Bon Mar Che Bistro calls itself a specialist in “Hong Kong New Territories Style Village Food.” For those from the new territories, the restaurant feels just like home. “[T]his place looked and smelled like some place in rural Hong Kong. … Friendly waitresses, clean open kitchen where head chef, ‘B,’ worked furiously at the wok, karaoke version of cheesy 70s canto-pop playing in the background,” says keepon. “I thought, this place is great.”
They serve the great classic of the new territories, pun choi. It “is the soul of old Hong Kong, untouched by westernization and the motherland–China,” says keepon. Pun choi is “the tub of braised vegetables and meat,” says WBGuy. On the menu, it’s called HK Traditional Village Main Dish. It’s a big, shallow wooden tub full of cabbage, bok choy, tofu, fish balls, meat balls, and pig’s skin, served with your choice of toppings. You pay a per-person charge for the tub of stuff, and then extra for each topping.
A topping called 1/2 Tasted Duck is superb. “My taste buds were numbed by the overwhelmingly fatty, old, previously frozen ducks served in Cantonese BBQ places that I forgot how duck SHOULD taste: thin layer of fat underneath the skin to provide rich yet subtle flavor, fresh, never been frozen meat that tore off easily at your first bite,” says keepon. “I kept eating to reacquaint myself with the taste of duck of my memory: ducks bred for taste and not size.”
Bon Mar Che Bistro [San Gabriel Valley]
331 W. Garvey Avenue #D, Monterey Park