Here are a couple of revisits.
It's pretty much inevitable when I get to know someone, that one of the first items for discussion would be, "have anything good to eat lately". And such is the case with my Dry-Cleaner Lady, with whom I've shared recommendations and opinions over the years. One recent discussion was over Noble Chef. We both are of the opinion that many of the dishes were executed better before the previous owners retired. Although we both thought that as time passed the food there is getting better. The Dry Cleaner Lady told me that although the broth was pretty weak, the Hu Tieu with Shrimp Balls were pretty good. So during the recent rain and cold I decided to drop by and grab a bowl of Hu Tieu with Beef and Shrimp Balls:
And yes, the broth was decidedly bland, in need of help from the sweet-soy and other condiments. I'm used to a mild pork flavor broth for my Hu tieu soups.... this had almost no flavor. The Beef Meatballs were fairly "squeaky", and were also pretty weak. Those shrimp balls did have a nice shrimp flavor and were quite tender.
Overall an ok bowl, but I don't think I'll be having this again due to the really watery broth.
The Noble Chef
6159 Balboa Avenue
San Diego, CA 92111
Yum Cha Cafe's cheapo 3 item BBQ Combo:
On a recent jaunt to Thuan Phat Market to pick up some vegetables the Missus wanted for dinner, I decided to check out what was going on at Yum Cha Cafe. I think things have slowed down a bit, so now there's all manner of specials going on. One caught my attention right away.
Granted, as I've mentioned before, I'm not a big fan of Yum Cha's Roast Duck. But 3 meats and rice for under five bucks? You know I just had to try it out. As the various meat was pulled and chopped I was surprised that it seemed like a good amount of protein. And the box seemed to weight at least two pounds. Not along the lines of Tita's in terms of insurmountable food, but the styrofoam box seemed quite hefty.
Opening the box up, it looked like there was a head on collision of Chinese BBQ that fell on a mattress of rice. After playing a bit of Chinese BBQ CSI, I could make out what was what.
The best item was the roast chicken which was very moist and tender., even the white meat sections:
It had a nice mild lemon grass flavor.
The Roast Duck was also moist, fairly meaty, but lacking in flavor.
The skin was on the rubbery side. Overall, this was better than what I had before, but still not even close to top-notch.
The worst item overall was the BBQ Pork, tough and bland are not good when it comes to Char Siu.
The best item overall were the pickled vegetables, which were good, if on the sweet side. So could I recommend this? Well, if you were really hungry and had only five bucks.........this could be two meals.
Yum Cha Cafe
6933 Linda Vista Road
San Diego, CA 92111
Roast Duck from Hong Kong BBQ and Dim Sum:
If you've read my previous post on this place you'll know that I've been less than pleased with what I've had here. But after a recent less than satisfying meal from Song Huong, I wandered through Vinh Hung Market and walked pass the Chinese BBQ, and the Roast Duck looked pretty good, so I decided to buy me half a duck.
Which ended up being pretty good, much better than what I've had before.
So perhaps I'll return to try some other items in the future.
Hong Kong BBQ & Dim Sum
10550 Camino Ruiz(Inside of Vinh Hung Market)
San Diego, CA 92126
Postscript: With the left-over duck, I decided to make something. You see, I was still fuming from spending fifty bucks for a mediocre Peking Duck meal at Duck House in Monterey Park. I was especially disappointed in the stir-fried duck meat with bean sprouts which had no flavor at all. When I mentioned this to the Missus, She called me out and asked, "could you do better".......
Which is why I made this with the leftovers.
I used my 55,000 BTU Big Kahuna to revive and crisp up the duck meat. Added the bean sprouts, which if you've just bought a high BTU wok stove, is a great way to learn to use it. Flavored at the end with duck drippings and premium soy sauce......
Compared to this: