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Restaurants & Bars 2

Boi -- Poor

cabrales | Jan 7, 2004 09:19 AM

I had a disappointing meal at Boi recently (Vietnamese-type restaurant at 246 East 44th). I do not intend to return.

(1) Cha gio -- Crispy packets stuffed with sweet shrimp, Maine crabmeat, pork, shitakes and jicama, with a carrot-lime sauce ($8)

These "packets" were deep-fried, like more traditional Vietnamese spring rolls, but were flatter and had skin that resembled more Chinese spring rolls. The material inside was not particularly appealing, and I would rate this dish average-minus.

(2) Pho Bo -- Viet Pho with rare beef in broth, green onion, Asian basil and coriander

This dish was not to my liking either. While the beef was not bad (cut slightly thicker than most beef utilized for pho preparations), the problems lay more in (a) noodles that clumped together and that were not good-tasting to begin with, and (b) a soup that continued unduly large quantities of fish sauce, which obscured the remainder of the ingredients. Served, as is usual, with hoi sin sauce and chili sauce (which the dining room team member suggested I add in the quantity provided to the soup -- which would have destroyed what there was of the broth).

(3) Lychee fruit gelee with light ganache and baked banana

What a disappointment (that's obviously a recurring theme in my gastronomic life), given that Bill Yosses (ex-Bouley; pastry chef at Citarella) is dessert consultant to Boi.

The lychee fruit gelee was nothing special. Canned lychees likely (although I'm not aware of lychee seasonality) were integrated in little pieces into a green-colored (no kidding) gelee that seemed amateurish. Bananas came as three sections, and were not at all caramelized or appealing. They were simply not appealing. The chocolate concoction that was also included in the dessert was guey, like mud in texture, and did not match at all the lychee gelee. It was too powerful for the gelee, although it might have not been terrible with the bananas alone. A failing grade for this dessert.

With a glass of red and tax and tips, $45-50 for one diner.

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