I have opined, on this very board, that Dok Bua's version of Yen Ta Fo soup was abysmal. I was wrong.....
All set for stir-fried catfish yesterday, I headed in, and stopped short to stare at the huge bowl chock-full of noodles, seafood and greens one of the waitresses was eating..I asked what it was, and when she said "Yen Ta Fo soup". I thought it looked much more promising than my last experience, so I immediately ordered some.
Delivered to my table with the sugar shaker (this is traditional, but I preferred not to counter the salty undertone), and the condiment tray (definitely use the chopped garlic and peppers!), this was a totally different version..There is a slight hint of something fermented, probably soybean paste, in the broth, but not as intense as many Chinese dishes...Saltiness, maybe the taste of fried shallots, lots of hollow-stem watercress, perfectly cooked squid and shrimp, and the wide rice noodles that I chose. I think native Thai eaters use the sugar to balance the fermented flavor, you might try this...The menu claims this is a tomato-based broth; I have no idea what alternative universe this might have been written in. (g)
All I know, is, $7 later, I walked out of there with a belly so full I sloshed at each step, but the bowl of broth had a lovely lightness and freshness that will make it one of this winter's regular lunches.