Lunch for One: Chicken Curry Noodles at Bo Ky
Bo Ky is never exceptional, but always delicious, and more importantly, reliable. It's one of the few restaurants serving hot noodle soup dishes that I find myself craving even on stickier summer days. Nearly half the diners in this restaurant during lunch hour come solo. If you get lucky, they'll seat you at at a table of two for yourself. If you're less lucky, they'll cram you in with five other solo diners around a large round table. Either way, wipe the summer sweat off your face, ask for a cup of cold tea and order—the Chicken Curry Noodles, of course.
The dish is only $5.50 and hearty enough to take you through the night. When you order, they'll ask you what type of noodles you want. Ask for the ho funn, those wide, flat floppy noodles. Slippery smooth in your mouth and an ideal pairing for the curry. The curry broth, steaming hot, is poured over the fresh noodles (not made in house, but fresh), along with chicken parts—drumsticks, wings, and random bits, you find them all. Don't neglect the chunks of eggplant and potato cubes, perfect for mashing up in your spoon so that they soak up even more of the coconut milk-rich curry. The top layer is a glossy sheen of oil, vibrant and spiced a deep red. A squeeze of lemon will brighten the heaviness, but I find it unnecessary. The bowl is filled to the brim, so navigate your chopstick and spoon carefully, lest you splash curry all over yourself and nearby diners!
82 Bayard Street, New York, NY 10013 map)