Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Bo Laksa King

Restaurant: Bo Laksa King

Cuisine: Malaysian/Burmese/Singapore/Thai

Last visited: February 16, 2010
Area: Vancouver, BC (Joyce-Collingwood)

4910 Joyce St

Range: $10 or less

1: Poor 2: OK 3: Good 4: Very good 5: Excellent 6: Tres Excellent!!

Food: 4.5

Service: 4.5

Ambiance: 1.5

Overall: 4.5

Additional comments:

  • Major hole-in the wall
  • Located inside Malaysian grocery store
  • Specializes in Malaysian/Burmese food
  • Famous for laksa and wraps
  • Husband and wife operation
  • Good for quick lunches – Malaysian wraps
  • Fresh, homemade, made upon order
  • Half menu made on site, half from main off site kitchen
  • Popular to neighborhood/locals in area
  • Seats 2-4
  • Cheap eatery – not dirt cheap, but reasonable
  • Lunch and dinner service
  • Full dinner menu only available online from 6pm - pick-up/delivery only
  • Dinner - Pick-up before 8pm
  • Delivery charges apply
  • Open late
  • Catering available

**Recommendation: Roti Canai, Laksa, Malaysian style wraps (but I haven’t tried)…also haven’t tried but the Lahpet Thoke (Fermented tea leaf salad) is authentic Burmese food not available anywhere else.

I would have never heard of Bo Laksa king and would have never discovered it on my own. Thanks to Kim (I’m Only Here for the Food) I was able to try this major hole in the wall located in a Malaysian/Asian grocery store. I’m also never in that area so I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to wander around. It’s a total word-of-mouth place and their business depends on this type of advertising.

It’s a husband and wife operation and they’re really nice people. She’s Chinese and he’s Burmese. The recipes are actually very authentic but they also offer a mixture of South East Asian cuisine from Malaysian, Singaporean, Thai and the rare…Burmese! They even have a couple Chinese dishes in there. It’s popular for quick lunches and their full dinner menu is only available online for delivery or pick-up before 8pm. They operate out of the small kitchen in the back of the grocery store and also a main kitchen that is a few blocks away on Victoria. Keep this in mind because the menu is limited if you’re going for dinner and eating in.

Okay so being a major hole in the wall, I have to lower my expectations a bit, however not by much because the food was really good. It’s a hole in the wall with fresh, authentic, homemade, made upon order meals for a good price…what more can you ask for? Overall I was pleasantly surprised. I would go back because I think there’s better then what I had, and I want to try a wrap.

On the table:

Burmese Tea 4/6

  • $1.50
  • It’s similar to Thai tea but not as strong or sweet. It’s frothy, milky, creamy and a smooth tea.
  • It’s still quite sweet though because it’s mixed and shaken with condensed milk.
  • The tea is authentic Burmese tea that is steeped and it’s stronger than Chinese tea, but milder than Thai tea.
  • It’s made upon order and a pretty large cup for only $1.50

**Roti Canai 5.5/6

  • The small is served with beef curry $3.99 Large is served with chicken curry $5.99
  • The roti is very hot, fresh and made upon order on a griddle. It’s super fluffy, flakey, soft, stretchy and chewy…but it was a tad oily. We devoured it in seconds though so it didn’t matter. You can watch her toss it and cook it on the spot – it’s almost like watching a pizza dough show.
  • The curry is their beef curry sauce. It’s very flavourful and slightly spicy. There are little bits of beef brisket throughout and the sauce has a very strong beef broth flavour. They use lots of spices and herbs in there so it’s very flavourful.
  • It’s quite oily too though so you really have to scoop up the sauce or you’re just dipping into oil. It’s good though!

