No. 73: Duck Noodle Soup at Hai Ky Mi Gia

If you go into Hai Ky Mi Gia expecting bun, you're looking for the wrong thing. The restaurant specializes in Chinese-Vietnamese ― or, to be more specific, Chaozhou/Teochew ― noodle soups. That can mean a clean chicken broth with spindly egg noodles and a plethora of meats, or beef stew with rice noodles.

The dish we go back to Hai Ky Mi Gia for, though, is duck leg soup with thick egg noodles. Presented under a tuft of cilantro, the yellow noodles barely qualify for the adjective “thick” — they're delicate, slippery, silky things, which still have some bite to them when the soup is fresh. The braised duck leg, garnished with a little fried garlic, seems stiff at first, but as it sits in the broth, it warms and softens, and the meat ― tasting of soy and star anise ― peels off into tender chunks with the poke of a chopstick.

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