Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Great find: Hai Ky Mi Gia for noodle soup

Just go. Right now. This place is too good not to head over at your first opportunity.

Seriously, why aren’t you in the car?

Pleen’s hairdresser LT is a pretty serious foodie - and Vietnamese - so when she recommended a noodle joint over in Eden Center we paid close attention. Boy are we glad we did.

We walked in at ~ 11:30 today and the place was half full. By 12:15 it was packed.

We asked the server what people liked. Without pause he pointed out two dishes. We nodded, and that was it.

Pauline claimed the egg noodles with shrimp, squid and pork (Hai Ky Mi Gia Dat Biet, AKA “#1”).

The noodles arrived with the soup in a separate bowl very much like Hong Kong style wantan mee. In fact, the sliced roasted pork and clear rich broth along with the noodles themselves were reminiscent of the Cantonese classic. But everything else was pure Vietnam. The fistful of herbs, fried shallots, minced pork infused with black pepper, and sweet fresh shrimp encased in crispy fried goodness brought multiple aromatic and texture layers to the dish. A sweet dark soya sauce and a pile of bean sprouts and herbs familiar to any pho fan accompanied the dish. Everything was fresh and flavorful.

That left me with the egg noodle soup with duck (Mi Vit Tiem, AKA “#6”), but I’m the kind of husband that’s all about sacrifice.

Let’s be clear right off the bat. This is a spectacular dish. If they offered just that piece of duck wrapped in newspaper, I’d walk over in the rain to buy one. The flesh was not quite falling off the bone, but it was wonderfully richly flavored and tender. And I’d take that broth by the liter if they let me. A variety of torn herbs, some leafy green veggies, and a generous portion of shiitake mushrooms floated in the bowl along with the noodles. Some slices of some sweetly pickled thing came alongside.

All that goodness for $7.50 a bowl?! Ya. We’re going back.

Hai Ky Mi Gia
6757 Wilson Blvd. #24
Falls Church, VA 22042