It was a dreary, windy Friday and a good day for soup. My friend Anna was craving Bun Vit Sao Mang or duck noodle soup with dried bamboo and we ended up at Hong Mai Restaurant.
Apparently this dish (#54) is one of their specialties, and the meal comes in 2 parts:
– The duck (on the bone, with or without skin) served over a bed of salad which contained pickled onion, mint and cabbage, a lemon, and a side of ginger / vinegar dipping sauce
– Then came the soup with the vermicelli noodles and dried bamboo
The broth is clear, even more clearer than a pho broth. It didn’t taste very salty, but as its only been an hour after my lunch, and I’m gulping tea, chances are it was loaded with MSG.
Anna squirted the lemon onto the salad, and doused sriracha in the ginger sauce and added that, too. Then she added part of the mixture into her soup, leaving some of the salad behind.
The duck was a bit chewy, and not much flavor, which is why you need the ginger sauce. The meal is light, yet filling. Unfortunately, I am clumsy when fighting with my duck and soup noodles, I guess little splashes of soup scattered on my shirt.
Overall a decent lunch, and cheap ($8.75 for the bowl). However, its not a place I’d consider if I wanted a soup noodle fix. There’s so many places in the Bolsa area. Parking is also a pain, and fellow drivers are not courteous and in a hurry to cut you off in the parking lot.