I'm not usually one to visit restaurants during soft openings but I couldn't resist the chance to try more of Bo's great fare in a sitdowny environment. The SO and I swung by early tonight, around 6:30, to a quiet room. Bo came out and we had a wee chat. He recommended the pork belly curry, one of his new dishes, and then we had to try the pad thai as that is only on his take out menu at the store and we hadn't been able to try it, living well outside delivery range. Of course we had to have a small roti canai as well. And we shared a milk tea too (they are very large).
The pork belly was lovely and tender, with lots of flavour. The curry was rich and ruddy, with that slight "grindiness" and body that I love, almost like there are ground almonds or something in it. The achar that came on the side was excellent, green and fresh with lots of chili heat. Even the stir fried veggies were done really well, still al dente and subtly flavoured. Ben of Chowtimes would be scooping up the curry sauce on his rice :-). The dish was $8.75.
Pad thai was one of the better ones I've had. No evil ketchup, a nice kiss of tamarind (I wouldn't mind even a little more), plump shrimp, and interesting ingredients like pickled turnip and banana blossoms for extra crunch and texture. The noodles were good if slightly clumpy in spots. This was $7.50.
We were already fans of the roti which we really didn't need, but when has that ever stopped me? Next time I will order it with (sigh) condensed milk. Both of us were stuffed by the time we left $26 later. A big group of nine were just coming in for a birthday celebration and they nearly filled up the place which only seats about 15.
It is a fairly utilitarian room but tidy. One of the two servers seeming to be confused and harried though there wasn't any apparent reason to be (nerves, maybe?). The food is all served in disposable containers with plastic cutlery and tossable chopsticks to emulate street food, which makes sharing a bit more difficult. I am okay with this but my inner West Coast granola self hopes that one day they will be compostable/recyclable :-).
Bo was sold out of his three Burmese dishes (tea leaf salad, ginger salad and mohingar) tonight soI can't wait for the all-Burmese Chowdown which Fernando is arranging for Saturday, August 28. I think Bo may be including a special fish head curry made from fish he is importing from Burma -- woohoo!
Couple of pix below with I surmise more to come from fmed, who was there an hour or so after us :-).
PS They have excellent air conditioning... 2546 East Hastings just east of Nanaimo