I was a bit sad when Tan Ky on Mira Mesa closed down. The place wasn't amazing, but they did serve some pretty solid dishes. So of course when I saw Tim Ky Noodle was taking its place, I made sure to check them out. And you know how that goes.......I try to check places out a couple of times whenever possible.
The menu is typical of these type of shops, a million and one combinations of Hu Tieu or Mi noodle soups, fried rice, all the usual suspects.
I had been craving Beef Sate Egg Noodle - dry and my lousy visit to Luong Hai Ky did nothing to diminish things. So of course I had to try it here, right?
First thing I noticed was...this place was into that "big bowl" facade thing. The portion was noticably smaller than what Tan Ky delivered. On the good side, the egg noodles were done adequately....I like mine with a bit of crunch still in them, but not raw with a powdery edge. There wasn't enough sate in this as things were too mild and the beef "fair to middlin". The broth that accompanied the dish was much too light and plain bland. I'll probably not order this again.
The young man who served me was very nice and friendly. I asked him what he thought the specialty of the house was. He said it was the Bun Suong, which was surprising. If I recall, it was a noodle soup that looked a lot like Bun Rieu.
The folks here were very nice, so I came back to try the Bun Suong, which ain't cheap at $8.45.
This was pretty good. They used the thin bun for this; the type that would be appropriate for Bun Rieu. There were 8 shrimp "meatballs" that weren't too squeaky and still had some shrimp flavor. The annatto oil did make it look like bun rieu a bit, though the broth was milder. Liked that fact it wasn't loaded with MSG and the broth had a decent flavor which kind of reminded me more of chicken than pork.
This was not bad. I'll have it again.
It would only be a matter of time before I tried the Won Ton and Dumpling Egg Noodle soup ($6.49).
This was the best bowl I had here. It's been so long sonce I've had a decent Won Ton/Dumpling egg noodle soup that I'd become jaded....so perhaps that amplified my enjoyment? There were only 2 won ton and 2 dumplings in this, the dumplings were definitely superior to the won tons. But I gotta say, instead of the usual hard as rock fillings, these were adequately tender.
The broth had a nice flavor to it and even some decent richness as you can tell by the dots of fat floating around. I do wish the soup were a bit hotter.
This was a nice bowl.
I might have pushed my luck a bit when I returned and had the Duck Leg Egg Noodle Soup ($7.49). I actually wanted the roast duck version, but they were all out. The broth reminded me a bit of a watered down Thai style duck noodle, with dark soy sauce giving it a deep, dark color and the shiitake mushrooms in the soup.
There were faint hints of flavor....the mere wisp of star anise, but just not enough oomph for me. The duck, though tender, had a bit of a stale, refrigerator flavor to it. No complaints about the temp of the broth on this one as I had to figure out how to break down that duck leg floating in scalding broth.
I'd like to try the roast duck version next time, but otherwise will stick with the dumpling egg noodle soup. Plus, it looks like they have chicken wings on the menu as well.
I like the folks who work here....even the kind of serious server, who, while not too friendly, is nice enough. So of course I'll be back.
Tim Ky Noodle
9330 Mira Mesa Blvd
San Diego, CA 92126