You Need To Try This is a running archive of all the awesome drinks and dishes we’ve come across over the course of our professional and private lives (or at least the ones we had the presence of mind and patience to photograph before they got in our bellies).
Close your eyes and imagine an afternoon downpour in Chinatown in the depths of the winter doldrums. It’s not that hard to picture, right? That’s because it happens, a lot. I got caught in a really bad rain – the almost horizontal stuff – over the weekend while walking past Fat Mao on East Georgia Street. I was glad to see the prized window seat all fogged up but available. I slipped in for cover and was quickly seduced by this particular bowl of unforgettable awesomeness. It’s their Hot & Sour Pork Noodles — a steal at $12.99. Very few things smell as good as this on a crappy day — it’s like Vick’s Vap-o-Rub and a hug for your belly.
It’s a complex, multi-dimensional soup with a big, lasting impact. You will taste this for hours afterwards, possibly days. Depending on how impressionable your palate is, you might even dream of it. The proteins are slices of delicious BBQ pork (unmistakably from nearby Money Foods), toothsome half-coins of Vietnamese pork roll and bits of minced pork that range in size from specks to boulders. (The BBQ pork is the best of the mix by far, but together the trio turns the whole bowl into an exercise in decadence.) Then there’s the submerged fist of glassy mung bean noodles under the oil-slicked, crazy aromatic Dom Yum broth, which comes littered with lime and scallions for extra zip and sprouts and peanuts for added crunch and flavour.
The sun is out as I write this, but it won’t be for long. Get some! Oh, since you’ll be in the neighbourhood, be sure to check out Scout’s latest Guide to Chinatown.