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Patrick | Sep 11, 199906:20 PM     1

Does anyone ever eat at Bo Ky, the Vietnamese soup place
on Bayard St. in Chinatown? I ate lunch there today for
the first time in a year and was bowled over, as usual,
by the deliciousness.

The atmosphere is negligible, but appropriate: lots of
big round tables with strangers packed together, like in
dim sum restaurants, and a few rectangular tables. Huge
vats of soup steam in the window and rows of roast ducks
and chickens hang from the ceiling.

The menu pretty much contains only noodle soups, and I
always order the same thing: #12, the chicken curry
soup. You can choose what noodles you want; I always get
the rich yellow egg noodles.

The broth is thicky and turmericky; the large bowl
contains several pieces of moist, slow-cooked chicken,
some potatoes, and eggplant at just the right softness
and oiliness. A fresh lemon wedge sits on top for
squirting into the soup. It's pretty powerful on the
sinuses as it stands, but the adventurous can add
excellent pickled chilis and hot sauces from the
selection in the middle of the table -- I no longer
bother, because there's no use tampering with
perfection.

On either side of you old men slurp their noodles
loudly, you drink tea out of a styrofoam cup, and the
whole thing comes to four bucks. The other soups, mostly
seafood non-curries, look tasty as well, but I just
can't resist #12. If anyone has tried any of the others,
please let me know!

Patrick

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