Tan Ky Mi Gia
9330 Mira Mesa Blvd, Ste A
San Diego, CA 92126
I have a confession to make today – I prefer Vietnamese/Teochow style wonton noodle soup over Cantonese style wonton noodle soup. What’s the difference you may ask? Cantonese style is all about the light and freshness of the seafood broth and shrimp. It’s wonderful, but sometimes I prefer a flavor that is a little bit bolder and adds items I could not get in a simple bowl of wonton noodle soup with just egg noodles, shrimp wontons, broth, and maybe some vegetables. You see, Vietnamese/Teochow style wonton noodle soup has all that Cantonese style wonton soup has, but more. The broth has an extra kick due to the addition of chives and sometimes fried green onions. As a bonus, Vietnamese/Teochow style wonton noodle soup also gives you slices of barbecue pork, something that would cost you at least $1 extra in a Cantonese style restaurant.
All of that is to say that when I was hungry a couple weeks ago in San Diego and hanging out with family, I insisted that we go eat lunch at the local Vietnamese/Teochow style noodle soup restaurant down the street. It would be quick. It would be cheap. Most of all, it would be delicious and give me a taste of one Vietnamese dish that Vietnamese restaurants in Albuquerque don’t quite execute well.
When we stepped into the restaurant, we were greeted and seated immediately. After the server gave us our cups of water, we order our noodle soups. I ordered the Mi Hoanh Thanh while most of my other family members ordered dumpling noodle soups (dumplings that are slightly different than wontons in the wrappers, dumpling filling, and shape).
The noodle soups quickly came, as typical for most Vietnamese restaurants serving pho or mi. As usual the broth was delicious with a good, but not overpowering, punch of chives. The wontons were pretty good too with a nice amount of shrimp. The pieces of barbeque pork were slightly drier than normal, but provided a nice balance with the broth. There was also a crispy fried piece of wonton wrapper with shrimp which I don’t particularly care for, but I suppose it provides a nice little texture in the soup (similar to oyster crackers in soups).
Service is efficient with the server regularly refilling cups with water as needed. However, the prices were higher than I remember than the last time I ate here about 6-9 months ago. A bowl of wonton noodle soup now costs $7.99, which is still a bargain for any meal, but definitely a spike compared to the $5.99 I was used to for a while.
Regardless, it was a delicious and simple meal. Given that my mom introduced me to this wonderful style of Vietnamese/Teochow style cuisine (at Minh Ky in the City Heights neighborhood of San Diego), I suppose my ancestors can’t frown on me too much. Good food is good food, regardless of the regional origin.