsdale Quay. It was just 5 minutes to the Tamarind Hill.


The Tamarind Hill is the newest Malaysian restaurant in Metro Vancouver. This is opened by the same people who also owns the Tamarind Hill restaurant in New Westminster. We had been to the Tamarind Hill in New West and we loved their food.

We found out about this new restaurant because the owner wrote informing us about it. They knew we had a positive review of our visit to their New West restaurant. Suanne and I decided that we go visit them incognito and unannouced — just to please you all readers.


The North Van restaurant is smaller than the one in New West. OK the picture above shows empty tables but it was at that time when that section was just cleared of customers that I managed to take a sneak shot. I was surprised that they have so many customers even though they were opened for just a few weeks. And it was quite glaring that we were the only Asian customers that evening. I remembered that restaurant in New West too has lots of white customers too which led me to think that Malaysian cuisine appeals to non-Asian too despite its spiciness.

They have an extensive wine list but we do not drink. The decor is red-brownish with roughly the same sort of theme as I vaguely recall in the New West restaurant. It is decidedly Oriental even Arabic, but certainly not Malaysian for sure. Even the piped music is western. All these do suggest to me that they try to target the non-Asian segment as their customer base.

But that’s about it. Am glad to see that the food is very authentic Malaysian and every bit as good as the ones in the Tamarind Hill in New West.


I ordered the Curry Lamb ($13.60). It is described on the menu as boneless lamb marinated with ground fennel and Malaysian curry, slowly simmered in coconut with fresh onions, garlic, cloves, cinnamon and coriander.

I really have to give this a thumbs up. It has a …

Continue ReadingTamarind Hill on Lonsdale Avenue, North Vancouver

Yummy Malaysian Delights in the Richmond Public Market

Updated: 13th Dec 2014; This restaurant is closed and the owner has reopened as John 3:16 Malaysian Delights.

Note: The latest post about the Richmond Public Market is of February 2011 and is found on this link.

It had been ages since we stepped into the Richmond Public Market.  We were shopping for groceries around that area and decided to go to the Richmond Public Market to get some desserts — ice plate specifically.  Something tells me that we could get it there.


The Richmond Public Market was a great idea which I felt went wrong.  Unlike the many public markets around Metro Vancouver, the Richmond Public Market seems to be suffering from some bad choices of tenants.  About the only thing that will draw us here is the food court.


The design of the Richmond Public Market is good.  It is brightly lit with a sky roof and the layout is practical.  However, they seems to allow all kinds of businesses here without much regard on how they fit in to the overall image.  For instance, I felt it strange to see a lot which sells mattresses and beds next to the butcher stall.

I am just not proud of my city’s public market really.


What is interesting at the Richmond Public Market is the food court.  It is like a collection of Asian hole-in-the-walls.  Obviously this is MSG-city but the food here is cheap and in many instances really authentic.  There are a few stalls which specializes on little known regional Chinese cuisine.

There is a stall just right at the entrance to the car park.  For some reason, this strategic spot had always been a Malaysian stall.  This place must have changed hands at least once in the past 10 years.  I am not surprised if it had changed owners several times already.

In this stall now is the Yummy Malaysian Delights.  They had on their menu a lot of Malaysian delights but we were only looking for this …


In Malaysia, this is called the ABC.  ABC is short for Air Batu Kacang, literally translated as Red Beans in Ice.  It is also known as Ais Kacang.  This is an excellent choice of dessert for summer.


Continue ReadingYummy Malaysian Delights in the Richmond Public Market

Weekend Buffet at Kedah House on SE Marine Drive, Vancouver

Updated 24 Aug 2013; the buffet is now $12.40 and payment in cash only.

Man … were we surprised, pleasantly surprised!

I was just checking our old posting on Kedah House and found that the last time we were there was three years ago, almost to the day.  I drive past Kedah House to and from work everyday and yet we had not eaten there for that long.

As always, Arkensen and Nanzaro wanted pho or sushi for lunch.  The boys can just live of those stuff everyday — together with instant noodles.  Suanne and I overruled that choice.  Suanne does not like raw sushi at all.  We finally settled for Malaysian instead.


We were going to drive all the way to Seri Malaysia in the far reaches of Vancouver until we remembered Kedah House.  For some reason we did not have a good impression of Kedah House’s food.  Perhaps that’s why we had not made an attempt to visit them after all these years.

Kedah House is located on SE Marine Drive (Vancouver) in a little strip mall just east of the Knight St Bridge.  Many years ago they used to operate on Fraser Street until they moved here.


This is what changed our perception of Kedah House.  They have a $10 buffet lunch on weekends.  [Note: Malaysians normally call all-you-can-eat as buffets].

The decor is really basic with lots of misplaced Tourism Malaysia posters all over wall.  As far as I remembered, it is much better than we visited this place 3 years ago.  It is cleaner and brighter.

The buffet spread is placed along the wall on two sections of a long table.  There was not a lot of varieties but more than enough for a good hearty lunch.  Despite that, the quality is pretty awesome for a buffet.


We were kind of surprised how busy this restaurant was on a weekend.  We got seated at a strategic location … just next to the buffet table!  It does make it easier for repeat trips.  Not sure about you, but I like many return trips to the buffet table for a “focused” selection of food rather than piling up the plate with all kinds of grub.

It is very Malaysian (or rather I should say “very Malay”) the way water are served in a plastic pitcher.  He he he … they even serve it in a very Malaysian type of glass too.  These kind of glasses are very common in Malaysian coffee shops, like 99.999% of the shops uses glasses of this design.


I will consider this as the “salad/appetizer”.  It is not really an appetizer as Malay cuisine does not really have the concept of appetizer (well, unless you count munching on dates is considered as an appetizer).  This is called Gado-Gado.  Oh boy … this is soooo authentic that reminded me of the comfort food I grew up with.

The best part of the Gado Gado is the peanut sauce.  They were marvelous and served warm too.  I drenched the entire salad with the peanut sauce.  I like the fact that they keep on refilling the peanut sauce so that they remain so deliciously freshly made on the buffet table.  This is perhaps the best Gado Gado on this part of the planet.

All the usual ingredients were there … cucumber, ketupat, turnip, dried tofu, rice cake and hard boiled egg.  Oh, talking about hard boiled egg, my mum (as in ALL mums in Malaysia) forbade me to eat overnight hard boiled eggs when I was young — I emphasize the word overnight.  It was OK for girls to eat overnight hard boiled eggs but not for boys.  Can anyone share with everyone why?

I had the cold hard boiled eggs.  I don’t care if anyone stare at my pants.  LOL!


Nasi Minyak is literally translated to as Oily Rice.  It was really fragrant.  We can pick up the smell from afar.  The fragrance is from the spices used, primarily star anise and curry leaves.  For once, forget the name but they are really delicious by itself.


This is a salad … freshly made from cucumber, pineapple, onions and chilli for that extra heat.  Although we were told that this is sometimes taken by itself, the waitress recommended that we do it like this … (more…)

Continue ReadingWeekend Buffet at Kedah House on SE Marine Drive, Vancouver