Satay Beef Ho Fun Soup at Hai Ky Mi Gia, SF
I stopped by Hai Ky Mi Gia (corner of Ellis and Larkin, not the one listed below on Irving) today for lunch based on Melanie's chicken soup recommendation, though I then decided to try something different. This was my first visit. The place was busy (it was 1:30 PM, Tuesday) and every table was occupied throughout my 30 minutes there. I randomly chose Satay beef ho fun soup, not really knowing too much about the dish - I couldn't exactly picture how the satay was incorporated into the soup, since I hadn't had this dish before.
Overall, I thought it was quite good, but pretty rich. The soup was large, with fresh rice noodles that were perhaps a bit too soft, but still fine. The broth seemed to be beef broth, with small pieces of meat that were tender and flavorful. This was topped with a thick layer of satay sauce, which had lots of bits of peanuts and plenty of oil. This in turn was topped with slices of tomato, cilantro and crispy fried garlic. I liked the fact that the sauce was not at all sweet - almost no trace of sugar at all in the entire dish, and when I squeezed in some lime it really made for a nice combination of flavors with the rich peanuts, beef broth and tart lime. The dish actually reminded me of a peanut based soup that I ate in coastal Ecuador. Since I'd never had it before, I don't know how it compares to other satay beef soups in SF or elsewhere, but I imagine it's pretty good. A smaller bowl of chicken broth was served on the side.
I don't know if I'll be able to regularly eat this dish, since the heavy amount of peanuts makes it very filling, but I'd recommend it. Other soups I saw looked good as well.
Total bill was $7.25 before tip, hot tea was jasmine green and quite good.
New Hai Ky Restaurant
2191 Irving St, San Francisco, CA
Thanks for giving it a try. Once you check out New Hai Ky on Irving as well, you'll be the expert on the three spots and can compare and contrast with Lam Hoa Thuon.
I've never gotten past the duck leg noodle soup. Doesn't make me forget Vi's in Oakland, but helps to fill to the void.
Hai Ky Mi Gia
707 Ellis St, San Francisco, CA 94109
re: Melanie Wong
I went back today and tried the duck leg noodle soup. It was Number 6 on the menu, I chose soup (not dry) with wide egg noodles (and no wontons). Some nice pickled cucumbers and carrots came on the side.
This soup was really good. The piece of duck was big, and the meat came off the bone pretty easily. The skin was really tasty - this was where the orange flavor came through the most, although in certain sips of broth I got it too. Also tasted what I think was star anise, although I don't know for sure. But the broth was similar to a sweet beef pho broth. I'm assuming the broth wasn't beef though....
There are lots of interesting soups here, and the place is always packed w/ people eating a variety of soups, so I am excited to keep coming back to try more items.
Total bill before tip was 7 dollars.
re: Dave MP
re: Dave MP
I've been back here twice in the past 3 weeks, and I'm starting to really like this place. Consistently good and quick, friendly service.
Two visits ago, DC had the duck noodle soup and I had a soup w/ clear/silver noodles and seafood. My soup was very mild compared to the duck soup and satay soups I'd had before, but it was good. Shrimps were slightly overcooked, but the calamari, shrimp balls and fish balls were good.
Today, went w/ my coworker. He had #4 duck leg noodle w/ wontons (soup) and I had the same (dry). I hadn't had the "dry" version before, and I liked it - there are advantages and disadvantages to the two. The drippings from the duck were puddled at the bottom of the bowl, and when I incorporated it into the noodles, it added a great richness - similar to the richness you get in pasta carbonara. In other words, duck fat is pretty delicious. I hadn't tried the wontons before today - they were not bad, but nothing too stellar either.
We also tried an order of the fried fish cakes today, which weren't fried super well (dripping with grease) but were hot and tasty. I made a little dipping sauce w/ hoisin and black vinegar which was nice.
They had both hot and iced tea available. Our total bill for this big lunch for two was 20 dollars even.
re: Dave MP
I'm currently OBSESSED with Hy Kai!
I work nearby and go for lunch often. Don't even think of trying to go with a group of people during peak lunch hours unless you are willing to wait for a table and/or share your table -- this place is hopping!
I've also had the satay soup and can echo that it makes a delicious, if rich lunch. They do give you a little bowl of broth on the side to cut the richness.
One of my favorite "little touches" here are the pots of freshly-chopped jalapenos in vinegar. Seems like they are replenished many times through the day.