Satay Skewers 3.5/6

  • Choice from marinated chicken, beef, or lamb served with sticky rice, cucumber & spicy peanut sauce. (3 skewers) $3.50
  • The satay skewers are made on a griddle rather than a grill…which I’ll let go because they’re working with limited resources being in a grocery store.
  • You wouldn't miss out by not ordering it, but it’s a pretty decent sized appetizer for a $3.50 bargain!
  • This chicken is marinated in a curry spice, but I couldn’t really taste it. It was tender and the pieces are big, it wasn’t necessarily anything to rave about.
  • The sticky rice is almost like a dessert. The rice is a bit sweet and almost like a giant mochi ball sprinkled with dried coconut flakes.
  • The peanut sauce is that authentic creamy Thai peanut butter sauce rather than the chunky Malaysian sauce. I prefer the Malaysian version. Bo Laksa King’s is okay but the fish sauce mixed into the peanut sauce was a bit too tangy for me and I didn’t really like the brand they were using – a bit too rancid in taste.

**Laksa 6/6

  • Prawn, chicken, fish ball, tofu puff, egg, sweet bell peppers and bean sprouts. Choose from vermicelli or yellow wheat noodle $7.50
  • The authentic way is to have it with vermicelli – so that’s what we ordered it with.
  • We got it to go, so the fancy bowl is not how it’s served.
  • It’s loaded with tons on topping and that surprised me.
  • There are lots of fresh herbs and spices in the broth and it’s really obvious. It had that slow cooked, on the stove all day homecooked flavour. It tasted very authentic with exotic herbs and spices that I’ve never really experienced in laksa before.
  • It wasn’t very spicy for me, but just very aromatic! It’s very rich and creamy with the sweetened taste of coconut milk.
  • The noodles are al dente! They’re harder then expected, which I like! They were blanched in the soup and packaged in a separate container to ensure they’re not overcooked.

Pad Thai 3/6

  • Thai rice noodle, eggs, shrimps, extra firm tofu, Chinese chives, dried chili peppers, banana flower, bean sprouts, preserved turnip, stir fry in house made traditional tamarind sauce $8.75
  • This is a traditional version of Pad Thai and not the Western version where they make it with Ketchup. This one is made with Tamarind – just like the one at Tangthai Cuisine of Thailand Restaurant.
  • It’s one of their popular items, but I wasn’t crazy about it.
  • Overall it was still good with lots of shrimp (6 of them); however I really didn’t like the whole peanuts. I usually love peanuts too, but I want them ground up when I’m having it with Pad Thai.
  • It was served with a house made fish sauce…which I didn’t like. By home made I mean adding chilies, jalapeƱos and some additional spices to a bought fish sauce. It was too tangy and rancid…which is expected…but it was almost overly rancid and off. I love fish sauce too! Maybe it was just the fish sauce brand they’re using?
  • It was a tangy and spicy Pad Thai with jalapeƱo peppers. I thought it need more flavour though…I was relying on the lime and the fish sauce (which wasn’t that good)…and also the peanuts (which weren’t ground up)….so everything was there…but also not there for me…
  • I prefer the ground peanuts and fish sauce at Thai Basil.

Bo Laksa King's on Urbanspoon


  1. There is something you need to get more information i belived.(A)Malaysian grocery store.(B)Malaysian style wraps.(C)beef curry sauce for Roti Canai?(D)What made Fish sauce so special in brand and how do they made fish sauce.(E)What it is in the real authentic LAKSA.(F)Try to find out that house made fish sauce with chili and jalapeno are need to be add in Pad Thai or just pick up chili to add it in Pad Thai.most Pad Thai Lover will know a bout it if they ever have it in street of Thailand.

    thank you

  2. Hi there! Thanks for your comment. I'm sorry but I'm a bit confused by it. However I'll try to answer best I can.
    A) Malaysian/Asian grocery store
    B) They are Malaysian influenced wraps
    C) It is beef curry for Roti Canai
    D) I don't know details about fish sauce...I just didn't like the brand or how they made it.
    E) the authentic Laksa is to have it with vermicelli...what the owner recommended and said was authentic as well.

  3. Hello:

    I found your blog online while looking for reviews for Bo Laksa. I really appreciate the precision (descriptions of the food; pictures; weighing of your likes and dislikes of food; and your rating system) of your food reviews. Keep up the good work!

  4. Hi there! Thank you so much for your kind comment! Please check out my new blog: www.followmefoodie.com - the layout is much cleaner and easier to browse :)

    Thanks again for visiting!